Gadzooks, We’re Getting Shakespeare’s Version Of Star Wars: The Phantom Menace

By David Wharton | 7 years ago

PhantomMenaceShakesWhen it released in 1999, Star Wars: The Phantom Menace caused a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of fans cried out…and then kept crying out, turning the Internet into a collective therapy session where we bemoaned the besmirching of our fond childhood memories. Over the years there have been several attempts to re-edit the movie into a “good parts only” edition, but maybe what The Phantom Menace really needs is a touch of the Bard.

Author Ian Doescher first got our attention last year with the publication of William Shakespeare’s Star Wars. Cashing in on the literary mash-up trend that began with books such as Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter and Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, William Shakespeare’s Star Wars re-imagined George Lucas’ classic space opera as if written by Willy Shakes himself. And yea verily, we quite enjoyed the results, so we were tickled pink when Doescher soon followed his original book up with William Shakespeare’s The Empire Striketh Back and William Shakespeare’s The Jedi Doth Return, both published this year. Now, continuing to follow in Lucas’ footsteps, Doescher will go the prequel route with William Shakespeare’s The Phantom Menace, due out on April 15, 2015.

Here’s the official product description:

The popular, NYT best-selling Elizabethan/sci-fi mashup series continues, with a Shakespearean take on the first Star Wars prequel, The Phantom Menace.

When the best-selling William Shakespeare’s Star Wars presented the classic George Lucas film in the form of an Elizabethan drama, the results blew the minds of Star Wars fans and Shakespeare buffs alike. Now the curtain rises once again on that star-crossed galaxy far away, this time revealing the tragedy, hubris, and doomed romance that will lead to the fall of the Republic and the rise of an Empire. The saga starts here with this reimagining of Episode I, a prequel tale in which a disguised queen, a young hero, and two fearless knights clash with a hidden, vengeful enemy. Masterful meter, Shakepearean soliloquies and intricate Elizabethan illustrations will leave more than a few readers convinced that the Star Wars saga sprang straight from the Bard’s quill.

The Phantom Menace’s atrocious dialogue can only be improved by a Shakespearian facelift, and who knows, maybe all those trade disputes will be less dull in iambic pentameter. William Shakespeare’s The Phantom Menace will also include woodcut illustrations “that place classic Star Wars characters in an Elizabethan-style universe.” And in keeping with his status as one of the worst things ever, Jar Jar’s iambic pentameter in the book is “faulty.” I bite my thumb at him.

It sounds like Doescher plans to continue his jaunt through the Star Wars universe with Shakespearean versions of Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Jedi to follow. And given that we’ve got new Star Wars movies headed our way beginning next year, Doescher should have no shortage in the years to come.

You can pre-order William Shakespeare’s The Phantom Menace on Amazon. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go start the rumor that all these books were in fact written by Francis Bacon.