I bought one book on this trip, I just couldn´t resist. Here´s a taste of it: 
Inside the Death Star.

Enter OFFICERS 2 and 3.

OFFICER 2   Say - TK-421, now wherefore hast
                      Thou left thy station? TK-421,
                      Canst thou my message hear? [To officer 3:] Take thou command,
                      Belike he hath a bad transmitter. So
                      Shall I attend and help him if I may. 

Enter OBI-WAN KENOBI, C-3PO, R2-D2, and CHEWBACCA with HAN SOLO and LUKE dressed as stormtroopers, killing Officers 2 and 3.

CHORUS      Now through the doorway comes our heroes brave, 
                      Th´Imperi´l officers Chewbacca fights
                       Whilst Han with blaster doth his entry pave,
                       They have arriv´d: escape is in their sights. 
CHEWBAC.  Auugh!
LUKE              - Fie! With all this howling nonsense and 
                       With all thy blasting ´tis a miracle
                       That all within the station have not heard
                       Of our arrival
HAN                            - Surely, let them come!
                      A fight would I prefer to sneaking yon
                      And hither. 
R2-D2                          - Beep, beep, whistle, squeak, beep,

What is this? Well, it´s "William Shakespeare´s Star Wars - Verily, A New Hope"! Written by Ian Doesher, no doubt giggling the whole time.

If you know the film by heart, as some of us do, you´ll recognize all the dialogue, even though it´s kitted out in Elisabethan dress and pushed into iambic pentameter.

There is one bit, the beginning of act 4, scene 6, where Luke says:
Alas, poor stormtrooper, I knew ye not, 
Yet have I ta´en both uniform and life
From thee. What manner of a man wert thou?
A man of inf´nite jest or cruelty? 
And so on. I smell something Danish on those pages, or wouldn´t you say?

This isn´t really literature, I don´t think. It´s more of... a curiosity. Quirky, perhaps, that´s the name of the publisher: Quirk Books. I haven´t read it right through, really, I have it in the kitchen and read bits and pieces while I wait for the kettle to boil. 

And the illustrations are priceless: the whole Star Wars cast looks like they stepped out on the stage of the Globe Theatre. Nicolas Delort is the artist´s name.

How do one come up with something like this? Deceptively simple, I think.

The publisher also has a free Educator´s Guide, that sheds some more light on how Shakespeare´s plays worked. And, there´s the entire list of references to the plays, some of which I got, like the one above, and some which have passed me by, or maybe I haven´t gotten to them yet.

I suppose this could be an excellent introduction to Shakespeare and drama in general for a young audience. For me, however, it´s more of a laugh than anything else. A very good laugh!


  1. i saw this reviewed somewhere else recently. it sounds like great fun. shakespeare seems to attract science fiction fans. there are some of his plays that have been translated into klingon ;)

    1. Really? I´m afraid I´m not familiar with Klingon - can´t even find the energy/time to improve my German. I think archetypal drama, about the nature of humans, is something that attracts introverts. And sci-fi fans often fall into that category, I think. Actually, readers often fall into that category, I think!

    2. there are actually people who _speak_ klingon, who study it as a foreign language and who can be very authentic in their klingon garb at conventions. i love the line in that star trek movie about reading hamlet "in the original klingon" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Klingon_Hamlet . i'm a fan, but not _that_ big a fan ;)

    3. Aren´t there a bunch of Lord of the Ring-languages as well? Language was Tolkien´s profession, after all. For me, this just takes fantasy that little bit too far. If I had the time, I´d rather study latin, which may be dead but at least has some historical relevance. It´s fun, though, that there are those who do it.