Also by this author: William Shakespeare's The Phantom of Menace
Published by Quirk Books on 2014-07-01
Genres: Fiction, Media Tie-In, Science Fiction
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 Jed 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, struggle for power, and soliloquize in elegant and impeccable iambic pentameter. Illustrated with beautiful black-and-white Elizabethan-style artwork, these two plays offer essential reading for all ages. Something Wookiee this way comes!
Hello all, I would like to welcome Ian Doescher here today! Ian is author of the William Shakespeare’s Star Wars trilogy published by Quirk Books. He is totally awesome and has graciously taken the time to answer a few burning questions that we had here at Good Books And Good Wine.
1. I love the combination of Shakespeare and Star Wars. What made you decide that the saga of Star Wars needed to be told Shakespearean style?
When I first had the idea, it just made a lot of sense: the Star Wars trilogy is full of the same themes that you find in Shakespeare’s plays: larger-than-life tragic characters like Darth Vader and Obi-Wan Kenobi, young people fulfilling their destinies, complicated father-son relationships, stories of huge armies at war with each other, comic side characters, all of it. I really believe that if Shakespeare were alive today he would be writing things like Star Wars. Beyond that, there were just some details that seemed to fit well: Star Wars is about the same length as a Shakespearean play, in terms of performance time, there were often prologues to Shakespearean plays similar to the opening crawl of a Star Wars movie, things like that. At least in my mind, the mixture made sense.
2. Clearly you have been blessed by the cover gods when it comes to this series. Did you have any input on the covers? If so, what was the process like?
Nicolas Delort—the illustrator of the William Shakespeare Star Wars trilogy—has become a personal hero of mine for his ability to take the two worlds and visually combine them so well. Quirk Books found Nicolas for the first book, and showed me the cover once it had been sketched out and approved by Lucasfilm. At that point, I wasn’t about to say no to it, but why would I? For The Empire Striketh Back and The Jedi Doth Return I had input into the covers—mostly giving my input about who would appear on the covers, this time before Lucasfilm’s approval was sought—and again I was surprised and impressed by Nicolas’ work.
3. What is your favorite Shakespearean play?
I always feel a little unoriginal answering this question, because the answer is Hamlet. It’s just the play I know the best, and there’s so much richness and depth to it. But it wins by a thin margin—right behind it are The Tempest, Othello (I always wanted to play Iago), Much Ado About Nothing, and Henry V.
4. Are we going to see Jar Jar Binks get a Shakespearean counterpart? ðŸ˜‰ (Kidding!) But really, who is your favorite character from Star Wars?
I’ve heard two suggestions about Jar Jar that I really like, were I ever to write a Shakespearean version of the prequels—first, that you could take artistic license and kill him off in the first scene (!), and second, that you could just make him the wisest character of any of them in the plays, basically give his character a complete turn-around from what he is in the movie. But, to your real question… my favorite character from Star Wars was always Han Solo. It was the era when Harrison Ford was both Han Solo and Indiana Jones, and as a little boy who wouldn’t want to have all of that swagger? In reality, my personality is much more C-3PO than Han Solo, but Han was always it for me.
5. Have you ever watched all of the trilogy in one day?
Umm, the question isn’t really whether I’ve ever done that, but how many times! (Answer: probably four or five.) The most recent time I did it (April 2012) was just before I read Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (June 2012) and went to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival (July 2012), all of which culminated in me having the idea for a little book called William Shakespeare’s Star Wars. So I highly recommend watching the whole trilogy in a day—you never know what might happen! (When my friends and I watched the trilogy together a couple years ago, we peppered in bits of Robot Chicken Star Wars between the movies, which I also recommend doing.)
6. What books are currently on your nightstand?
I tend to read a lot of things at once, so you may get a longer answer than you asked for! Right now, I’m in the middle of six books: (1) A Clash of Kings by George R.R. Martin—I’m trying to read the whole Game of Thrones series before I let myself watch the HBO show, (2) The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and Other Tales of Terror by Robert Louis Stevenson, because I’ve never read the original, (3) Carrie by Stephen King: King is my guilty pleasure when it comes to fiction—he’s just so much fun—and I’m working on reading through everything he’s written (if I live that long), (4) At the Hands of Persons Unknown: The Lynching of Black America by Philip Dray, an academic book about the history of lynching in the United States (I did my Ph.D. dissertation on racial justice issues, so this is an area I’m always learning about), (5) The Dream: Martin Luther King Jr. and the Speech that Inspired a Nation by Drew D. Hansen, for the same reason as #4, and (6) the Bible—I read through it every year, mostly out of habit than anything else. I’m not what you’d call a super devout person, but I find comfort and familiarity in the Judeo-Christian story.
Thanks so much for dropping by!
But wait, there’s more!
Thanks to Quirk Books we are able to give away a complete set of the trilogy PLUS posters! To be honest, I really want this prize pack myself. Those are awesome book covers that deserve to be posters.
The trilogy contains:
US Only, use the rafflecopter, 13 or Older and I totally won’t sell your information. The publisher will send you the books directly.