Ian Doescher’s Star Wars; Verily a New Hope may help make a bridge for the first time, struggling Shakespeare student. By the end I was tired.
I was one of those who saw the original Star Wars, when there was only the one. In fact I saw it about 7 times in that first year, although my excuse was to take one who had not yet seen it and watch their reactions. As a technical achievement Industrial Light and Magic took us into entirely new levels of expectations. What I have since realized is that it was never intended to be much more than a Space Opera. That is an old school B movie western/cliff hanger serial but in space rather than the Wild West. Dialogue is not what sells the George Lucas space movie empire.
Shakespeare is justly remembered for his dialogue. So I tip the hat to Ian Doescher for his Star Wars; Verily a New Hope. Had it been a choice I am sure Lucas would have hired The Bard to save his dialogue. As is Lucas turned to another great British playwright, Tom Stoppard to help save Revenge of the Sith.
Ian Doescher makes a valiant effort. I was not entirely amused. As a joke it wears thin early on. As an experiment in adaptation I am not positive that Doescher maintains Shakespearean, 16the century rhythms. The result is uneven with a few too many robot sounds interrupting the play held on the stage of the Globe Theater. Somewhat irritating is the decision, somewhere after the start of the screen play to give R2D2 the ability to directly speak to the audience while his in the scene dialoged is restricted to something like the original beeps.
A special call out to illustrator Nicolas Delort. Stylistically they wonderfully re-imagine the space characters as they would be portrayed in a high end playbook. Great humor is also present as certain ‘special’ effects are reduced to what might have been done on an Elizabethan stage. Vader weeping over the burning Death Star is wonderful; as is the same heroically villainous character on the cover in his period costume.
Doescher has several more of these kinds of Lucas/The Bard script adaptations. I will not be getting them.