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Book Review: William Shakespeare’s Star Wars Trilogy, by Ian Doescher.

Verily, the force ’tis strong with these!

I’ve always felt like kind of a minority among Internet reviewers. Most of the ones I follow seem to be huge fans of Star Trek and prefer it over Star Wars, but with me it’s the exact opposite. I never got into Star Trek, and maybe it’s the fact that I saw the Star Wars prequels first, but I don’t hate them as much as everyone else seems to. Granted, nowadays I can understand why people like the Star Trek movies (well, half of them anyway) and hate the Star Wars prequels, even though I don’t agree with all of it. But with the upcoming release of The Force Awakens, I think it’s time that I shared with you something awesome that I discovered completely by accident–William Shakespeare’s Star Wars.

Give that title a second to sink in–William. Shakespeare’s. Star Wars. It sounds strange, obviously–but impossible? Well, not if you really think about it. Star Wars has been called a space opera, and what are operas if not stage plays with singing? On top of that, themes like war, betrayal, coming of age, and shifting allegiances are present in both Star Wars and many, MANY Shakespeare plays. And if Wrath of Khan can be Shakespearean, then why can’t Star Wars? And therein lies the logic behind Ian Doescher’s adaptation of the original Star Wars trilogy into three books/stage plays, under the brand of “William Shakespeare’s Star Wars.”

Now, if you’re the skeptical type, as most of us on the Internet are, and the inherent awesomeness of this idea hasn’t overwhelmed your senses yet, you might be thinking “What’s the point? It just sounds like you’re adapting the original Star Wars scripts into Ye Olde English.” The people who think that, probably aren’t Shakespeare fans. Admittedly, they can be a bit hard to get into nowadays, but if you go back and read them, or even see a good screen adaptation, you’ll probably find there’s a reason why Shakespeare is quoted by everyone. (Hi Kyle.) First off, there’s a poetry to his language–and I’m not talking about iambic pentameter, at least not necessarily. I mean, he has a way of making the most mundane dialogue sing, and that’s true in this adaptation as well.

“This Force, by troth, I’ll never comprehend!
It doth control and also doth obey?
And ’tis within and yet it is beyond,
‘Tis both inside and yet outside one’s self?
What paradox! What fickle-natur’d pow’r!
Aye: frailty, thy name– belike–is Force.”–Luke Skywalker

One thing that both Shakespeare and Doescher perfected was the art of the soliloquy, shown here. Basically, it’s like a monologue with more rhythm. When characters have a monologue in a movie, it’s just them speaking–but here, that speech has rhythm and tempo to it that helps it resonate with the reader.

In addition, one advantage Ian Doescher has over the original Star Wars trilogy? Hindsight. Even those who are Star Wars fans probably realized at some point that, despite his claims to the contrary, George Lucas didn’t plan EVERYTHING out when creating Star Wars, even just the original trilogy. “From a certain point of view,” anyone? But now that all of the movies are out, you can look at something from the first movie and tie it in to something in the third. So in some ways, this retelling actually covers up plot holes the original movies had. Another invention of Shakespeare is the aside, a monologue from one character to the audience. This is usually used to provide more insight into a character’s motivation, which is true here as well. Obi-Wan doesn’t tell Luke that Vader is his father (spoilers!) because he doesn’t think he’d be ready to know. And surprisingly enough, another character that gets asides to the audience? R2-D2. Yes, R2-D2 has actual lines in this series that don’t just involve beeping and squeaking. And they pretty much confirm the fan theory that R2 is really a snarky character who feels like he’s surrounded by either idiots or cowards–or both, in 3PO’s case.

“This golden droid has been a friend, ’tis true,/ And yet I wish to still his prating tongue!/ An imp, he calleth me? I’ll be reveng’d,/ And merry pranks aplenty I shall play/ Upon this pompous droid C-3PO!/ Yet not in language shall my pranks be done:/ Around both humans and droids I must/ Be seen to make such errant beeps and squeaks/ That they shall think me simple. Truly, though,/ Although with sounds obilque I speak to them, I clearly see how I shall play my part,/ And how a vast rebellion shall succeed/ by wit and wisdom of a simple droid. [R2-D2]”

And of course, who could resist throwing in a few references to the Star Wars fandom, considering how huge it is.

“I pray thee, sir, forgive me for the mess/And whether I shot first, I’ll not confess.- Han Solo”

I haven’t spent much time going over the plot, I know–but really, it’s the original Star Wars trilogy, I hardly need to. If you’re a Star Wars fan, you probably know it by heart–but honestly, that’s part of what makes William Shakespeare’s Star Wars so great. These movies are so famous you’ve probably seen them through parody enough to know how the original movies go–and yet, by converting it into Shakespeare plays, you see the original trilogy through new eyes. This is one remake that gives a completely different, and I daresay, even better feel to the original.

One word of advice before we go, though–if you can, don’t just get the books. Get the audiobooks, at least the ones on Audible. They have a full cast, and the dialogue sounds even better when read aloud–you know, like an actual play. But however you experience them, this is one piece of Star Wars media where the force is definitely strong.
Book Review: William Shakespeare's Star Wars
Originally uploaded July 7th, 2015. 

I still love this series, and I maintain that it's even better in audiobook form. 
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Well, here we are again. I didn’t think I’d be stepping back into book reviews, especially before I filmed the Season 6 finale of my Cartoon Hero series. I assure you that it is still coming, but I can’t film it currently due to the lack of a prop I need. So blame the wait on the postal service.

