Audie Award Finalist, Multi-Voiced Performance, 2014
Return once more to a galaxy far, far away with this sublime retelling of George Lucas's epic Star Wars in the style of the immortal Bard of Avon. The saga of a wise (Jedi) knight and an evil (Sith) lord, of a beautiful princess held captive and a young hero coming of age, Star Wars abounds with all the valor and villainy of Shakespeare's greatest plays. 'Tis a tale told by fretful droids, full of faithful Wookiees and fearsome Stormtroopers, signifying...pretty much everything.
William Shakespeare's Star Wars will astound and edify Rebels and Imperials alike. Zounds! This is the audiobook you're looking for.
©2013 Ian Doescher (P)2013 Random House Audio
Ingenious, perfect, wonderful, thoroughly enjoyable, hilarious, downright absurd, godawful in the best way, delightful, ummm... Need I say any more?
I read science, biographies, histories, mysteries, adventures, thrillers, educationals, linguistics but not no way, not no how, romances.
This is such a great concept for a book, and executed with such enjoyment and wonder that you'll be completely willing to overlook a few minor mistakes. Here you have something NEW and FUN, a book unlike anything you've read before. As you can see from the publisher's description, it's the story of Star Wars Episode 4 written in Shakespearean Iambic Pantameter. The soliliques are here, the asides, the great references to Shakespeare lines and Starwsars fandom (such as a reference to Han shooting first.)
Also, the author isn't afraid to rethink the characters. For instance, R2D2 speaks in beeps and squeaks, but then will give a monologue as an aside to the audience about how HE'S really the one controlling the action and how much he hates C3P0. If the gimic wears a bit thin in the middle and the author attempts to write stage directions at the end of the piece in a way Shakespeare never would, that's ok, because this is a fresh author and cast and they just want us to have fun with them. Go along for the ride.
a fun and exciting romp in the stars with the bard!
Han or Obi Wan
the ONLY detractor to the book is R2-D2 saying beep and boop. the story would have lost nothing if the sound effects of his speech had been added. still and absolutely fan-freaking-tastic I hope that empire and Jedi are soon to follow!!
I enjoyed the entire book very hard to pick what I loved best about it!!!
How all the talented artist came together to pull this story off
R2-D2's attitude through out the story...
I laughed out loud several times throughout the performance!!!
A must read for Star Wars or Shakespeare fans..
Avid listener on my daily commute!
The day I first purchased this title, in e-book form, I endured no end of taunting from my family (consisting approximately of one-half Shakespearean scholars and one-half Star Wars fanatics), who joked that they hoped that all eight of us in the United States who loved both Star Wars and Shakespeare would really enjoy the book. I think time has proven there are far more of us than my skeptical family believed. If you are one of us, this will be one of your best-spent credits. It's as funny as your favorite comedy, as moving as any drama, and the writing (in iambic pentameter, no less!) is flawless. The sound effects and music are fantastic, too. I listen to it every time I feel discouraged by life (like this week!) and need a gentle, Shakespearean reminder that when the Empire builds a Death Star, it's not time to wallow in despair, it's time to gather one's courage and join the rebellion. May the Force be with us all. Grade: A+
This audiobook is amazing. The performance is amazing, the story is amazing. Everything about this book is amazing. The beep squeaks from R2D2 are a little annoying but I try not to notice them. If you love Star Wars and William Shakespeare, you will love this. Thank you for making this audiobook!
As a lover of both Shakespeare and Star Wars, this caught my attention as soon as I came across it. I was not disappointed at all. I plan to keep this audiobook on my device for the foreseeable future, because like any good book, I know I'll be able to open it up to any point and become instantly immersed again.
Over and over and over again. This combines my favorite author with my favorite movie series, what's not to love?
The various Shakespeare-style addition to the innermost thoughts of the characters added to the story, giving each character a depth only hinted at in the original films. I enjoyed the use of foreshadowing, soliloquies and monologues, interacting with the "audience" in true globe fashion.
It's almost impossible to choose just one, but if I had to I would go for the scene when Luke is cleaning the droids at his farm on Tatooine. There are moments in Luke's mind and [surprisingly] in R2D2's that wonderfully foreshadow the rest of the story.
