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

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  18,589 ratings  ·  2,342 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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Natália All of them, but R2-D2's lines and specially his thoughts (his thoughts make you feel like you're in a inside joke with him) are super hilarious.…moreAll of them, but R2-D2's lines and specially his thoughts (his thoughts make you feel like you're in a inside joke with him) are super hilarious.(less)

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Average rating 3.94  · 
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 ·  18,589 ratings  ·  2,342 reviews

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Start your review of William Shakespeare's Star Wars: Verily, A New Hope (William Shakespeare's Star Wars, #4)
Apr 12, 2013 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, first of her name, mother of bunnies
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 25, 2016 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
Jul 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Sep 08, 2015 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
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
Ali M.
Apr 16, 2013 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
Éimhear (A Little Haze)
"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 Sha
Jul 15, 2014 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
Wee Lassie
Oct 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic - I listened to the audio-book of this and it was brilliant, truly a brilliant blend of the formal speech of Shakespeare and the surreal imagery of Star Wars.
Sep 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
What an amusing and delightful book. You also might find it so, unless you believe that George Lucas came upon this manuscript (credited to the Bard of Avon) and, from it, created Episode IV of the saga we all love.

Aside from the iambic meter of this version, it sticks quite close to the sounds and words and events that illuminate the original screenplay. The one great exception is that this book, instead of giving us just “whirs” and “beeps,” allows us to know the thoughts of the droid, R2-D2,
May 30, 2013 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
Dec 29, 2015 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
Sorry, Good Readers, you will have to figure out your feelings on this without benefit of spoilers beyond the title. But it was a best-seller, if that helps. And it is true to both the Bard's tradition and the movies'.

Completes my TBR-17 list as #20, a Best-seller. AND first of my TBR 202o items, since publisher Quirk is small press.
Dec 08, 2013 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
Nov 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars

"Pray, R2-D2, Where art thou?

Seriously, how awesome is that? This book (or should I say play?)is like a love story between George Lucas' Star Wars and the works of William Shakespeare. I have seen each Star Wars movie more times than I can count and also read a couple of star wars books to the boys along the I am more than familiar with Star Wars and it was fun to read it in iambic pentameter. I thought when I began reading this book, that this book will get old fast for me..b
Apr 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: star-wars, play
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
Feb 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Aug 25, 2013 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
Aug 21, 2013 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
Apr 10, 2014 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
BAM Endlessly Booked
Audiobook #221

I read a little out of order with The Empire Strikes Back struck off my list first. Star Wars has much more narration and stage direction especially at the beginning. I'm assuming it's because of all of the battle scenes. The best Shakespearean character is Hans Solo believe it or not. His attitude is perfect for the Old English. Also we have the "common man" prose included when soldiers in the Death Star have a conversation. This is a really humorous twist to the Bard.
Siobhan Beeman
Jul 12, 2013 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
Sep 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A chance for new beginnings we have made,
Directing hearts unto the rebels’ cause.
These are the star wars we have fought and won—
For now our battles and our scenes are done.

Review to follow.
Mark my words
Oct 14, 2016 rated it liked it
Star Wars and Shakespeare, together at last. It was bound to happen. If they can wedge Les Misérables onto a stage, or add zombies to Jane Austen, they can clothe Luke Skywalker in 16th century tights and a ruff. Aye, verily!

It has good points and bad points. The asides are quite funny and informative. They tell a little more about what the characters were thinking than the movie ever did. Although R2-D2’s whistles and beeps, funny at first, became pointless and irritating after a while. And why
If only I were a playwright I would put have put this review in verse, but alas I am not.

For those who have been following me and my reviews for a while - I like to go and see Shakespeare plays performed (I haven't read so many out of school and I rather not be spoiled when I go to see a performance). I have also watched the Star Wars movies (only once though). I thought this was a fun idea, so of course I started with Verily, A New Hope.

And it was a very nice read. It might seem very gimmicky
Feb 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Second Reading: January 2017

This is genius. It is brilliantly done. Iambic Pentameter. A clear connection to WS's greatest plays. Faithful to Star Wars.

I had no idea that George Lucas studied Hamlet when writing SW in order to massage the best of the Shakespearean archetypes into his SW story. Hearing SW in this verse, it is obvious. And amazing.

First Reading February 2015:

So smart. So well done. Truly inspired!
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
Apr 08, 2013 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.
May 05, 2014 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
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Ian is the author of the William Shakespeare Star Wars series and the Pop Shakespeare series. He's a Portland native, and lives in Portland with his spouse and children. ...more

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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”
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