Posts Tagged ‘Ian Doescher’

William Shakespeare’s The Empire Striketh Back

In Book Reviews on April 13, 2014 at 6:00 am
Lucasfilm Ltd 2014

Lucasfilm Ltd 2014

I know not whence thy great delusions come,

Thou laser brain.

Yes, yes, yes and a thousand times YES!! This book!

This was part of my birthday loot that I picked up when I went shopping last Friday. I’ve read William Shakespeare’s Star Wars, which was so much fun so I when I saw this on the shelf at Forbidden Planet I just had to get it.

Now, this is the kind of thing that you think might be novel to read at first but then it might grow old or tedious, but I have to say that that’s absolutely not the case with this book. It only took me a day or two to read, but it was so much fun. It kept me giggling the entire time.

Most of you know the story of The Empire Strikes Back. But what you may not know is that some of the monsters in the story not only have feelings, but they have soliloquies as well. The wampa (that furry monster on Hoth at the beginning that swipes Luke off of his Tauntaun) has lines. They go like this:

Alas, how I am by this man abus’d-

Could I, for seeking food, not be excus’d?

It seemeth that this wampa shall have strife.

Thus, gentles all: have pity on my life.

See? He was just hungry.

Also, the exogor (the giant worm inside the asteroid that the Millenium Falcon lands in) has a soliloquy. I won’t give you the whole thing, but he’s both lonely AND hungry.

To be a space slug is a lonely lot,

With no one on this rock to share my life,

No true companion here to mark my days.

and now my meals do from my body fly-

Layers, people. There are so many layers to this story that go beyond the film. Who knew?

Some of my favourite parts were when Leia and Han torture themselves over how they feel about each other.

O, wherefore did I speak so testily?

Why is it that when he is near

My wit is turn’d to unto a laser beam

With Han plac’d firmly in its sights? I tear

His heart in twain with words too cruel and harsh,

Then wonder why he is so full of pride.

I’m totally with Leia on this. I remember being a little girl when the film came out. A little girl with a huge crush on Han Solo. I was so upset at the end when he got frozen in carbonite and they hadn’t made the next film yet. It was very distressing. I felt so much joy when Return of the Jedi came out.

I anticipate that I will be just as happy when I get my grubby hands on a copy of William Shakespeare’s The Jedi Doth Return. I’ll let you know.



William Shakespeare’s Star Wars

In Book Reviews on October 30, 2013 at 6:00 am
Reimagined in glorious iambic pentameter.

Lucasfilm Ltd 2013

In  time so long ago begins our play,
In star-crossed galaxy far, far away.

I was 2 years old when Star Wars Episode IV came out. When I was 5, my dad took my sister and me to see The Empire Strikes Back in the cinema. She would have been 3. The story goes that we were sitting in the theatre and got a bit agitated upon seeing Darth Vader so Dad decided that it was best if we just left. We walked up the aisle to the exit and he looked behind him to find my sister and me standing mesmerised by what was on the screen. I guess he decided that we weren’t really that scared, so we sat down and finished watching the film.

Thus began my life-long love of the Star Wars franchise.

I would like to take a moment to clarify that when I talk about these films, I am referring only to episodes IV – VI. I’m trying my best to pretend that the first three episodes don’t exist. Also, I’m a bit of a purist and don’t approve of the digitally remastered versions. I was so upset when they digitised my favourite alien (Lapti Nek. She’s the one singing.) in Return of the Jedi and turned it into some weird musical feature. How could you, George Lucas??

Anyway, back to my childhood.

I remember having weekend movie nights with my family. I always looked forward to this. Mom would fire up the popcorn machine and we would each get our own bowl so that no one could eat more than his or her share.

Microwave popcorn? Methinks not. This stuff was the bomb.

Microwave popcorn? Methinks not. This stuff was the bomb.

We’d plonk down on the couch in our jim-jams and watch whatever was on HBO or the Disney Channel. Looking back at my childhood, I realise how much time my parents invested in making us happy. They didn’t spend a lot of money on us, but we pretty much had their undivided attention. We did lots of things as a family.

My favourite family movie night films were the Star Wars ones. As we got a bit older, my sister would groan. “Not Star Wars again!” But I’ve always loved them.

I loved the characters and I loved the action. I mean, a princess who didn’t look like a Disney princess? She was a bad-ass general with a blaster who worked as part of a team and rescued the guys as much as she was rescued. My 8 year old mind was blown.

My grandmother had this huge uprooted tree stump in her back yard and that became our Millenium Falcon. We would play Star Wars with our cousins. My oldest cousin was always Han Solo and I always got to be Princess Leia. (No kissing though. Ew.) Man, I could fly that tree stump into hyperspace. My little sister was always R2-D2 because she was younger and had to do what we said. She wasn’t allowed to say anything but “Beep boop boop bwee wooo” (or any variation of it). I think that this might explain her aversion to Star Wars as we grew older.

Flash forward to my late teens and I discovered that my mom felt a similar love for these films. We began to have what we call “a Star Wars kind of day”. Dad and little sis are politely asked to vacate the premises and mom and I drag out our needle crafts and proceed to watch all three films. Back to back to back.

