Today, Shakespeare is brought to generations young and old through George Lucas’ Star Wars. In 2012 Ian Doescher read Quirk Books’ Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, watched Star Wars for the umpteenth time, and then attended the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. At the festival, Doescher saw a funny, gay-marriage-themed, modern adaptation of The Very Merry Wives of Windsor, Iowa by Alison Carey. Within this span of a few months, Ian had mash-ups, Star Wars, and Shakespeare in the forefront of his mind. The morning after watching The Very Merry Wives of Windsor, Iowa, he had the idea to write William Shakespeare’s Star Wars.
True Shakespeareans and Star Wars fans alike will appreciate Doescher’s adaptation. One thing in particular that I appreciate is the attention that Doescher gave to the character that is Yoda. In Lucas’ films, Yoda already arranges his dialogue in a Shakespeare-like way; especially in his famous phrase, “Do or do not, there is no try.” When Doescher had people read rough copies of his work they commented that everyone sounds like they’re speaking in Yoda’s original dialogue and that the character no longer stuck-out as much as they’d like. So, Doescher thought about having Yoda speak in modern dialogue to completely invert the story, but quickly decided that that wouldn’t do. Instead, he has Yoda speak in Haiku. Doescher comments, “As soon as I had the idea, I realized ‘That’s it!’ It’s very un-Shakespearean, but it makes so much sense for the joke of [Yoda] being the sensei-like teacher.”
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