Star Wars-Shakespeare Mashup

A Portland author retells George Lucas' epic saga in the Bard’s verse.

By Alisha Gorder June 27, 2013 Published in the July 2013 issue of Portland Monthly

Image: Nomad

Released this month, Ian Doescher’s William Shakespeare’s Star Wars: Verily, a New Hope fuses the plot of George Lucas’s epic saga with the wit and words of the Avon poet. (Even R2-D2’s chirps are in iambic pentameter.) Hark! Two classic scenes: 

R2-D2 (talking about C-3PO):

This golden droid has been a friend, ’tis true,

And yet I wish to still his prating tongue! 

An imp, he calleth me? I’ll be reveng’d,

And merry pranks aplenty I shall play 

Upon this pompous droid C-3PO!

Yet not in language shall my pranks be done:

Around both humans and the droids I must

Be seen to make such errant beeps and squeaks

That they shall think me simple. Truly, though, 

Although with sounds oblique I speak to them,

I clearly see how I shall play my part,

And how a vast Rebellion shall succeed 

By wit and wisdom of a simple droid. (1.2.56–68)


Chorus: Now is the Force to noble purpose us’d –

Not as the Sith, employing it to smite, 

Hath through the dark side rank the
Force abus’d– 

Good Obi-Wan shall use the Force for right. 

Trooper 4: Pray, show me now thy papers. 

Obi-Wan:                           Nay, thou dost 
                        Not need to see his papers


Trooper 4:                        Nay, we do 

                         Not need to see his papers. 


Obi-Wan:                             True it is. 

                         That these art not the droids for which thou searchst. 

Trooper 3:  Aye, these are not the droids for which we search. 

Obi-Wan:      And now, the lad may go his merry way. 

Trooper 3:  Good lad, I prithee, go thy merry way! (3.1.15–25)

Doescher reads from Verily, A New Hope at Powells Cedar Hills, July 2.

RELATED: Q&A with Ian Doescher about Shakespeare on Star Wars

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