Interview: Ian Doescher on Star Wars

July 31, 2013 Author Feature, Interview 5

Ian Doescher, author of William Shakespeare’s Star Wars [read my review] joins us today for another whackadoo My Shelf Confessions interview!


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Ian – Thanks for visiting My Shelf Confessions and granting us some of your time!

Thanks for having me!

To kick this off Star Wars style…*draws light saber*…ah yes just needed a bit more ambiance in the room.  What you thought we’d spar? pffft you can’t handle this…

– So lets have it – pitch me your hard sale of William Shakespeare’s Star Wars in 140 characters or less! Yeah tweet style.

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The original Star Wars movie as though it were a play written by Shakespeare, in five acts, iambic pentameter, etc. #soundsweird #couldbefun

luke– What made you decide that Star Wars needed to be re-imagined as a Shakespearean play?

A few things converged for me — I watched the Star Wars trilogy with some friends, read Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and went to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival with my family, all in the period of about two months.  So I had Star Wars, Shakespeare and mashups on my mind.  I was at the Shakespeare Festival when I had the idea, and it was one of those ideas you have and think, “Yep, that makes perfect sense.”  That was just over a year ago.

– I’m assuming you’re a big Star Wars nerd…not that I’m not…heck I think everyone in my family is. For example I just got two HUGE Angry Birds Star Wars pigs/birds for my sister in law, which will be given with a copy of your book of course *Darth Vader laughter*

So do you have a bunch of Star Wars memorabilia sitting around your place? If you do we’d love to see a snapshot!  If you’re shy about showing your geekiness then descriptions will suffice I guess.

I’m afraid I can’t deliver on this one!  I’m a big fan of the Star Wars movies and had all the action figures when I was a kid — I remember especially loving my Millennium Falcon and AT-AT — but I don’t have as much memorabilia as most superfans.  The best thing I can offer is this picture of my office — I just returned from a three week vacation and book tour, and my coworkers infused my office with Star Wars while I was gone.a6beb64cf49111e292a322000a1faaae_7

– Just how many times do you think you’ve watched Star Wars? And what are your thoughts on the newer movies vs the original?

I don’t know… 50 or 60 times each?  It’s really hard to say, when you’ve watched them as many times as I have.  My thoughts on the newer movies are pretty much everyone’s thoughts — I wish they had been done differently.  It pained me to watch the prequels with my sons (ages 7 and 9) and have them laughing at Jar Jar Binks.  “No!” I wanted to shout.  “You’re supposed to HATE that!”  I’m also not the biggest fan of either of the actors who played Anakin.  I will say that I think the prequels get better as they go — Revenge of the Sith is better than Attack of the Clones is better than The Phantom Menace.  But the original trilogy is, of course, far better than all of them.

– What kind of awesome alien would you be?

I always thought I’d make a good Max Rebo.  Just playing my music for some big gangster.

– Because next month is our Vamps vs Zombies month – what monster do you think kicks arse more? Who would win?

Well, I’m not a zombie fan, but I think the zombies have it.  World War Z (the book, not so much the movie) convinced me of that.

– From the way things ended I’m thinking we can expect more William Shakespeare’s Star Wars – am I correct? If not what other kooky hare brained schemes have you got in the works?

I’m hopeful about the sequels, but nothing is certain yet.  In the meantime, I’m working on developing a children’s book with a friend who is an illustrator.  I do hope there will be another Shakespearean adaptation, whether the Star Wars sequels or something else.

– Lastly do you have any oddball confessions you’d like to share with us? For example…I once cussed out an old lady when I was five.

I love Barry Manilow, and have ever since I was a kid.  My parents took me to one of his concerts when I was about six and I had to leave mid-way because it was too loud for me.  I went to another concert of his when I was 19 — by myself (how’s that for a confession?) — and had a great time.

William Shakespeare's Star Wars

Inspired by one of the greatest creative minds in the English language-and William Shakespeare-here is an officially licensed retelling of George Lucas’s epic Star Wars in the style of the immortal Bard of Avon. The saga of a wise (Jedi) knight and an evil (Sith) lord, of a beautiful princess held captive and a young hero coming of age, Star Wars abounds with all the valor and villainy of Shakespeare’s greatest plays. ’Tis a tale told by fretful droids, full of faithful Wookiees and fearstome Stormtroopers, signifying…pretty much everything.

Reimagined in glorious iambic pentameter—and complete with twenty gorgeous Elizabethan illustrations–William Shakespeare’s Star Wars will astound and edify Rebels and Imperials alike. Zounds! This is the book you’re looking for.


Ian DoescherIan is a Portland native, and lives in Portland with his spouse and two children.  He has a B.A. in Music from Yale University, a Master of Divinity from Yale Divinity School, and a Ph.D. from Union Theological Seminary.  He is currently the Creative Director at Pivot Group LLC, a full service marketing, research and web agency in Portland, Oregon. WEBSITE | TWITTER

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Images courtesy and copyright of Quirk Books
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Tabitha (Pabkins)

When I'm in the zone I can flip book pages faster than the eye can see - screaming "More Input!" I'm a book, yarn, & art supply hoarding goblin who loves to draw, make toys and craft all sorts of creepy cute things. My current habit is to listen to audio books while I'm arting it up!
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5 Responses to “Interview: Ian Doescher on Star Wars”

  1. Erika

    Great interview! I don’t think I’ve seen any movie 50-60 times so I think that is dedication. Thanks!

    • Tabitha the Pabkins

      Oh no they didn’t pick up the movies for distribution in your region? That is too bad! Though I know alot of Star Wars fans that that hated the newer movies. I do hope you are able to watch them someday though. The actor for Anikin is really not that great.