Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Booknote: The Empire Striketh Back

Ian Doescher, William Shakespeare's The Empire Striketh Back: Star Wars Part the Fifth. Philadelphia, PA: Quirk Books, 2014. ISBN: 978-1-594747151.

Genre: drama
Subgenre: space opera, science fiction
Format: hardcover
Source: Copy provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review. 

I continue to enjoy Ian Doescher's Shakespearean take on the Star Wars saga with The Empire Striketh Back. I recently watched the movie trailer for the new episode seven movie, which I believe is due out in December of 2015 (go Google it if you must. I am pretty much passing up on the whole film since it looks from the trailer it will be a lot of CGI visual bloat). A book like this reminds me once more that Star Wars (at least as presented in the original films) is an epic story. This book highlights the epic and tragic elements of the drama.

The author continues to channel Shakespeare in this volume. The Empire strikes, and the days get darker for the Rebellion. Young Luke Skywalker begins his Jedi training as Han and Leia will fall into a trap. The duel scene between Luke and Darth Vader is one of the greatest passages in the book. Tension, drama, action, all in the great Shakespeare tradition.

The only issue I had with the book is that some of the monologues and asides do seem a bit drawn out. One example for me was the guards scene in Cloud City. This could have been shorter. However, that was a minor issue for me, and in the end, there is much to love in these books. Fans of Star Wars need to be grabbing this series. I really liked this one, and I will continue on to the last volume of this trilogy. Public libraries need to have this one on their shelves. It is also a definite must-have for academic libraries with recreational reading collections.

4.5 out of 5 stars.

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