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William Shakespeare's The Empire Striketh Back

(William Shakespeare's Star Wars #5)

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4.29  ·  Rating details ·  4,348 ratings  ·  695 reviews
Hot on the heels of the New York Times best seller William Shakespeare’s Star Wars comes the next two installments of the original trilogy: William Shakespeare’s The Empire Striketh Back and William Shakespeare’s The Jedi Doth Return. Return to the star-crossed galaxy far, far away as the brooding young hero, a power-mad emperor, and their jesting droids match wits, strugg ...more
Hardcover, 172 pages
Published March 18th 2014 by Quirk Books
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BAM The Bibliomaniac
Such a clever idea! Mash-up Shakespeare and sci-if
There truly are some enlightened passages in this retelling of episode V. Admiral Piett has a soul searching speech about men wearing masks; Leia and Han have the hilarious "scruffy nerf herder" scene. And of course there is the ubiquitous, " I have a feeling bad about this." Everything expected from a Star Wars book is included; everything expected in Shakespearean speech is used. The only downfall is with Yoda. Since everyone is already speakin
...more
Wee Lassie
Oct 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Best one yet.
Shelley
Dec 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
These are some of my new favorite books. They're like a mixture of classic literature and modern science fiction combined; not to mention there are some parts that are hilarious to hear in Shakespearean language.
Carmen
Jun 06, 2014 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Star Wars Fans
This book was so great.

Yoda speaks in haiku! What a great way to make his speech different from the other characters. It took me a while to catch on, but once I did, I was tickled pink.

Han Solo and Princess Leia's love scenes are banter were SO CUTE! I was just dying from extreme cuteness of seeing them argue and then say lovey-dovey things in Shakespearean English.

Doescher does a GREAT job of bringing the minds of traditionally silent characters to the forefront. I adored listening in to the AT
...more
Steven
Mar 10, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2015
The Empire Striketh Back by Ian Doescher
Published 2014, Quirk Books
Stars: ★★★☆☆
Review also posted at: Slapdash & Sundry

This Star Wars retelling in the form of a classic play was entertaining and highly clever, but much of it felt forced. I enjoyed it, but I didn't LOVE it. I'd consider reading more at some point in the future, but it won't be a series that I *have* to read RIGHT NOW.
...more
Drewthereader20
These are so fun!(:
Christine
Yoda speaks in Haiku! Miss Piggy approves, oh master.
It’s true that I didn’t enjoy this as much as the first. Perhaps it is because I wasn’t epeecting to enjoy the first, perhaps it is because, as Doescher notes, Empire is too much of a tragedy to turn into too much of a laugh riot.
The idea still works, and Doescher seems more sure of himself here. R2-D2 still has a voice, but the use isn’t as heavy. Doescher also isn’t afraid to take pot shots. My favorite scene is the one about chasms. The b
...more
Catherine Stormblessed✨
Feb 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The last portion of this book I read in audiobook form and HOLY CRAP. It was so fun!! They had a full cast and sound effects and music!! What an AWESOME experience.

Now for my fav quotes:

>LEIA: My feelings? O! Thou
arrogant half-wit,
Thou oversizéd child, thou
friend of slime,
Thou man of scruffy looks,
thou who herd’st nerfs,
Thou fool-born wimpled
roughhewn waste of
flesh!

>LEIA: O, do I love thee wholly, Han.

HAN: —I know.

>VADER: Obi-Wan hath never told
Thee of what happened to thy father Luke.

LUKE: O,
...more
Brandon
May 31, 2014 rated it liked it
The Bard is back and he’s about to get all Lando Calrissian on your ass!

Ian Doescher has put forth The Empire Striketh Back, the second volume in his critically acclaimed William Shakespeare’s Star Wars series. Adapting episode five into a true Shakespearean tragedy shouldn’t be all that difficult seeing as the source material is about as Shakespearean as it gets. You’ve got all the common elements: contrast, fate, supernatural, catharsis – you’ve even got asides and soliloquies for added measur
...more
Tom
Mar 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
Audiobook read by a cast.

