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  • Shakespeare + 'Star Wars' = hilarious reading

  • "William Shakespeare's 'Star Wars' " by Ian Doescher; Quirk Books ($14.95, 176 pages, $14.95)
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  • "William Shakespeare's 'Star Wars' " by Ian Doescher; Quirk Books ($14.95, 176 pages, $14.95)
    If you are scared of a summer reading slump for your media-obsessed student — or game-obsessed adult — there's a solution: Shakespeare a la George Lucas.
    In other words, take "William Shakespeare's 'Star Wars' " by Ian Doescher for a spin.
    He has adapted "Star Wars" (otherwise known as "Episode IV, A New Hope") in the style of the great Bard of Avon.
    This can lead to some hilarious reading.
    In the movie, for example, when the pirate aka free trader Han Solo boasts about an easy "escape" from the deadly Death Star, Princess Leia shoots him down, pointing out that the Empire let them escape.
    "It was the only reason for the ease of our escape," she says grimly.
    In Doescher's "Shakespeare," it goes more like this:
    "HAN: Thy rescue has been marvelous, think'st thou not? Say I: at times I do myself amaze.
    "Amazing has my rescue of thee been, Amazing is my hand at piloting, Amazing is my part in this escape Amazing — ay, it's true — my amazing looks.
    "LEIA: Amazing is thy pride and love of self!
    "Thus stand I now amaz'd that e'er thou shouldst allow thou great amazing self to stoop so low that thou wouldest rescue such as I."
    In true Shakespearian style, the internal thoughts of even Darth Vader are to be voiced.
    When confronted with Imperial bureaucracy on the Death Star, he thinks, aloud, "O, how these politicians irk me so! Of governors and territories care I not.
    But I retain their company for mine own purposes, and though their talk doth tire my mind, I do confess that naught I've found hath on their counsel yet improved."
    In the movie, all that verbiage is hidden behind Vader's black mask.
    Even the 'droids get into the act.
    British actor Anthony Daniels says C-3PO's first lines in the film: "Did you hear that? They've' shut down the main reactor. We'll be destroyed for sure. This is madness!"
    Those simple statements are now shamelessly converted into "Now is the summer of our happiness made winter by this sudden, fierce attack!" (Thank you, "Richard the III.")
    His partner, R2-D2's, cogent reply? "Beep, beep. Beep, beep, meep, squeek, beep, beep, beep, whee!"
    It's not just for kids. Set up a Shakespearian-style picnic, with "Star Wars" overtones — blue milk, flatbread, exotic desserts, or maybe, just a couple of bottles of wine, and settle in for a rehearsal.
    You have the makings of a rip-roaring party that will only get funnier as a storm trooper tells Luke Skywalker in the film, "Move along ... move along."
    Or in "William Shakespeare's 'Star Wars,' " "Go thy merry way!"
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