William Shakespeare's the Jedi Doth Return

William Shakespeare’s the Jedi Doth Return




“And finally, the third result of this
Great Death Star’s fall shall be the rising up
Of all whose pasts conceal some awful guilt,
Some aspect of their lives that brings regret.

In this battle we fight not
To merely terminate an enemy—
Full many of us rebels seek the bliss,
The balm and healing of redemption’s touch.
So let it be, my noble comrades all:
Fight now for the Rebellion, fight for all
Who dwell within our galaxy, and fight
Most ardently, indeed, for your own souls.
Thus shall we raise those who by Empire’s might
Have died, and forth from their celestial graves
Shall they ascend and with a rebel’s voice
Cry “Havoc!” and let slip the dogs of war!”

Lando of Calrissian

“Fie, ’tis a trap!”

Admiral Ackbar


Hot on the heels of the New York Times best seller William Shakespeare’s Star Wars comes the next two installments of the original trilogy: William Shakespeare’s The Empire Striketh Back and William Shakespeare’s The Jedi Doth Return. Return to the star-crossed galaxy far, far away as the brooding young hero, a power-mad emperor, and their jesting droids match wits, struggle for power, and soliloquize in elegant and impeccable iambic pentameter.
Something Wookiee this way comes!
©2014 Ian Doescher (P)2014 Random House Audio


This is the final installment in the original trilogy to get the William Shakespeare treatment. The formula should be quite familiar by now. You’re going to get some comedy, some singing characters, a lot of asides and soliloquies and inside references. My favorite inside reference from the entire trilogy appears in ‘The Jedi Doth Return’. Obi-Wan makes a comment in an aside during his conversation with Luke about how he’s glad he didn’t explain midichlorians because that would just lead to many more questions.
I’ve said that Jedi is my favorite film and I feel that way because of the scenes with Luke, Vader and the Emperor aboard the second Death Star. Those scenes are a highlight in this version of the story as well, as Doescher gets inside the heads of the characters at different points of the action.
The Rancor, the Max Rebo Band, the Ewoks and Han Solo all get a chance to sing this time ’round. Han Solo’s song is so wildly contradictory to the actual character that you can’t help but laugh. Another nice touch is how much of Admiral Ackbar’s sentences end with words that rhyme with trap. We also have more discussions between Imperial guards in which one of them theorizes that the rebels might do…exactly that the rebels are actually doing. He is laughed off by his compatriot which is a recurring theme throughout this series.
There are definitely some moments of greatness to be found in ‘The Jedi Doth Return’. The trouble is that they are fewer in number and not quite as great as those moments found in the prior two entries in the saga.


As I have written in the previous two reviews, Doescher has an amazing command of his subjects. In particular, as it concerns ‘The Jedi Doth Return’, Doescher does a good job of getting inside the heads of Luke and Leia during the conversation where Luke reveals that they are siblings. Doescher’s asides and soliloquies give you a better idea of what is going through the mind of Leia during that conversation than we ever get in the actual movie.
Once again, Doescher appears at the end of the story to talk about some of the decisions he made in writing of ‘The Jedi Doth Return’. In particular he talks about how he decided to handle Huttese and Ewok language in the story. Huttese is a straight transcription from the film itself while the Ewoks speak in poetic verse with English making up the middle third.
Even though this is a Shakespearean premise, there is nothing wrong with going off in your own direction to make something unique. It helps keep the formula from growing tired at an accelerated pace.


Everyone that was in the previous installment is back for ‘The Jedi Doth Return’. As usual the narration is top notch. Given the fact that Jonathan Davis plays both Luke Skywalker and the Emperor, this is the version in which he is really allowed to shine.
Daniel Davis is still under used but at least this time they had a funny bit with him at the end. Davis plays the part of William Shakespeare who travels in time to meet Ian Doescher and critique his work.
Marc Thompson singing as Han Solo, happy that he has won the girl, is another strong highlight of the performance.


Readers of my Star Wars Reviews should already know what to expect in this section. The track is divided into five chapters, one for each of the acts. There is use of sound effects, music and voice modulation all over the track. It is all mixed really well with the background noise actually staying in the background. I acknowledge that it is getting hard for me to find new ways to say the same things about the production of Star Wars audiobooks.


‘Return of the Jedi’ is my favorite of the original trilogy of Star Wars films. However, ‘The Jedi Doth Return’ is my least favorite of the William Shakespeare Original Trilogy. I don’t find it to have as many memorable moments or quotable lines as the prior two works.
This does not mean you can skip this chapter of the saga or that it is not packed with entertainment. The problem is that it has such a tough act to follow that it just couldn’t live up to that standard. In a way, this is appropriate since there is a belief that this is also the case for the Star Wars movies themselves.


Title Author Narrator Publisher Genre Release Date Running Time Score
William Shakespeare’s The Jedi Doth Return Ian Doescher Daniel Davis, Jonathan Davis, Ian Doescher, Jeff Gurner, January LaVoy, Marc Thompson Random House Audio Science Fiction 07/01/2014 3 hours, 35 minutes 8.5/10


A copy of ‘William Shakespeare’s The Jedi Doth Return’ was purchased from Audible for review.