Monday, May 5, 2014

The Empire Striketh Back

In celebration of Star Wars Day and Revenge of the Fifth, methinks I shalt perchance blog about, yea, e'en review, William Shakespeare's The Empire Striketh Back. As may be known, said masterwork was penned by the bard himself, Ian Doescher.

It was last year when I didst learn about the first play in the classic trilogy, William Shakespeare's Star Wars, and I didst hasten unto yon to download the Kindle version of the newly discoverèd work of Shakespeare, which George Lucas didst rudely pilfer to make his 1977 movie. I read the first tome with great mirth. Behold, I was e'en delighted to discover that such characters as R2-D2, thus set free by the iambic pentameter and the frequent use of asides, was able to communicate his thoughts unto the kind audience, while portraying to his fellow players a façade of beeps and bleeps. The play didst delve deeper into the characters, while making frequent use of the Chorus to explain the action unfolding before our play didst begin, as well as the continuing action as the play continuèd. Shakespeare's language didst delight me, and I have thus endeavour'd to replicate it here. But a lowly blogger am I, so it is my lot to forego the iambic pentameter and instead bring unto my kind readers a review in prose.

So delighted was I with the first tome that I did eagerly await its sequel, e'en The Empire Striketh Back. Hark, disappointed was I not. The second was improvèd o'er the first. In his afterword did the bard explain how the feedback from his first master work didst inspire the ongoing work of penning the saga. Less was the Chorus used, in favour of the characters revealing that which could not be shown onstage due to the limitations of the medium.

In this new play, the gentle audience doth learn more than in the movie how the character of Lando of Calrissian conflicted feels to thus betray his sworn ally Han Solo. With further use of asides does Lando tell how he repulsèd is to deal with the likes of Darth Vader while betraying Han to the carbonite freezer.

While R2-D2 continues his sarcastic yet informative asides, he does not do so as much as he did in the first play.

With great joy did I learn that the character of Yoda, in an effort to speak differently than the rest of the ensemble, speaketh backwards, yet also in haiku. Thus do we get classic lines such as:

In troth, I understand, and I shall try.
Nay, nay! Try thou not.
But do thou or do thou not,
For there is no "try."

When introducing the character of Boba Fett, the bard didst express that he employed a technique yet unexplorèd in the Star Wars universe, e'en to speak in prose. This was a technique employed by Shakespeare to indicate the lowest of the low, and this bounty hunter, though determined, is yet low.

In the first volume didst the audience's hearts break when Princess Leia sang a lament for her belovèd planet Alderaan. In this second play, she and Chewbacca similarly sing a lament for Han, thus alive yet frozen in carbonite. Though Wookiee I speak not, I would that I could hear a Wookiee sing. Though I know not what it means, yet these lines do bring a lump e'en to my throat:

[sings:] Egh, auugh, auugh, auugh, egh, egh, muh, muh,
Auugh, egh, egh, auugh, auugh, mu, muh.
Egh, auugh, auugh, grrm, auugh, egh, muh, muh,
Muh, wroshyr, wroshyr, wroshyr.
[sings:] Now he is gone, and so's my life,
All frozen in a moment.
He my seiz'd lov'd one, I his strife,
Sing wroshyr, wroshyr, wroshyr.

From the last line of each stanza do I gather that "Muh," when used in a certain way, meanest "Sing." However, it is possible that in other lines, it may mean otherwise. A tribute it is to their friendship that e'en Leia employeth the Wookiee language into her song.

More jovial is the singing of the "merry band of UGNAUGHTS", who deliver all their lines in joyful song "as they pass around parts of C-3PO's body." While like them we do not, they either enjoy their work or choose to sing to pass the time in a more jovial manner, thus to lighten the load of their slavery. I know not their motivation, as they use not the asides that other characters employ.

Further twists does our plot take, as a character that I shall not name (thus shalt I avoid overmuch spoilers) telleth Luke, "--No. I am thy father." Unto this unexpected turn doth Luke reply, "Nay, 'tis not true! It is impossible!" But aforementioned character rejoins, "Pray, search thy feelings, Luke. Thou knowest it/Is true." Luke can only reply, "--Nay!"

As with the movie, with a cliffhanger doth our play end, and as the Chorus instructs,

Ye must leave empty, sighing lack-a-day,
Till we, by George, a brighter play compose.
Our story endeth, though your hearts do burn,
And shall until the Jedi doth return.
                                                                             [Exeunt omnes.

So endeth this blog post, with a hearty recommendation that ye read the play, yea, e'en perform it. Worth your time it is, and greater do I feel for the reading. May the Fourth be with thee, and eagerly shall we wait until our trilogy's conclusion in The Jedi Doth Return.

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