William Shakespeare's Star Wars

Length: 3 hrs and 29 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (1,614 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

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

What listeners say about William Shakespeare's Star Wars

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To Thine Ears, Brilliance This Doth Be!

I had a blast reading the book. Now to hear it performed, it's even better. Mashups like this usually don't impress me because most don't go for broke and waste time winking at themselves. This... this is greatness incarnate, and I daresay the Bard would approve.

A full cast of pros playing it straight and yet still coming across with a Monty Python edge, the classic sound effects and music... it's comedy gold. I can't imagine how many times they had to stop recording in the attempt to not bust a gut. I haven't laughed this hard in ages, and I think I spooked my co-workers this morning.

38 people found this helpful

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Perhaps to tell a greater truth.

What made the experience of listening to William Shakespeare's Star Wars the most enjoyable?

Hearing the asides from R2-D2. I have wondered for 30 years what that little rustbucket has been saying, and I found out. I nearly drove off the road doing so, but I found out.

What was one of the most memorable moments of William Shakespeare's Star Wars?

The aside from Obi-Wan Kenobi in the first act. When you hear it, you will understand.

What about the narrators’s performance did you like?

Daniel Davis filled the role of Narrator perfectly, despite my misgivings at the beginning that Star Wars (of all things) didn't need one.

The Shakespearean stage directions were fun. I have been saying 'Exeunt Droid' for three days, much to my wife's chagrin.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes, if I had been presented the opportunity, I would have. Probably best that I didn't. It might have killed me.

29 people found this helpful

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So happy this book came along

If you could sum up William Shakespeare's Star Wars in three words, what would they be?

This was so great to listen to - but beware - laughter will happen even will driving

What did you like best about this story?

The way it was put together - the characters - the Shakespeare references

Which character – as performed by the narrators – was your favorite?

R2D2 was the best - that cast was incredible

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I laughed for the whole first part of the book - and the second part - it was great - and I don't always like music or sound effects in other books, it was perfect in this book - especially enjoyed R2D2

Any additional comments?

I am giving this as a gift to 3 people and I have a couple of folks wanting to get it for themselves. Wish I could give it more than 5 stars

14 people found this helpful

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  • MJ
  • 10-18-13

To be, or not to be?

The author must have seriously considered the question when he sat down to write. Could a Star Wars book work in Shakespearean English? Should I even waste the time trying?

I, for one, am glad Ian Doescher decided to do it, because it's GREAT! The characters have their own thoughts revealed in ways they aren't done in the movie, which leads to a twisted understanding of characters like R2-D2; apparently, he's not a happy-go-lucky droid: he's conniving and manipulative, even if it is for the better good.

The narrators did a great job with the character voices, and some of them got the intonation just right, despite the fact that they were speaking in Shakespeare-era English.

As both a Shakespeare fan and a Star Wars junkie, I'm excited to share this one with my kids, in the hopes that it will get them interested in the Bard before they have to read his real stuff in junior high!

11 people found this helpful

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!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This was really fantastic. The narrators of all the Star Wars audiobooks came together to perform William Shakespeare's Star Wars, and it was the best thing ever. At first I was meh on it, but carrying on, I soon to grow to love this performance. Ian Doescher poked so much fun into the Star Wars film in the form of Shakespeare (the "Han shot first" scene among others) that I couldn't help but laugh really hard in public.

Though only about 3.5 hours, it is worth EVERYTHING SECOND & CREDIT for it. I can't wait for "The Empire Striketh Back."

9 people found this helpful

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So enjoyable!

After being involved with a theatre production recently, I had developed a major curiosity for checking out these Shakespearean renditions of the Classic Star Wars trilogy. Plus some of my favorite audiobook narrators all take part in bringing these interesting versions of these characters to life, and add so much to a delightful listen! Marc Thompson As C3P0 might’ve been my favorite.

1 person found this helpful

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BEST PURCHASE EVER!!!

