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William Shakespeare's Star Wars: Verily, A New Hope (William Shakespeare's Star Wars #4)

3.92  ·  Rating Details  ·  14,272 Ratings  ·  1,804 Reviews

Return once more to a galaxy far, far away with this sublime retelling of George Lucas's epic Star Wars in the style of the immortal Bard of Avon. The saga of a wise (Jedi) knight and an evil (Sith) lord, of a beautiful princess held captive and a young hero coming of age, Star Wars abounds with all the valor and villainy of Shakespeare's greatest
Hardcover, 174 pages
Published July 2nd 2013 by Quirk Books
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3rd out of 65 books — 68 voters
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jul 15, 2013 M— rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed
You’re not reading this book for the story. You know the story. If you’re picking up this book, you’ve seen movie – movies – more times than you can count. You’re reading this book for the execution. And let me tell you – the execution is hilaaarious.

Now you might be a little leery, what with George Lucas’ undo preference for a ‘revised’ Star Wars coupled with his tight control over the copyright of the franchise, and fear that not even the language of Shakespeare can make worth entering into t
Khanh (the Grinch)
Actual rating: 3.5

"C-3PO: Now is the summer of our happiness/
Made winter by this sudden, fierce attack!
R2-D2: Beep beep,/
Beep, beep, meep, squeak, beep, beep, beep, whee!
C-3PO: We’re doomed."

Sometimes the greatest things in life are made better in combination. Chocolate? Yum! Peanut Butter? Yes, please! But a Reese's Peanut Butter cup is quite possibly manna under heaven. Some things, like chocolate and peanut butter, are just meant to be. Others, like David Bowie and Iman, require more of a str
Feb 28, 2016 Brina rated it really liked it
Ian Doescher has set Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope to Shakespeare's iambic pentameter. As someone who has the entire Star Wars story memorized but isn't the biggest fan of Shakespeare, I found this idea charming. I read the entire play in under two hours and think it would be an asset for high school English classes because it could make Shakespeare relevant to the kids. I am curious to read the other parts of the saga especially the I am your father scene which has the making for classic lit ...more
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at:

“Friends, rebels, Starfighters, lend me your ears.”

William Shakespeare's Star Wars: Verily, A New Hope is exactly what the title says - Star Wars rewritten in iambic pentameter. If you aren’t a Star Wars fan, then what the fuck are you doing reading this???? you’re probably not going to understand why this is the best thing I’ve seen lately. (I’m also fairly certain zombie Shakespeare won’t be returning from the grave anytime soon i
Feb 08, 2015 Navessa rated it it was amazing
Sep 10, 2015 Maureen rated it really liked it
4.5/5 Stars
I loved this so so much!
I found the audiobook on Scribd and honestly, it was so much better than reading the physical book. I started the physical book a while back and hadn't finished it, and I thought I loved it, BUT THE AUDIOBOOK MAN. There are tracks from the soundtrack, sound effects, and a full cast doing the voices of all of the characters similar to how they sound in the movie.
Star Wars written as Shakespeare is GENIUS and I am so pumped to read the rest of these. NOW I NEED T
Ali M.
Jan 09, 2014 Ali M. rated it it was amazing
I'm sorry, five stars is necessary. What could have been an easy joke is instead a wonderful and perfectly hilarious tribute to both Star Wars and Shakespeare, written with care and attention to detail (hey, iambic pentameter ain't easy!). Soliloquies about Fate? Fourth-wall-breaking asides? Omniscient choruses? Idioms galore? Yep, it's all here. Doescher doesn't miss a thing, and the result is a book that can be enjoyed on different levels - whether you crack it open to a random page for sheer ...more
Emer (ALittleHaze)
"In time so long ago begins our play,
In star-crossed galaxy far, far away.”

This was everything you would expect from Star Wars if it had been written by the great William Shakespeare. It was witty, smart and full of crazy drama! Basically A LOT of fun to read and something I got added enjoyment from by reciting it out loud to my dog... C'mon!!! You know you ALL would do that too while reading this!!!!! And honestly I'm beginning to think that I missed my calling in life. Surely the Royal Shake
Apr 28, 2015 Carmen rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Star Wars Fans
Recommended to Carmen by: Bookstore
I was raised on Star Wars.

This book is just what it sounds like.

Am I the only one who is really pissed that droids are slaves? They are clearly sentient beings, and should not be sold at slave auctions and be subject to any master who buys them. :( And at the end, how come C-3PO and R2-D2 don't get medals from Princess Leia? This is bad.

R2-D2 can speak perfect Shakespearean English and lets the audience know his innermost thoughts in numerous "asides." I'm not sure I like that.

The author also us
Jan 25, 2015 J rated it did not like it
This is not a book to give someone who likes Star Wars and needs an introduction to Shakespeare nor is it a good book to give to someone who likes Shakespeare and needs an introduction to Star Wars. First, if you really like your Star Wars, then it may be a novelty item, though more for the adult who can get through the reading than the child who will have no basis for anything as it is written. Second, for me, the author seems to have a base knowledge of Shakespeare, but not quite a complete di ...more
Jeannette Nikolova
Jan 02, 2016 Jeannette Nikolova rated it really liked it
Read on the WondrousBooks blog.

