The Millenium Falcon, Vader, and Yoda REVIEWING: William Shakespeare's Star Wars- The Empire Striketh Back


If you've been following this blog for a while, you might remember the review I posted for Verily, A New Hope by the same author. You might recall that I was not too pleased with it. The sequel to it just recently came out and my local library got it in so I was the first person here to get my hands on it.

William Shakespeare's The Empire Striketh Back

Author: Ian Doescher
Genre: Humor/ Play
Year of Publication: 2014

I won't lie, I was really nervous about this one. The first one left me highly unsatisfied and greatly
disappointed and I was hoping that this one would be a large improvement.....and it WAS!!!!! 

The Empire Striketh Back is the 5th episode of the Star Wars saga, put into the format of a Shakespearean play and translated into Shakespearean English. It follows the events of the movie Empire Strikes Back. All the characters we know and love are back. I'm just going to quickly outline all the things that I thought were good:
  • The Cast: All the characters were well developed and true to the original characters created by George Lucas. 
  • The Action: Even though it is in a play format, the events in the book are no less thrilling than the movie. There is the battle on Hoth, the Millenium Falcon's escape into the asteroid field, and Han Solo's arrival on Bespin. Everything is here!
  • The Language: Being an English major and having just finished a course on Shakespeare, this book was completely up my alley. I think this time, Doescher really nailed every aspect of the language! 
  • The Illustrations: Just like in the previous book, there are illustrations of classic scenes from the movies scattered throughout the book. I really like them a whole lot. It gets my inner geek excited. 
  • Yoda: I was nervous to see how Yoda would turn out. He is such an iconic character and his manner of speaking in the movies is highly stylized. I wasn't sure how this would work out in a book like this. However, I think that making Yoda talk in Haiku format, while still keeping some of the reverse sentence placement of words, was the right thing to do and it worked out well. It set him apart form the other characters, but still fit into the iconic Yoda speech we all know and love. 
  • The Romance: Everyone who has watched Star Wars knows that Episode 5 is a really big moment for Han and Leia. Tension between the two has never been higher than it is now. I loved it. I loved the translation of their lines. I love how the asides were used to show how they were REALLY thinking at each important moment and how they helped to push along the romantic aspects. This could have been a really tricky slope to climb, but it was very well executed and I'm very satisfied with it. 

There aren't as many asides!!! If you've read through my first review, you might remember that my biggest complaint was that there were way too many unnecessary asides. To me, they made the book feel clunky and disjointed. My biggest fear going into The Empire Striketh Back was that it would be the same experience all over again. May I just give Mr. Ian Doescher a huge round of applause for fixing this? Well done!!!! There were way less asides and not once was I taken out of the book by one! They all fit well and served to expand on things that were happening, which is exactly what they SHOULD do! There were less than 100, I'm sure (you may remember I was so annoyed last time that I counted them out and outlined them for you by Act). This time I don't have to count them because there was just the right amount. I'm so glad that this wasn't an issue at all. Also, the sentences were much cleaner in terms of structure and not the least bit awkward. Everything about this book just flows really nicely! Extra little awesome point added for Han Solo being the cool, slick guy that girls have fawned over for 34 years now. 

I'm super happy to have read this book. It was wonderful and I couldn't be more happy. This was a great improvement on the first book and I would gladly read through it again over and over. This book is one that I would pay full price for and be proud to have displayed on my bookcase. Who knows? If the final installment is just as great, I may have to buy the whole set. I was super upset about book one and decided  not to purchase it, but my mind is close to changing and I just might get it after all once I have the proper funds to do so. William Shakespeare's The Empire Striketh Back was a great novel that I HIGHLY recommend to fans of Shakespeare and Star Wars, and I have to give it a Lone Star rating of ✯✯✯. If I was the kind of person to give out awards for books, I would definitely give this one an award for Best Improvement or Astonishing Sequel that Exceeds its Predecessor. Without a doubt, this book is one that must be read and enjoyed. I'm so happy that I can share this with you and that I won't be left in the grump slump that the first one put me in. I'm greatly looking forward to the next book and can't wait to read it. For anyone interested, it came out yesterday!!!!!!

Thanks for reading this review here at The Real World According To Sam, hope to see you back again soon! New book reviews go up on Wednesdays.