Low Concept

William Shakespeare’s Star Wars

The attack on the Death Star, in blank verse.

Illustration by Nicholas Delort. Courtesy of Quirk Books

An excerpt from William Shakespeare’s Star Wars®: Verily, A New Hope by Ian Doescher, published this month by Quirk Books.

ACT V, Scene 5, lines 279-329. Space.

BIGGS           Make haste, O Luke. Methinks they do approach
                    E’en faster than before. I shall not hold                                           
                    Them back for long!

LUKE                                                 —Now, R2, straight increase
                    The pow’r.

R2-D2                                     —Beep, whee.

BIGGS                                                —Make haste, Luke. O, alas!

 [Darth Vader shoots. Explosion. Biggs dies.

LUKE             That ever I should see this day, O woe!
                    My childhood friend from Tatooine now slain
                    Protecting me from harm. Thou ow’dst a life—
                    Dear Biggs, sweet Biggs—and thou hast paid. And now
                    ’Tis down to me: the boy turn’d warrior.
                    Be still, my errant heart, and seek the Force.


VADER          The leader now is mine.


R2-D2                                     —Meep, beep.

C-3PO                                                             —Take care
                    Sweet R2-D2! Come thou back, I pray!                                            

 CHORUS       Luke’s ship comes closer to the little port
                    While Vader and his crew draw all too near.
                    Young Luke to his computer doth resort
                    Until he hears the voice speak in his ear.

                                        Enter Ghost of Obi-Wan Kenobi.

GHOST          O use the Force, dear Luke. Let go and trust!                                   

VADER           I sense the Force in this one here, almost
                    As if I did my younger self espy.

GHOST          I prithee, trust me, Luke. All shall be well.

LUKE            The hearing of these words is like a balm
                   Unto my soul. So shall I trust the Force                                           
                   And not this fallible computer here.


                                            [Luke turns off computer.

COMPUTER   What is this, Luke? Thy targeting machine
                   Hath been turn’d off. What can be wrong? Pray tell!

LUKE            Nay, all is well. Fear not, good friends.

R2-D2                                                     —Beep, squeak.

[Darth Vader shoots. R2-D2 is hit.

                   Ahh hoo!

 LUKE                              —Small R2-D2 hath been lost!                                              

COMPUTER   The Death Star now has come within our range.

 TARKIN       Commander, thou may’st fire when thou hast made
                   All goodly preparation thereunto.

VADER         Now face thy death, thou rebel.


PILOT                                                 —Sir, take heed!

CHORUS       Now in a trice brave Han is on the scene!                                       
                  The smuggler hath return’d on errand kind.
                  With sly approach he makes his way unseen
                  And slays th’Imperi’l pilots from behind.


                                [Enter Han Solo with Chewbacca, firing on
                                 Darth Vader and Imperial Pilots. Explosion.
                                                        Imperial Pilots 1 and 2 die.

VADER          But how?—

                                [Darth Vader exits in confusion, his ship spinning
                                                                                out of control.

HAN                           —Thy path is clear, young Luke. Now do
                    Thy deed and let us all make way back home.                                  

 LUKE            I stretch my feelings out and use the Force,
                    And on the instant seems the porthole vast—
                    Not small or difficult to strike, but large.
                    The ship is arm’d, and now I take the chance—
                    The blast’s away, and with it all our hopes!                                      

                                [Luke shoots and hits the target.

CHORUS        The laser hits its mark with certain aim,
                    And as the Death Star arms to strike the base
                    The chain reaction sets the orb aflame:
                    The Death Star hath exploded into space.

HAN              Thy timely blast hath hit the perfect mark—                                    
                    One in a million was thy Force-fill’d shot!

GHOST          Remember me, O Luke, remember me,
                    And ever shall the Force remain with thee.


An excerpt from William Shakespeare’s Star Wars®: Verily, A New Hope by Ian Doescher, published this month by Quirk Books.