Ian Doescher is back with more Shakespearian Star Wars as he progresses through the original trilogy. The Empire Striketh Back is very similar to Shakespeare's Star Wars with some minor differences. As before, if you like Star Wars and Shakespeare you will probably enjoy this book...especially if you liked the first one. I think this book comes across a bit more silly than the first which is unfortunate because The Empire Strikes Back is the darkest part of the trilogy a
...more
Yzabel Ginsberg
I really liked the first book (or should I say "the 4th"? Heh...), but this one I liked even more. Perhaps because the movie itself was my favourite one in the original trilogy. Certainly also because the asides, this time, were used more often to reflect the action, and this seemed to fit better. Some of the characters (and even the monsters!) are given more thoughts, which felt both amusing and justified.

As usual, I confess to being quite the Shakespeare nerd in my own ways, and trying to matc
...more
Alissa
Dec 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This trilogy continues in its awesomeness! No spoilers needed. Everyone knows this story.

I would like to say this, however: I absolutely LOVED what Ian Doescher did with Yoda's character!
Emily
May 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
Ian Doescher delivers the goods again with this follow-up to William Shakespeare's Star Wars: Verily, A New Hope. As in the first book, Doescher puts a Shakespearean spin on familiar lines from the movies. Here are a couple of my favorites.
LEIA: I know not whence thy great delusions come, thou laser brain.
CHEWBACCA (laughing): Gihut, gihut, gihut!
HAN: Aye, laugh indeed, thou furball large.

C3PO: Now Captain Solo, pray, a word with thee.
HAN (aside): A word from thee belike means hundreds more.
...more
Jeffrey Debris
Last year I read the first book in this series "William Shakespeare's Verily, A New Hope". It was a wonderful and fun read and I already knew I just had to get the rest of the series. I already own the original trilogy now and can't wait to dig into the rest soon! But first, let's take a look at The Empire Striketh Back! My favourite entry in the series when it comes to the movies, so does it hold up in this version?

Han: "I tell thee, droid: assail me not with odds!"

Since the Shakespearean langu
...more
Cameron
Mar 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
Very fun. I highly recommend these on audiobook.
Liz
I've received this book for free through the Goodreads First Reads Giveaway. Thank you to Quirk Books for sending me this copy of the book in advance.

Well, Ian Doescher does it again. The first installment of William Shakespeare's Star Wars promised a funny and heartwarming way to begin the beloved trilogy. William Shakespeare's the Empire Striketh Back was still as funny, heartwarming, and true to the original series as the first installment.

However, there were a few things I was rather d
...more
Karissa
Feb 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I got a copy of this book from Quirk Books in exchange for an honest review. I really enjoyed the first book in this series; Verily, A New Hope. This book was even better than that book and it was a ton of fun to read. The final book in the trilogy, The Jedi Doth Return, is scheduled to release in July 2014.

