The Sword and Laser discussion

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

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message 1: by Lit Bug (new) - added it

Lit Bug | 287 comments I found this book wandering through books here randomly and wonder if anybody here has read it and has anything to comment on it.

I find the idea at once funny and challenging and am wondering whether to pick it up. As much as I love the Bard, I am completely ignorant about Star Wars - I only know it takes place in space between weird looking aliens with human names and glowing laser swords (see? I'm clueless)

If you know of other such works, chime in!


message 2: by Darren (last edited Aug 24, 2013 05:13AM) (new)

Darren "VADER:
[exeunt stormtroopers]

And so another dies by my own hand,
This hand, which now encas'd in blackness is.
O that the fingers of this wretched hand
Had not the pain of suff'ring ever known.
But now my path is join'd unto the dark,
And wicked men - whose hands and fingers move
To crush their foes - are now my company.
So shall my fingers ever undertake
To do more evil, aye, and this - my hand -
Shall do the Emp'ror's bidding evermore.
And thus we see how fingers presage death
And hands become the instruments of Fate."



Aptly captures how spoiler heavy Shakespeare was. I'm curious how Disney is okay with this, though.


message 3: by Lit Bug (new) - added it

Lit Bug | 287 comments I'm totally clueless as I can't still see what the spoiler is. HELP!


message 4: by Serendi (new)

Serendi | 846 comments If you don't know the plot of Star Wars it might not work for you. The passage above presumably refers to the scene where (view spoiler)


message 5: by Darren (last edited Aug 24, 2013 07:43AM) (new)

Darren Darth Vader's struggle with his role as the Emperor's enforcer is not something you would have been able to know or even imagine, and undercuts (depending on your view) the big reveal of Empire. The bit about the hands is just foreshadowing.


message 6: by Serendi (new)

Serendi | 846 comments It says in the description it's licensed.... Maybe they figure most people who read it will have seen the movies, so the foreshadowing won't spoil very many readers. Makes more sense for tha above to be early foreshadowing than what I spoilered.

William Shakespeare's Star Wars


message 7: by Lit Bug (new) - added it

Lit Bug | 287 comments I guess then I'll watch it before I read it. Is it a whole movie series?


message 8: by Darren (new)

Darren Serendi wrote: "It says in the description it's licensed.... Maybe they figure most people who read it will have seen the movies, so the foreshadowing won't spoil very many readers. Makes more sense for tha above ..."

Ah, I should have edited my post. The second question was just a general wondering, not related to Vader's aside. I guess Disney is more openminded than Lucas was rumoured to be with anything Star Wars.


message 9: by Michal (new)

Michal (michaltheassistantpigkeeper) | 294 comments Spoilers? Would anyone who hasn't watched Star Wars already bother picking this up?


message 10: by Daran (new) - added it

Daran | 599 comments The idea of someone who hasn't seen Star Wars took me a moment to process. Not being sarcastic and joking here, just had to use my conscious brain and focus to understand it. When someone says they are unfamiliar with Star Wars, I just assume they mean the Expanded Universe. That's more a comment on my social circle than anyone who hasn't seen the movies.

I think the standard rule applies; if you are unfamiliar with the source material, eschew the parody or reimagining.


message 11: by Lit Bug (new) - added it

Lit Bug | 287 comments I was sort of put off by their faces when I first saw it on TV, then never bothered watching it, but am keen now to do so - so one day I'm going going to sit down and watch it, and then pick up this book.

:D I haven't read/watched many wonderful things, so I'm starting to do it all one by one! Too engaged in classic literature all these years...


message 12: by Paul (new)

Paul  Perry (pezski) | 491 comments Darren wrote: "Aptly captures how spoiler heavy Shakespeare was. I'm curious how Disney is okay with this, though. "


In literary circles we refer to it as "foreshadowing" ;)

Daran wrote: "The idea of someone who hasn't seen Star Wars took me a moment to process. Not being sarcastic and joking here, just had to use my conscious brain and focus to understand it. When someone says the..."