My last finished book for 2015, with a review coming a bit late.
I loved this. Ian Doescher is a genius. I can only imagine the dedication he has to both Shakespeare and Star Wars in order to be able to write an entire series like this. But it works!

The book was hilarious and very interesting to read. What I had a lot of fun with:

1. R2's dramatic monologues.
2. All of the hidden jokes about the chemistry between Luke and Leia.
3. The creativity of the author as a wh
Dec 08, 2013 Nikki rated it liked it
This is amusing as a quick read; I'm contemplating who might enjoy it as a quirky Christmas gift. It'd have to be someone who can appreciate the ridiculous literary touches (like R2D2 beeping in iambic pentameter), and who is a pretty big fan of both Star Wars and Shakespeare, I think. I'm not really enough of a fan of either to truly appreciate this.

I can also imagine that you could be too much of a fan of Shakespeare (or Star Wars) to appreciate this. It's best taken lightly.

Definitely a gift
Feb 16, 2015 JAIME rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Aug 27, 2013 Emily rated it really liked it
Clever clever. I had so much fun with this-the author wrote it all in iambic pentameter, here and there borrowing from Shakespeare's plays.(Luke started one speech with a nod to Julius Caesar, and by the end had moved on to Henry V). When C-3PO thinks he hasn't turned off the trash compactor soon enough to save Luke and co., he says "A plague on 3PO for action slow, a plague upon my quest that led us here, a plague on both our circuit boards, I say!"

Hee hee.

For people who know the movie by hear
Jan 16, 2014 Sesana rated it really liked it
This is absolutely a book only for people who love Star Wars. But why would you read it if you didn't? You'd also need to have a certain love, or at least appreciation, for Shakespeare. Sure, it's a niche audience, but I'd bet it's a pretty sizable niche. And, astonishingly, Doescher does an admirable job serving that niche.

What I expected going in was that this would essentially be the script of Star Wars, with a lot of "anon"s and "prithee"s thrown in. I wasn't expecting that Doescher would a
Apr 27, 2014 Cherie rated it it was amazing
I love Star Wars - the movies. Like the auther, I have watched them over and over and over. They never get old.

I enjoyed reading this little book of Star Wars verse so much! It was a whole new way to enjoy what I have always enjoyed watching on the screen, plus a new voice for R2-D2. His comments, in English to the audience/reader were wonderful. A couple of asides that were a beautiful addition to the characters thoughts and feelings that we do not get to know when we see them on the screen. O

In a nutshell:
William Shakespeare and Star Wars is an odd yet genius combination in this well-executed retelling of A New Hope. It's a must-read for any Star Wars fan!


It's simultaneously odd yet hilarious to have such well-known characters speak like Shakespearean characters. Yet it actually works quite well in the context. Rather than being a mere parody of Star Wars, the book is more of a retelling that is told in the style of William Shakespeare.

Something I liked in particular about t
Stephen Beeman
Jul 12, 2013 Stephen Beeman rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
You might dismiss this as a gimmicky joke like Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, but it's actually surprisingly brilliant. Rather than just render the Star Wars screenplay in iambic pentameter, the author fleshes it out into a full Shakespearean play--significantly longer than the movie--complete with a chorus, audience asides and inner monologues. The genius of this is twofold.

First, it enriches Star Wars--for example, R2-D2 becomes an interesting character rather than comic relief; we see more
Mar 22, 2016 Daniel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sta reci, ako volite Sekspira ili Star Wars slobodno probajte. Pricu znate tako da je glavni interes kako sve to zvuci po Sekspiru. I vala smesno je. Tako da probajte.
Yzabel Ginsberg
(I've had my sights on this book for quite a while. When I saw it up on Edelweiss, I promptly requested a digital copy, and was pretty glad I was approved quickly. All this in exchange for an honest review, of course.)

I must confess I'm a long-time Shakespeare addict. I sure don't find all his works wonderful, I have my favourites and my not-so-favourites, and sometimes I take it more in jest than in earnest, but we're nevertheless speaking here of someone who recognises her iambic pentameters w
May 06, 2014 Brandon rated it liked it
That William Shakespeare sure wrote a lot of plays, eh? Unfortunately for us, he had to go and die some three hundred and fifty years before George Lucas created Star Wars – talk about your bad timing! Luckily, author Ian Doescher has studied the immortal work of the Bard and has rewritten the classic sci-fi script in iambic pentameter.

I received a free copy from the fine folks at Quirk Books in exchange for an honest review.