Any Star Wars fan knows the story. Luke, Han Solo, Princess Leia, and crew are on the rebel base on the planet of Hoth. When things go South, Luke flees to get training from Yoda and the rest
...more
Karin
I enjoyed listening to this again. Sure, I didn't laugh as much the second time, but I appreciated other things more, such as they was Doescher deftly borrows bits and parts from Shakespeare at times that work beautifully. One of the great things about listening to this is the singing, and there is nothing like it when Leia and Chewbacca each sing part of a tender song (think of how Chewie speaks...). After all, it was customary to include at least one song in all plays of this time, with the ex ...more
Dawn
Goodreads had a dedicated Shakespeare week and as part of that they had a few famous authors write a 'missing' scene to one of his plays, and Ian Doescher was one of those authors and I thought his scene was fantastic, so I looked him up to see what he wrote and low and behold, what he writes is Star Wars, in Shakespeare's style.
Now, I'm a big Star Wars fan, not quite a get dressed up for the movies type but I've got lines memorized and I've read a lot of the books (except for the ones after th
...more
Sesana
Nov 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: play, star-wars
An improvement over William Shakespeare's Star Wars: Verily, A New Hope, which I already had an unreasonable like for. Doescher does a bit more playing around with form here, and I felt like the stray anons and heavy-handed references to actual Shakespeare plays were reigned in a bit. Also, the AT-ATs have lines, which I found strangely delightful. ...more
Wendy
Jul 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
This wasn't as good as the first one, I didn't think, but it still had its moments, and it was still definitely worth the read. Part of the problem is the depressing ending of The Empire Strikes Back, which it couldn't very well change from the source material. I'm looking forward to the last in the trilogy very much. This is still a brilliant concept, and it's been a lot of fun so far. Still recommend to people who are fans of both Star Wars and Shakespeare.
Hana El.
Oct 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: to-buy
So much better than the movies!! I love these so much - they're so good on audio!
S. M. Metzler
Jul 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This was a great read. I am not a Shakespeare fan; the only play I read was Hamlet, and I was constantly clueless. But since this is Star Wars, this obviously has exceptions. It's very accurate to the movie, of course. 98/100 of it was dialog and 2/100 was action in parantheses, but the dialog counted for some action as well...if any of you have read Shakespeare, you'd know, a lot does actually happen when there is no outside narration. Reading this, I was actually able to enjoy the character ar ...more
Joana Veríssimo
Oct 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is probably on of the most beautiful books I own :) Really if you the chance pick it up and look at the art work!! It has these great drawings of scenes from the movie and since it's suppose to be a play, some of the big special effects scenes are moved to how they would be portrayed in stage
The monologues are very interesting and bring something new to the story, but of course it's the story we know and love :)
Overall it was a very enjoyable and fun read, very much like watching the Family
...more
Ella
This was so great! Although I found myself wanting to skip all the Luke parts to get back to the Han and Leia stuff--which RULES in Shakespearian language. I mean, it's good in the movie, but when Leia says to Han:

"O! Thou arrogant half-wit,
Thou oversized child, thou friend of slime,
Thou man of scruffy looks, thou who herd'st nerfs,"

I knew I was in for a good time.
There's also references to other Shakespeare plays. My favourite being:
(C-3PO talking)

"Farewell, farewell! Parting is such sweet
...more
Lynette Caulkins
May 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
"Full fathom five my lover lies,
within an icy tomb,
They say he lives, yet my heart dies,
Sing wroshyr, wroshy, wroshyr. . .
"

description

Han Solo may get chillingly frozen in this episode, just as Leia has finally warmed up to him, but Doescher's Star Wars/Shakespeare adaptation continues to burn bright!

(Wroshyr, by the way would be trees on the Wookie world.)

It is great fun to read through the very familiar storyline of Luke, Leia, Han, Yoda, Vader, Lando, et al, and recognize meshings with The Tempest,
...more
Zach
Aug 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018
Just listened to the audio book after reading it many years ago, and I realized I haven’t written a review.

This book is awesome.

Read it now.

Yeah, I think that works.
Tom Stamper
Dec 12, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Yeah this whole thing seems like a gimmick telling the Star Wars story with Shakespearean language and sensibilities and yet Ian Doescher actually enriches these stories by using asides to better explain character motivations in humorous and even sometimes profound ways. The barbed courtship between Han and Leia is both hilarious and a little heartbreaking. The deep conflict within Lando and his transformation here is so much clearer than what Lucas gives you. Oh and you get the inner life and t ...more
Mavis Ros
Aug 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
Two bad that I can’t find the audiobook for this.
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564 followers
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.

Other books in the series

William Shakespeare's Star Wars (8 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 Star Wars: Verily, A New Hope (William Shakespeare's Star Wars, #4)
  • William Shakespeare's The Jedi Doth Return (William Shakespeare's Star Wars, #6)
  • William Shakespeare's The Force Doth Awaken (William Shakespeare's Star Wars, #7)
  • William Shakespeare's Jedi the Last: Star Wars' Part the Eighth (William Shakespeare's Star Wars, #8)

News & Interviews

As dedicated readers already know, some of the best and most innovative stories on the shelves come from the constantly evolving realm of young ...
40 likes · 12 comments
“YODA Nay, nay! Try thou not. But do thou or do thou not, For there is no “try.” 35 likes
“Thou man of scruffy looks, thou who heard’st nerfs, Thou fool-born wimpled roughhewn waste waste of flesh!” 12 likes
More quotes…