School Library Journal
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Gr 8 Up-"...In time so long ago begins our play,/In star-crossed galaxy far, far away." Inspired by the work of George Lucas and William Shakespeare, this is the story of Star Wars: Verily, A New Hope, retold as a five-act play, complete with blank verse, couplets, and Elizabethan stage directions. Even Jabba the Hutt and R2-D2 speak (or beep) in iambic pentameter. Luke, Leia, Han, Darth Vader, and the rest of the cast battle to determine the future of the galaxy while parodying various well-known lines and speeches from Richard III, Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth, Julius Caesar, and Henry V. Luke's soliloquy, "Alas, poor stormtrooper, I knew ye not," accompanied by an illustration of Luke holding up a stormtrooper helmet, is a standout comic moment, as is Leia's "songs of nonny," sung as the planet Alderaan explodes. Doescher's pseudo-Shakespearean language is absolutely dead-on; this is one of the best-written Shakespeare parodies created for this audience and it is absolutely laugh-out-loud funny for those familiar with both The Bard and Star Wars. It is most likely to be appreciated by snarky AP English students and drama club members, but an imaginative English teacher could find ways to use it in the classroom to engage reluctant readers of Shakespeare. May the verse be with you! -Kathleen E. Gruver, Burlington County Library, Westampton, NJ (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.