Where does William Shakespeare's Star Wars rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

For a super fan of Star Wars, this is the best purchase I have ever made from Audible.

What did you like best about this story?

It followed the original storyline but had a little bit more humor.

What about the narrators’s performance did you like?

The narrators were awesome, especially Marc Thompson (who does Han Solo's voice). Hearing Han Solo do William Shakespeare was hilarious!

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Moved? No, not really. Just very enjoyable.

Any additional comments?

I will listen to these three books over and over and over!!!

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Wonderful writing and performance

In short, this is the most brilliant piece of writing I have read in a long time. I am a big fan of the original trilogy Star Wars movies and it’s just incredible how well they work in Shakespearean language. Doescher studied Shakespeare and is also a big sci-fi geek and his understanding of both media comes across very well. The dichotomy of the sci-fi content in old fashioned language adds a real interest to the writing. It’s also a heck of a lot of fun to play “spot the (adapted) Shakespeare quotation.” For example, we have “Alas, poor stormtrooper, I knew ye not” referencing Hamlet’s thoughts on Yorrick.

I have both the audiobook (narrated by a troupe of Shakespearean actors including the author himself) and I strongly recommend experiencing William Shakespeare’s Star Wars in audiobook format rather than the written word. The cast really brings it to life.

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Incredible!!!!!

What did you love best about William Shakespeare's Star Wars?

a fun and exciting romp in the stars with the bard!

Which character – as performed by the narrators – was your favorite?

Han or Obi Wan

Any additional comments?

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!!

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this is next level nerding

Star Wars is great and fantastic. Shakespeare is great and fantastic. putting both of them together best idea in the galaxy

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  • John
  • 01-11-14

Verily; A great reteling.

Who was your favorite character and why?

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.

Which scene did you most enjoy?

The scenes with Like on Tatooine. the slow, character based scenes work particularly well in the Shakespearean format.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

It filled me the same excitement that Star wars used to give me as a boy.

Any additional comments?

I'm so glad this exists. I'd never have thought of it but the two things work so well together.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Kim H.
  • 07-02-20

Brilliant

memorable 'Is this an asteroid I see before me?' and loved R2D2 idiom! an excellent 3CPO too.

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  • J. Rodriguez
  • 02-23-20

All the galaxy's a stage

This is a marvelous idea, taking the script of star wars and rewriting it in the style of Shakespeare is inspired.

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  • DanBrownWeb
  • 06-11-19

Loved it

So beautifully written. It works amazingly well in the Shakespeare language and lilt. And it adds to the film as it gets across secret thoughts in internal monologues, which was very nice. Like a window into the soul of the characters.

I loved it. Having seen the films the scenes are all there in my mind so its very easy to visualise, and a nice experience to do so. Who wouldn't want to revisit these places in their mind?

I love ye olde english so it works really nicely for me. He's made it feel old yet understandable. He could have cranketh olden nothches higher and happy still wouldst I retain, but alas, the play is fair beyond measure.

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  • SharlzG
  • 05-14-19

Very enjoyable

Clever and entertaining. Love the written version, but the audible version is adds a whole other dimension.

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  • A. Burhan
  • 08-27-18

A great listen

A great retelling of the Star wars story! I look forward to the next audiobook!

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 07-20-17

better than the original script??

fantastic performance of a great adaptation. The space battle on stage is a work of genius.. though the Battle of Hoth is a close 2nd.. but that's another story..

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  • Timothy B.
  • 11-22-16

Pure magic

I can not believe how well Star Wars and Shakespeare work together. I'll love to see on the stage.

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  • sunra59
  • 10-30-16

"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.

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  • Radders07
  • 06-30-16

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!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-04-20

A Long Time ago in a Globe close close to Ear

If you are a huge Star Wars fan and can endure a lengthy 3 hour telling of Lucas's masterpiece, this retelling is filled with well delivered dialogue filled with comedy, adventure and a fresh perspective of these classic characters. With little Easter Eggs to pick at, this play hath done won thy praise.