Book Review: William Shakespeare’s Star Wars by Ian Doescher

June 27, 2013
Article originally published as Book Review: ‘William Shakespeare’s Star Wars’ by Ian Doescher on

William Shakespeare’s Star Wars by Ian Doescher if a fun mashup, what would happen if the famed bard would write a well known story. Frankly, I don’t think it’s a far fetch, after all Shakespeare wrote crowd pleasers which somehow transition themselves into classic literature (my theory: a bored English professor).

  • 176 pages
  • Publisher: Quirk Books (July 2, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1594746370

Book Review: William Shakespeare’s Star Wars by Ian Doescher

My rating for William Shakespeare’s Star Wars4

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I have to admit – I really don’t get William Shakespeare. I can certainly see the genius behind the writing and appreciate the stories but I view him more a bit different than most people. I see Shakespeare as someone akin to James Cameron, a genius who can make a crowd pleaser while knowing how to drive home a point. I also appreciate Shakespeare’s wicked sense of humor, however most of the jokes don’t translate well several centuries after they were written and need further, and sometimes in depth, explanation.
The first rule about jokes: if you need to explain it, it’s not funny.

I really enjoy the Star Wars mythos, the characters and the extended universe (EU), I got hooked on Star Wars: The Clone Wars with my son but as a movie lover, I thought the movies were lacking but I do appreciate the imagination behind them and the magical storytelling.

I was a bit on the fence about William Shakespeare’s Star Wars by Ian Doescher (website | @iandoescher), but I’m glad I read it. This is a fun book with plenty of homages to both Star Wars fans and Shakespeare’s fans. Unlike many of Shakespeare’s writings, it’s a fast and easy read of a familiar story (with a few twists). Even a few Star Wars continuity controversies are addressed with a wink and a nod (Han: And whether I shot first, I’ll ne’er confess!”) and R2D2’s soliloquy is hilarious.

Mr. Doescher’s attempt to recreate a Shakespearean play is noteworthy and clever. The book read like the few Shakespeare works I have read (same tempo and pace) even though not as sexist, which is a good thing. The story is easy to follow, the characters are interesting (some more than the movies) and the illustrations range from very good to “just OK”.


Buy this book in paper or elec­tronic format*

Book Review William Shakespeares Star Wars by Ian Doescher illustrations

Zohar — Man of la Book
Dis­claimer: I got this book for free.
*Ama­zon links point to an affil­i­ate account

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  • Ryan July 2, 2013 at 10:03 pm

    holy moly, do I ever need to read and review this book! This will jump the queue! Thanks for letting me know this exists!

  • Grace July 5, 2013 at 6:05 pm

    I read an excerpt from this and thought it was hilarious. May have to read the whole thing at some point.

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