Sure, you could look at this book as a joke but the truth is, Doescher
Jul 07, 2013 Karissa rated it it was amazing
I got a copy of this book to review from the Quirk Books in exchange for an honest review. When I saw this book was releasing I really wanted to read it, I love Shakespeare and Star Wars and was eager to see what would happen when the two are put together. The result was very pleasant; I enjoyed the dramatic way Star Wars is done in play form and the wonderful illustrations throughout. I really enjoyed reading this.

This book covers Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope in a very Shakespearean format.
Dec 04, 2013 Terence rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Fans of both Lucas and Shakespeare (though perhaps not fans of just one or the other)
Recommended to Terence by: Ceridwen's review
I should begin by saying that I’m going to be grossly unfair and harsh in judging Ian Doescher’s efforts in this book. He comes – at times – to really capturing a Shakespearean flavor and verve but too often appears to believe that he’s channeling the Bard by using “thou” and “prithee” and “anon,” putting verbs at the end of sentences, and stressing past-tense endings (e.g., “banishèd”). That said, this is an enjoyable – if frivolous – diversion, and I would recommend it to the probably-not-quit ...more
While I guess I should have, I hadn’t expected the author to borrow and adapt passages from Hamlet, Julius Caesar, Henry V, etc. Some of that was delightful; some of it came off a trifle silly.
I thought the way the author wrote out R2-D2’s electronic noises in iambic pentametre (e.g., “Beep, whistle, squeak, beep, meep, hoo whistle”) was cute, although rendering Huttese and Rodian without any translation, not so much. (Although I’m all for alien languages with subtitles in movies.) R2 is also g
Jun 08, 2015 Ivy rated it it was amazing
This book was everything I wanted it to be and more. I love Shakespeare and Star Wars has been my favorite movie series since I was two, so when I saw this box set I kinda squealed in the middle of the shop. I loved the way Ian transferred the story over. I also loved seeing some of Shakespeare's popular themes and opinions brought out in the story, like Vader's rampage about politicians. One of my favorite parts of the book are the little side speeches the characters make that aren't in the mov ...more
Wart Hill
Aug 02, 2013 Wart Hill rated it it was amazing
That was so much fun! Very Star Wars, melded nicely with Shakespearean style and language, plus a little Greek drama added in through the role of the chorus. I really enjoyed this.
Patrick Gibson
Mar 20, 2015 Patrick Gibson rated it really liked it
Shelves: humorous, nerdboy
I had much more fun with this than expected. Clearly, it is what it is. I loved that the author pulled from so many different plays, and never repeated himself. For example:

“This Force, by troth, I'll never comprehend!
It doth control and also doth obey?
And 'tis within and yet it is beyond,
'Tis both inside and yet outside one's self?
What paradox! What fickle-natur'd pow'r!
Aye: frailty, thy name-- belike--is Force.”

“LUKE Friends, rebels, starfighters, lend me your ears. Wish not we had a single f
Nov 06, 2013 Don rated it it was ok
This was a stellar idea, botched by a completely unskilled execution.

And it's a damn shame, because the concept itself is pure genius. The first Star Wars movie is mythic in both scope and structure, and the idea to retell the story as a "lost" Shakespeare was nothing less than inspired. Unfortunately, it doesn't take long to remind us why Shakespeare is so revered so many centuries later: What he accomplished is incredibly hard to replicate, and so damn easy to do badly.

For instance, asides and
Paulo "paper books always" Carvalho
This was an interesting read. After reading a couple of years back the Star Wars - New Hope's novel that began it all and I thought that it had some interesting new things. As most tie-ins that are a prose version of the script that one gave some scenes that never went to the screen. Comparing it to this one is not possible because this is makeover of the scipt into a shakespearean play. Some scenes are funny as hell. If you are a fan of Star Wars you must read it. Don't expect anything new but ...more
11811 (Eleven)
Apr 18, 2015 11811 (Eleven) rated it really liked it
This short audio book was hysterical. Listen to the sample and you'll understand why it has to be the audio version. It's highly quotable.

"Enter Obi Won Kenobi in stealth..."
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Ian is the author of the William Shakespeare Star Wars series. He's a Portland native, and lives in Portland with his spouse and two children. Ian has a B.A. in Music from Yale University, a Master of Divinity from Yale Divinity School, and a Ph.D. from Union Theological Seminary.
More about Ian Doescher...

Other Books in the Series

William Shakespeare's Star Wars (6 books)
  • William Shakespeare's The Phantom of Menace (William Shakespeare's Star Wars, #1)
  • William Shakespeare's The Clone Army Attacketh (William Shakespeare's Star Wars, #2)
  • William Shakespeare's Tragedy of the Sith's Revenge (William Shakespeare's Star Wars, #3)
  • William Shakespeare's The Empire Striketh Back (William Shakespeare's Star Wars, #5)
  • William Shakespeare's The Jedi Doth Return (William Shakespeare's Star Wars, #6)

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“True it is,/ That these are not the droids for which thou search'st.

-Obi-Wan "Ben" Kenobi”
“I pray thee, sir, forgive me for the mess/And whether I shot first, I'll not confess.
- Han Solo”
More quotes…