Thursday, July 30, 2015

William Shakespeare's The Phantom of Menace

We return to William Shakespear's Star Wars galaxy to discover that the Republic is in crisis. The Trade Federation has set up a blockade at the planet Naboo, and the Jedi discover there are even more plots afoot. They must uncover the more nefarious plots before it is too late for Naboo, and the Republic.

I decided that this was the perfect book to review after taking a break from the blog while I traveled and moved this summer. I am a huge fan of this series, and after seeing a Shakespeare play in the park, I was in the mood for William Shakespeare's Star Wars. I was very eager to read this book. Doescher completely won me over with the original trilogy, so I expected it to be good even though the new trilogy is not my favorite in the Star Wars universe. I think this is the best possible version of The Phantom Menace. New depth is given to the story and characters. I also found the humor to be more engaging than in the original version.

Star Wars fans will notice the greatest difference, and improvement was how Jar Jar Binks was portrayed. Rather than comic relief that does not succeed, Jar Jar is using a classic Shakespeare trope of a person putting on a disguise to enhance their chances at success. Jar Jar plays the part of a fool because it serves his purpose. I do not think I will ever be a fan of Jar Jar Binks, but I was not repulsed by him in this version. I think Doescher brought new depth to his character and gave fans of Shakespeare another reason to appreciate this book.

There are so many great things about this book. I will only write about a few of my favorite parts, as it would take too long to write about everything, and readers should have a few things to discover on their own. I liked how the pod race was done. I could visualize it happening on a stage, and it did not take away from the action. I also liked the final fight between Darth Maul, Qui-Gon, and Obi-Wan. I thought the battle was conveyed in a way that you still enjoyed the action, but learned some of the inner thoughts of the characters too. The conversations between the Jedi were also interesting to me.

I am always amazed when I finish a William Shakespeare's Star Wars how involved I become in the story. I am eager to discover how these well known stories will be portrayed, and have never been disappointed. There are always hidden gems I look forward to discovering.

I highly recommend reading this book!