William Shakespeare's The Phantom of Menace: Star Wars Part the First (William Shakespeare's Star Wars)

by Ian Doescher | Plays & Scripts |
ISBN: 1594748063 Global Overview for this book
Registered by wingGoryDetailswing of Nashua, New Hampshire USA on 11/6/2017
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Journal Entry 1 by wingGoryDetailswing from Nashua, New Hampshire USA on Monday, November 06, 2017
I got this hardcover at Barnes and Noble. It's from a series in which the Star Wars films are presented in the form of Shakespearian plays!

And it's surprisingly entertaining, both for the story-recap (with some reinterpretations: Jar Jar, for example, is depicted as a court-fool-type clown, much wiser than he lets himself appear, and he puts on the dialect and the goofy-idiot persona to keep others from suspecting his motives) and for the very clever Shakespearian prose. [Caution: if you read very much of this at a time, you may find yourself thinking or speaking in iambic pentameter!]

From our introduction to Obi-Wan ("I have a feeling bad about this, Master") to Amidala's asides about how nobody respects her as she's so young, to the internal monologues of the huge (and huger, and huger still) aquatic monsters on Naboo (the ones that attack the bongo our heroes are in are working for the Sith, while the big sando aqua monster was sent by the Jedi council!), it's all great fun - and it goes on, bringing in side references from Shakespeare's plays and from other pop-culture phenomena as well. (Anakin, musing on the arrival of the Jedi: "Of all the junk shops in all towns in all of Tatooine, he walketh into mine.")

When R2-D2 first appears, he delivers his trademarked beeps and hoots - yes, in iambic pentameter ("Beep, meep, beep, squeak, beep, whistle, meep, meep, hoo!") - and then gets his own internal monologue, revealing what he really thinks about all this.

Some of the film's sequences are converted into off-stage narratives, as Shakespeare did to avoid having to stage epic battles. I thought the pod-race was improved by having it reported via Padme and/or Jar Jar, dispatched at intervals to fetch the updates. The battle between Qui-Gon, Obi-Wan, and Darth Maul, however, did suffer from being condensed.

There are some hilarious shout-outs to, um, issues with the movie's plot, including some passages about midi-chlorians which end with Qui-Gon noting "O, thou art not alone, if thou canst not the midi-chlorians yet understand." And Anakin quips in an aside that "the midi-chlorians make a tough cell", as in "tough sell". And there's a segment in which "Jedi 1" and "Jedi 2" have a pleasant chat about their perusals of the Jedi archives, in which they've noted an odd pattern in the Force; seems every millenium or two "there is a backward movement in the Force" which could cause technology, fashion, society itself to suddenly seem much newer or older than it should be. They debate telling Yoda about it - and then decide they should tell Palpatine instead {wry grin}. Such a retrograde might explain the less satisfactory shifts in Jedi powers and space technology between the sequels and prequels...

Much of the story is told in a straightforward manner, with individuals getting speeches, soliloquies, and the occasional song that deepen their characters and their relationships (I'm looking at you, Shmi). But the very format is amusing, and some of the meta-humor, foreshadowing, and character-tweaks really delighted me. I'll read more in this series!

Journal Entry 2 by wingGoryDetailswing at Chelmsford (see notes for details) in Chelmsford, Massachusetts USA on Monday, December 04, 2017

Released 3 yrs ago (12/4/2017 UTC) at Chelmsford (see notes for details) in Chelmsford, Massachusetts USA


I plan to leave this book in or near Moonstones restaurant in Chelmsford, while stopping by for lunch (love their poke bowls!). Hope the finder enjoys the book!

[See other recent releases in MA here.]

*** Released for the 2017 What's in a Name release challenge, for the embedded "Han" in the title - oh, and for "William" as well. ***

*** Released for the 2017 D for December release challenge. ***

*** Released for the 2017 Movie release challenge. ***

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