Friday, 31 July 2015

'William Shakespeare's Star Wars: The Jedi Doth Return' by Ian Doescher (2014)

Synopsis: The Jedi Doth Return is written in the style of William Shakespeare and is an officially licensed retelling of The Return of the Jedi. It's been one year since Han Solo was frozen in carbonite and captured by the bounty hunter Boba Fett. Han is now being held at the palace of the crime lord Jabba the Hut which is on Luke Skywalker's home planet of Tatooine. Luke has put together a plan to rescue Han with the assistance of Leia, Lando, Chewbacca, C-3PO and R2-D2. The mission to rescue Han is a success but, when the group then meets up with the Rebel Alliance, they learn that the Empire has been constructing a second Death Star under the supervision of Darth Vader and Emperor Palpatine. This new Death Star is even more deadly and powerful than the first. In a plan to destroy this new weapon, Han decides to lead a strike team to the forest moon of Endor with the aim of destroying the Death Star's shield generator. This will then allow a squadron of starfighters to enter and destroy the battle station from within. The strike team travels to Endor on a stolen imperial ship and soon encounters an alien species called the Ewoks. After some initial conflict the Ewoks decide to help them. Meanwhile, Luke, who has accompanied the team, plans to confront Vader and to convince him to turn away from the dark side of the Force.


And now I've finally finished Ian Doescher's delightful retellings of the original Star Wars trilogy! I will say that I found the first book in the series to be the most laugh-out-loud funny and entertaining (possibly because of its novelty factor?) but both this book and The Empire Striketh Back were still hugely enjoyable. My favourite moment in this book by far was the part where Luke realises that Leia is his sister. Luke then reflects on how inappropriate it was of Leia to kiss him and recalls a story about a Tusken raider that he heard as a child. This story is obviously based on Sophocles' Oedipus Rex and gave me a fit of the giggles! :D

I would completely recommend this series to those who are fans of both Shakespeare and Star Wars, in fact I'd go so far as to call it a must-read. These books aren't unfunny, cheap gimmicks like Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and all of those other mash-ups that came out afterwards. Doescher has quite clearly studied Shakespeare and his books are extremely well-written and eloquent. The books are also deliciously funny with Doescher's love and affection for the source material being obvious.

Doescher has now started to write retellings of the Star Wars prequels but I'm afraid I'm going to have to give those books a miss. As much as I've enjoyed his takes on the original trilogy, I despise the prequels so much that I doubt anyone could get me to enjoy them! I'm hopeful that Doescher will start to adapt the new Disney Star Wars films within the next few years though!

Rating: 4/5

4 comments:

Mònica said...

Those sound really funny! I've seen them in stores and stuff for pretty high prices, but next time I see one at the library, I'll be sure to grab it!

Hannah said...

Do! They're so funny! :)

Hamlette said...

I've read the first of these -- a friend gave it to me for Christmas when it first came out. I should find the other two! Very funny, and very intelligent humor too.

Hannah said...

Yay, I'm so glad you enjoyed it! I do think that it's the best of the series but the other two are still definitely worth reading. I'm even starting to get tempted by the "Phantom Menace" retelling now, because I've found out that Doescher has Qui-Gonn Jinn recite Liam Neeson's speech from 'Taken' in Shakespearean verse right before he fights Darth Maul. GENIUS! Maybe I'll just pick the book up and flick to that scene the next time I'm in a book store...