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Where true geeks dare: William Shakespeare’s The Force Doth Awaken first excerpt

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Sep 19, 2017

Sure, it’s not the rolling text scroll we’re used to seeing in the beginning of a Star Wars tale, but having a Greek chorus deliver the prologue in iambic pentameter gets you up to Galactic speed every bit as effectively…

“Luke Skywalker hatch sadly disappear’d,
And in his absence come most wicked foes.
The cruel First Order hath made all afeard—
Like phoenix from the Empire’s ash it grows.”

So begins William Shakespeare’s The Force Doth Awaken, Ian Doescher’s latest Bardic take on the galaxy far, far away, as told in Elizabethan verse, with an ample supply of soliloquies and stage directions. Now that’s he’s mined the first two Star Wars trilogies for dramatic gold, Doescher is onto the third as he regales us with the heroic, epic, and noticeably Shakespearean adventures of Star Wars Episode VII.

William Shakespeare’s The Force Doth Awaken

According to Entertainment Weekly, who has a first look image and excerpt from the new book:

“Lines such as “E’en with th’Resistance shall my path be join’d, Knit closely unto them as skin to bone?” indicate a delectable new reading of Rey, and hint at what else the book has in store. (Another tidbit: Chewbacca speaks!)”

Doescher has previously channeled Stratford-upon-Avon’s finest and the Force on numerous occasions, namely in William Shakespeare's Star Wars Trilogy, William Shakespeare’s The Jedi Doth Return, William Shakespeare's The Phantom of Menace, William Shakespeare's Tragedy of the Sith's Revenge, and William Shakespeare's The Clone Army Attacketh.

William Shakespeare's The Force Doth Awaken: Star Wars Part the Seventh comes out Oct. 3 from Quirk Books. Here's the official synopsis:

Experience The Force Awakens as a Shakespeare play, complete with Elizabethan verse, Shakespearian monologues, and theatrical stage directions! As the noble Resistance clashes with the vile First Order, Rey, Finn, Poe Dameron, Kylo Ren, and BB-8 are pulled into a galaxy-wide drama—in iambic pentameter! Star Wars fans and Shakespeare enthusiasts alike will enjoy the authentic meter, reimagined movie scenes and dialogue, and hidden Easter eggs throughout. Chewbacca speaks! Leader Snoke gives a soliloquy! And the romance of Han Solo and Leia Organa takes a tragic turn that Shakespeare would approve of. All with woodcut-style illustrations that place Star Wars characters into an Elizabethan galaxy. The story may take place in a galaxy far, far away, but you’ll be convinced it was written by the Bard.

Have you read any of Doescher’s prior Shakespearean odes to Star Wars? Which character is best expressed in iambic pentameter?