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The Star Wars saga is a tale of tragedy and triumph that will forever be held the highest nerd-gard. But what if the saga’s influences from classic literature were front and center? You get William Shakespeare’s Star Wars.

Author Ian Doescher has seen the classical style and influence in Star Wars, and has decided to push the connection even farther. His series, William Shakespeare’s Star Wars, offers the beloved franchise written in the style of Shakespearean tragedies and includes illustrations offering a glimpse at what each film would look in that classic format. Doescher’s series has published books based on the original trilogy, Verily, A New Hope, The Empire Striketh Back, and A Jedi Doth Return, and is now heading into the prequel stories.

We here at Nerdist were lucky enough to get a look at a few illustrations for the forthcoming installment, called William Shakespeare’s The Phantom Of Menace, and a bit of explanation from Doescher about each.



“I had a fun time with Watto because he became my Dogberry, the character from Much Ado About Nothing who is always using words incorrectly. This is one of instances where Nicolas Delort (the illustrator) did such a great job capturing the perfect mix between the Star Wars characters we know and an Elizabethan feel — his little hat, his little vest.  Too perfect.”

Anakin in the pod race


“The pod race is one of those quintessential moments of The Phantom Menace, an exciting sequence that captured all of our imaginations. But how would it have worked on a Shakespearean stage? Maybe something like this, with the pods suspended on cords above the stage, the actors’ feet dangling down Flintstones-style.  This illustration helps us imagine what William Shakespeare’s The Phantom of Menace might look like on the stage.”

Darth Maul before the final battle


“Many of Nicolas’ full-page illustrations paint sweeping, epic scenes, and Darth Maul is no exception. Dual lightsaber flashing, smoke swirling around him …you remember as you look at the illustration just how cool Darth Maul is, and you can hear the music swelling as the Jedi prepare to face him in battle. En garde!”

William Shakespeare’s The Phantom Of Menace is now available from retailers, and be sure to check out my full review of the book coming soon. Until then let us know what you think of the artwork in the comments below.

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