We still do this when I come home to visit only my hubby is allowed to join in to our ritual. He doesn’t get annoyed (or at least he doesn’t act like it) when we say the lines along with the characters. Most importantly, he doesn’t talk about non-Star Wars stuff during the films. This is why he is allowed to stay.

I guess I’m telling you all of this to let you know that these films have a special place in my heart. They represent happy times spent with my family.

As much as I love Star Wars, however, I don’t actually own a lot of branded stuff. I’ve never read any of the books because I don’t want anything to take away from the experience I had growing up. I’ve never had any of the collectibles either. The experience is what I craved.

However, when I saw this book, I was filled with pure, unadulterated glee. Imagine my delight to find one of my favourite films translated into a whimsical book as it would be written by Shakespeare! And it turned out to be everything I dreamed it would be.

Mr. Doescher incorporates some actual lines from various plays (adapted to make them fit the story) which makes it even more fun. Verily.

Also, my sister would be happy to know that R2-D2 actually has lines beyond “Beep boop boop bwee wooo”. All of his lines are asides so none of the characters actually hear him talk. Here’s one of my favourites of his:

A plague on 3PO for action slow,
A plague upon my quest that led us here,
A plague on both our circuit boards, I say!

I think that my favourite line in this book is by Han Solo before they end up in the garbage compactor.

-He hath the plan,
Not I, thou sweetheart of ingratitude!
[Leia takes Luke’s blaster, shoots hole in wall.
By what dark sprite of Hell art thou possess’d?

This book had me giggling so much on the train. I’m sure my fellow commuters thought that I was mad. It’s a fantastic bit of whimsy and one I’ll go to when I need cheering up.

I saw a few stodgy reviews on Goodreads, so I’m guessing that it isn’t for those of you who are hard-core Shakespearean purists.

I found it to be a delightful reminder of some very happy times in my life and a whole lot of fun.

Also, very fittingly, this book finishes off my Goodreads challenge. This year, I challenged myself to read 61 books and this one was number 61. This pleased me greatly.

2013 Goodreads Challenge

61 Books read this year!

On that note, I shall say goodbye and ever shall the Force remain with thee.

Getting the Lead Out

In My Writing on October 27, 2013 at 9:06 am

As October comes to an end, many of you are gearing up to begin National Novel Writing Month. Although I won’t be joining in on the mad scribbling, I’ll be participating indirectly. Sort of. But maybe not really. You see, I participated back in 2010 (and won with 50,006 words. woo!). I worked for the next two years to edit the fruits of my labour, which was quite a task.

50,006 words!

50,006 words!

NaNoWriMo is a heady and intense experience and I’m so glad that I did it. It got me into the habit of writing every day and I’ve been more disciplined with my writing since then. However, the problem with scribbling your entire novel with your internal editor switched off is that it can be massively difficult to go back over it once November ends and make something coherent out of it. Hence, the two years.

Last December, I finished it up and sent it off to a competition (that I didn’t win, by the way). I had worked on my story so much that I was pretty sick of it by then. Once I sent it off, I started working on ideas for the novel I’m working on now. I’ve been researching, outlining and dabbling in writing the actual story during 2013.

But all of a sudden, a switch has been flipped. All of a sudden I want to go over my first story. After all, I have 88k words just sitting there not doing anything. I would really like to try to get it published. So, last night I started reading it again with a view to cleaning it up and filling in any potential plot holes so that I can send it off to literary agencies/publishers.

Let me stop you before anyone mentions self-publishing. This isn’t a path I’m interested in at the moment. Perhaps in the future, if I don’t have luck with publishers. We’ll see how I feel about it then. For now, it’s not an avenue I’d like to travel.

As I was reading my story last night I kept thinking that it was ok. There were times when it actually felt like I was reading a novel. That’s probably a good thing.

The problem is that no one else has read it. Ever. Not even the hubs. I’m not sure if the people I submitted it to read it as I wasn’t sent any confirmation that they had even received it. This means that I have absolutely no idea as to its readability.

Once I’ve read it and let my husband read it, I’ll be looking for beta readers so if you think you’d be interested in that kind of thing please keep it in the back of your mind. (I’m not quite ready for anyone else to read it just yet.)

It’s actually terrifying to think of people reading my book, which is silly because books are meant to be read. However, I suffer from self-doubt in a big way. Sometimes it’s almost crippling. Why on earth would I think that anyone would want to read what I’ve written? It probably isn’t very good. Who do I think I am, trying to foist my work on an unsuspecting public?

You get the idea.

These are hurdles I’m trying to get over. (Although I’d be much happier if I could just effortlessly walk around them…)

Anyway, I shall continue reading my work today and I’ll let you know how it goes. I definitely think that it’s time for this story to come out of hiding and I finally feel ready to tackle it. I’m going to do my best to put myself out there even though I’d rather hug my precious pages to myself and hide under the covers.

On a completely different note, last night my husband came home from work with a present for me. Behold!

Reimagined in glorious iambic pentameter.

Reimagined in glorious iambic pentameter.

This is exactly why I married him. I’ve only read up to page 36 so far, but oh, the giggles! Obviously, this book is best read if you have seen (and liked) Star Wars. That’s all I’ll say for now. I’ll be doing a blog post on this book once I’ve finished it.

It makes me chuckle to think of the looks I’ll be getting when I read this on the tube tomorrow! I’m sure I’ll be giggling all the way to work.

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