I was laughing out loud many times, and even when such an extreme reaction was not provoked, I found myself grinning in delight during the course of the book.
I imagine I will enjoy the prequel trilogy even better than the films if they are done half as well as this trilogy.
Doescher pulled it off. The mix of Shakespeare and Star Wars was a stroke of brilliance on his part, and he manages to evoke BOTH the Bard and the Force in this highly enjoyable "play." It's got everything from "A New Hope" that you remember, but placed within a Shakespearean voice. The voice actors' performances are also fantastic--Luke sounds like Luke, Han sounds like Han, and I could've sworn Anthony Daniels did the voice of C-3PO until I looked at the credits. Star Wars purists should be happy at such a tactful and beautiful expansion of the Lucasfilm realm in this audiobook.
Lucasfilm encouraged Doescher to go beyond the original film in his ideas, and it's interesting to listen as all of the characters--including Darth Vader and R2-D2--have their own monologues, similar to how a Shakespearean character would. My favorite such inclusion was when Luke comes out onto the stage in his stolen Stormtrooper outfit, holding his helmet in hand like Hamlet does with Yorick's skull, and musing about life and death. This is just one of the many Shakespeare references within the book--Doescher often quotes famous Shakespeare lines within this narrative, such as the one that follows:
Original Star Wars: "What's that flashing?"
Shakespeare Star Wars: "But, soft? What light from yonder flashing breaks?!"
You gotta love it. Doescher also throws in a lot of tidbits that diehard Star Wars fans will enjoy. Listen for the following:
(1) Han's commentary on whether or not he shot Greedo first.
(2) A subtle but rather pronounced Star Trek reference. (Yes, Doescher did break the sacred boundary in this one line, but it's funny!).
(3) And more!
If you love Star Wars and if you're not afraid of Shakespeare (and no one should be), listen to this audiobook!
"Verily; A great reteling."
Ben Kenobi. His rewritten diolog was the most fun to compare to the original and the small retcons added are a good way of tying the series together in a more believable fashion.
The scenes with Like on Tatooine. the slow, character based scenes work particularly well in the Shakespearean format.
It filled me the same excitement that Star wars used to give me as a boy.
I'm so glad this exists. I'd never have thought of it but the two things work so well together.
I can not believe how well Star Wars and Shakespeare work together. I'll love to see on the stage.
""Bleep bleep, whistle, squeak" ..."
Thoroughly entertaining from Tatooine to the Death Star. The characters portrayed are almost all spot on (perhaps a little too much John Wayne in Han Solo), but that's a minor quibble. I look forward to the next episode. This has been my first experience of audible and my eyes are grateful for the rest. Excellent.
"Two things I love finally mashed up"
I love Shakespeare and I love Star Wars so how could this not be a good thing! Performances are great with a bit more insight into the mind of R2D2. LOVED IT!
Deifnitiely, I will listen to this many times. Ian doescher has done a truly magical thing here. He has taken this book and kept it completely faithful while transforming it into a Shakesperian play. The voice actors are great and I cant wait to start the next.
I only hope that the RSC produce this as a play... I'd pay to see it in a heartbeat.....
This is such a famous story and so many will know it "line for line" already so it's hard fopr voice actors to bring anything new to the story at all. Having said that they do..... They use the new syntax to bring out the emotions of the story in vbery different ways... you lkearn more of Moff Tarkin and his motivations and feelings for example.
Would have but just couldn't take the time out... maybe my next listen.
There are so many "Star Wars Geeks" out there (me included) and any adaptation runs the risk of not meeting the high expectations of such a strange and devoted following. George Lucas even fell foul of this with some of his decisions for Episodes 1,2 & 3. Certainly among many fans, episodes 4,5 & 6 are held in such high esteem that any "tampering" with them could lead to disaster!I am in this category, and was at first a little cautious when I heard about these books. I got the paper version first (a box set of hard backs) and thoroughly loved them. Then I saw them in Audible and listened to the narration sample. I was sold.....My only recommendation is this... FANTASTIC....GET IT ...!
Both as a concept and how this then works out in practice it is brilliant. The more one knows about Star Wars and about Shakespeare, the bigger the laughs. Excellently done. It is good to have some light hearted pieces to listen to occasionally. I hope the same people do some more of the same.
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