To such an extent as it actually gave the title to a quite decent BBC radio (and subsequently TV) show with the excellent Marcus Brigstocke:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I%27ve_N...


message 13: by Firstname (new)

Firstname Lastname | 488 comments Playing with this idea...

But soft, what thermal exhaust port from yonder trench breaks?

It is the East, and where the FUCK is Alderaan?


message 14: by Daran (new) - added it

Daran | 599 comments I think everyone should watch the original trilogy. If you liked it, continue on to the prequels and Expanded Universe. If not, then you at least get the majority of the pop culture references made about Star Wars.


message 15: by Paul (new)

Paul Harmon (thesaint08d) | 639 comments Not to be rude but seriously you've never seen Star Wars? That seems a little odd to me I've never met anyone who hasn't seen it before so forgive me Even my 92 year old grandfather has seen the first one and he hates Sci-fi.

Anyway Lit-bug Star Wars is just a High Fantasy story dressed in Sci-fi bits.

It's The heroes Journey. A Story of the young farm boy makes good. Laser swords just replace metal ones even Jedi are just another version of a wizard.
Theres even a Scene in the third movie thats similar to the hero being thrown to the dragon.
It's High Fantasy with sci-fi trappings.

Lucas even said it's inspiration was Lord of the Rings.

Just think of the weird aliens as elves, dwarves, orcs and ogres


message 16: by terpkristin (last edited Aug 25, 2013 07:48PM) (new)

terpkristin | 4188 comments I hadn't watched the original movie until 2001 in college for a class on mythology. Hated it, can't be bothered to watch the others.


message 17: by Lit Bug (last edited Aug 25, 2013 10:07PM) (new) - added it

Lit Bug | 287 comments Paul wrote: "Not to be rude but seriously you've never seen Star Wars? That seems a little odd to me I've never met anyone who hasn't seen it before so forgive me Even my 92 year old grandfather has seen the fi..."

Ah, well, I guess sometimes I haven't got to read or watch a certain great book or movie for no apparent reason - I know it sounds too weird in this group, but I usually preferred cyberpunk-ish, near future hi-tech worlds like the world of Blade Runner or I, Robot - the only space-operas I ever watched were the Aliens movie series and Total Recall and the comic MIB, and as I said, at a young age, I was put off by the alien faces in Star Wars and then didn't bother watching it.

I didn't read a single SF novel well before I was in my early 20s, and only on account of my love for cyberpunk-ish works did I move on to other variants of SF - you can see now that I'm a virtual toddler in SF - books or movies. And anyway, I was too buried in classic lit to bother with SF, but now I'm only glad I'm discovering these genres. SF is one of the most wonderful worlds to be written, and sadly I have hardly read any fantasy works.

Most people from where I come from haven't seen Star Wars either and I'm amazed actually that so many people cannot imagine someone not having watched it.


message 18: by Daran (new) - added it

Daran | 599 comments Speaking of the Heroe's journey, in the 1980's, there was a documentary called "Joseph Campbell and the Power of Myth." It explored the universal myths, and Jungian archetypes. It uses mythology and Star Wars primarily, but also Bladerunner and Aliens to explain the Jungian symbolism of recurring character types. When I try to interpret a text, Sci fi, fantasy or otherwise, it's usually through that.

Joseph Campbell, of course, wrote dozens of books about the psychological approach to mythology. But I think his explanations are the most transparent when Star Wars is used as an example.


message 19: by Lit Bug (last edited Aug 25, 2013 10:45PM) (new) - added it

Lit Bug | 287 comments Jung and archetypes always remind me of Northrop Frye - I'd love to see how they apply Jung's "collective unconscious" to explain Campbell through Star Wars...


message 20: by AndrewP (new)

AndrewP (andrewca) | 2501 comments Daran wrote: "Speaking of the Heroe's journey, in the 1980's, there was a documentary called "Joseph Campbell and the Power of Myth." It explored the universal myths, and Jungian archetypes. It uses mythology ..."

Factoid - If that's the one with Bill Moyar and Joseph Campbell, then the whole documentary was recorded at Skywalker ranch :)


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