Book Review: William Shakespeare’s The Clone Army Attacketh by Ian Doescher

Posted July 2, 2015 by Debby in Book Reviews

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!! This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: William Shakespeare’s The Clone Army Attacketh by Ian DoescherWilliam Shakespeare's The Clone Army Attacketh by Ian Doescher
Series: William Shakespeare's Star Wars #2
Published by Quirk Books on July 7th, 2015
Genres: Media Tie-In, Retelling, Science Fiction
Pages: 176
Format: Hardcover
Source: Publisher

To Shmi or not to Shmi? Torn between duty to the Jedi, attraction to Padmé, and concern for his beloved mother, yeoman Jedi Anakin Skywalker struggles to be master of his fate. But the path he chooses will determine not just his own destiny, but that of the entire Republic. And thereby hangs a tale.

Alack the day! A noble lady in danger. A knight and squire in battle. And a forbidden love that’s written in the stars. Once again, the quill of William Shakespeare meets the galaxy of George Lucas in an insightful reimagining that sets the Star Wars saga on the Elizabethan stage. The characters are familiar, but the masterful meter, insightful soliloquies, and period illustrations will convince you that the Bard himself penned this epic adventure.

3 Stars

The adventure continues! Followers of my blog will know I’ve been knee deep in the William Shakespeare’s Star Wars series for well over a year now. As a true Star Wars fan and lover of words, I cannot resist. William Shakespeare’s The Clone Army Attacketh brings another fun, funny, and insightful installment to the series, accompanied by the beautiful illustrations fans are already familiar with.

The movie Attack of the Clones has been pretty much second to last in my order of preference of the Star Wars movies, so Doescher had his work cut out for him. However, he took my most hated movie and completely impressed me in The Phantom of Menace, so my expectations were relatively high. The problem lies in that not that much happens in Attack of the Clones. It’s really a middle installment in that way – certain pieces are moving, but there isn’t a really intense climax to blow you away.

That being said, there’s plenty of Obi-Wan in this book, as Doescher follows his adventures and battles in detail and spends a good amount of time analyzing the relationship between Obi-Wan and Anakin. There’s a lot of friction there, which makes it interesting. And, well, Ewan McGregor (in my head) makes everything better. Other beloved characters return, such as Yoda, R2-D2, and C3P0, and seriously I can never get enough of snarky R2-D2.

[aside:] Belike he would appreciate
A serving of my fury on his pate.
We droids are e’er revil’d, e’en by our own–
Thus must I toil each hour to prove my worth
And show the noble soul that lies within.
[To Padmé:] Beep, whistle, meep. William Shakespeare’s The Clone Army Attacketh by Ian Doescher

You tell him, sassypants R2-D2. You tell him.

I think what really makes this book kind of a downer is the creepy romance between Anakin and Padmé. I mean, not only was it ridiculous because in the first book(/movie) Anakin was 9(!!) and Padmé was almost an adult – and he called her an angel and pretty much fell in love right then, but Doescher does what Shakespeare kind of requires: he adds monologues to clarify their feelings. Well, Anakin’s feelings are creepy. He totally lost me when he muses on how he would hold back the more intense/jealous sides of himself until after Padmé was in love with him. I mean, good that he’s self aware, but also that’s messed up. In the movie this was never such an issue because you mostly just see the physical chemistry between the two – and though it was never a favorite ship of mine, I didn’t mind it as much.

Another thing that Doescher changes about the romance is that though in the movie Anakin and Padmé are together for quite a long time and you see small moments shared while other things are going on, Doescher combines most of these scenes into one romantic lovefest. This, to me, did more harm than good. Padmé starts the scene musing about how Anakin is still a little boy, and ends saying he’s a man and she’s in love with him. That transition needed more time – it just didn’t feel authentic to me.

At the end of the day, however, I still enjoyed The Clone Army Attacketh. Doescher carries on his trend of subtly including humor, working off of famous quotes and Shakespearean scenes, and his soliloquys do help to better understand the characters and their inner conflicts – especially concerning Palpatine’s rise in the senate and all of his skillful manipulations. That kind of got me to think more about just how complex this story is and I greatly appreciate that. And ultimately, this book serves well as the set up for Anakin’s downfall in The Tragedy of the Sith’s Revenge – which I can’t wait for. Anakin’s character arc is one of my favorite things in the Star Wars universe, and I think Doescher’s doing a great job with it.

Summing Up:

Fans of the series need not fear – William Shakespeare’s The Clone Army Attacketh continues Doescher’s trend of skillful, fun, and insightful retellings. Though I winced more than once because of the romance, I like the depth that Doescher is giving the story and the characters – and I can’t wait to see it all conclude in The Tragedy of the Sith’s Revenge.

GIF it to me straight!

Recommended To:

Fans of Star Wars and Shakespeare.

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