Wednesday, November 19, 2014

William Shakespeare's The Jedi Doth Return, by Ian Doescher

If you have even the most minor knowledge of iconic Sci-Fi and/or action movies, you're more than familiar with the original Star Wars Trilogy: Episodes IV-VI (forget the atrocity that was Episodes I-III...and the obnoxiousness that was Jar Jar Binks...and whatever Disney is doing to continue the story that should have been finished when the credits rolled for Return of the Jedi). It's a well-known tale: Young man from humble beginnings learns, by fate or by chance, that he is prophecized to save the world (or, in this case, the galaxy) from a terrible fate. There's action, romance, comedy, and enough serious family drama to keep daytime talkshows in business for years. 

When you think about it, the whole thing is really very Shakesperian. If you leave out the Lightsabers, androids, and starships, the tale would read just like one of the Bard's plays.

Author Ian Doescher, a fan of both Star Wars and Shakespeare, thought so too. So he combined his two great interests into one and came up with William Shakespeare's Star Wars. That is, the original three Star Wars movies translated into Shakespearian plays.

The Jedi Doth Return, the third book in this awesome trilogy, wraps things up nicely. I won't get into the plot in this review (because everyone already knows it). I'll just say this book--and the entire trilogy--is pure creative genius! 

While in school, I had to read my fair share of Shakespeare, and I was never a fan. Sure, I enjoyed the occasional performances when I had the chance to catch them (usually for class) at a free campus theater, but actually reading the plays...ugh! The language was all backward and old-school and I'd find myself re-reading the same line multiple times or zoning out entirely. 

And I admit I had some reservation when I first picked up Verily, A New Hope (Doescher's first book). But soon I was so caught up in the story of Luke and Co. that I forgot I was reading--and enjoying--something written in the style of Shakespeare. I eagerly finished the book and dove into The Empire Striketh Back. And by the time I finally--finally--got my hands on The Jedi Doth Return, I was a total fangirl.

Maybe I should try some actual Shakespeare again... --AJB

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