That being said, maybe it’s for the best that I have some free time. I’m finally watching Batman: The Animated Series, but more importantly, another reviewer reminded me of something I wanted to talk about for a while. Linkara’s most recent review at the time of writing this was of the comic Steam Wars by Fred Perry. I’m familiar with Perry’s work, especially his animations, but until recently, I’d never read a comic by him. However, in 2012, the year I graduated college, I went to my very first anime convention, A-Kon 23. It was there that a certain Fred Perry comic caught my eye–a comic that would prove to be so awesome that I singlehandedly started the TVTropes page for it, because I felt more people needed to know about it. And since one of the works of Fred Perry is still fresh in our minds, I believe now would be a good time to go back to it again and tell you why. This is Time Lincoln.

First of all, though, one caveat–that cover image you see up above this text is kind of a lie. Or rather, it was done by a different artist, Brian Denham, in a style a lot more detailed than Perry’s, which is more cartoony. It’s hard to convey in a text review, but if you’ve seen any of Perry’s work, you know what you’re in for. It’s not bad, just a different style than what the cover promises.

What we do get, however, is a story just as amazing as Abraham Lincoln traveling through time could promise us, and more. Perry seems to love steampunk, or at least wholeheartedly embraced it, and this book is all about that. It opens on Joseph Stalin aiming a steampunk pistol at the back of Abe Lincoln’s head in Ford’s Theater, as everyone else is frozen in time. Before you think “God, this comic is short–and in poor taste,” Stalin does what every mad evil genius does and starts monologuing. Because hey, you have a captive audience, so what else can you do? He exposits that thanks to he and his cohorts breaking into Rasputin’s secret lab, he discovered the secrets of the Void, a mystic force that exists on the boundaries of our reality that allows the people who control it to travel through time. Through this, he was transformed into Void Stalin, but in the process of telling the frozen Lincoln this, he makes two fatal mistakes–he lets Lincoln see into his eyes, allowing him to see the Void, and he keeps him long enough for a league of other historical time travelers to show up. They are Ben Franklin, Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein, and George Washington Carver, all sporting time travel abilities and mystical tools of their own, including freeze rays and force fields. Apparently, Lincoln would grow to become Void Stalin’s greatest foe, traveling through time and beating him at every turn as the hero Time Lincoln. And unfortunately, by letting him see the Void, Stalin gave him the ability to travel through time in the first place. Whoops. And if you think that’s a time paradox, Time Lincoln is ultimately who pulls his younger self into the Void by causing a time paradox when the two touch each other, effectively trading places with him. And that’s not even getting into the ending.

The four manage to fight Stalin off for now, and recruit Lincoln to be their newest member–but Stalin is not alone. With the aid of Mao Tse-tung, a demonic version of Hitler called Mephitler, and Fidel Castro, he plans to conquer all of time and space. But of course, our heroes follow him through the Void to face him at every turn. And really, that’s what the crux of this book is–Abe Lincoln and other historical figures travel through time to fight dictators who are trying to change history in their favor. But honestly–that’s all it needs.

Oh sure, there are a few more serious scenes–there is one bit where Albert Einstein ponders if creating the atomic bomb was worth it, since it led to the creation of the bad guys’ ultimate weapon, and it’s surprisingly somber. But really, you read this comic for the same reason you read something like Abe Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (which is also surprisingly serious, but that’s getting off topic)–to see awesome historical figures doing awesome things. And in that respect, it delivers. The action sequences are all great, with creative fighting using the portals and gadgets associated with the historical figures, and even a REALLY memorable dogfight near the end, where Mao Tse-tung’s army of super-powered up steampunk planes try to shoot down Air Force One with President Obama in it, which they counter with an army of planes led by Amelia freaking Earhart! And that’s not even getting into the historical cameos which happen near the end of the book, which I won’t spoil for you–but let’s just say it plays off the fact that everyone makes jokes about the connections between Abe Lincoln and JFK.

However, much as I laud praise upon this book, it’s not perfect–and that’s mostly down to one aspect. Being a story about time travel, the story direction jumps around quite a bit, which can get a bit confusing. It might take you more than one read to understand the order of what happens, as it did for me.

But really, it’s worth doing so. Time Lincoln is one of the most unapologetically awesome stories I’ve ever read, it uses its characters well, and if the title sounds awesome to you, then trust me, it will be. Whatever you think of Fred Perry’s other work, I’ll say that he did a fantastic job with this. A definite must-read for the geek in all of us.

Oh, and also, there’s a second series out now called Jack To The Future. If you’ll excuse me, I’m going to beat a path to the nearest store that sells it, since I didn’t know about it until researching for this review.
Book Review: Time Lincoln (Fate of the Union)
Originally uploaded June 10th, 2015. 

One of the most interesting concepts I've seen for a story, until Abe Lincoln Vampire Hunter came along.  And I still haven't read Jack to the Future as of this upload...
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Book Review: The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared.

You know, when I first started this whole reviewing thing, I never expected to be talking about books. Don’t get me wrong, I love to read-I do it more than most people I know. But books, I think, would be the most difficult thing to talk about for a review show. All you have in most cases is the text, which means you have no visuals and no audio unless you’re using an audiobook. It’s like talking about a podcast-I don’t think you could, say, review Welcome to Nightvale without scouring the Internet for fanart. I’ve seen video reviews of books before, though–most of them are adaptations, but some aren’t, so I know this can be done. And since my discovery and subsequent enjoyment of the Audible app, there was a book I knew I had to talk about-The Disaster Artist. However, between laptops, I lost my original draft of that review, so that might not happen. But since then, while browsing the Audible library, I stumbled upon one of the most interesting books I’ve listened to in a long time-The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared, by Swedish author Jonas Jonasson.

This was Jonasson’s debut novel in 2008, and it’s sold over six million copies worldwide since then. And apparently someone agreed with me about the quality, as director Felix Herngren adapted it into a movie in 2013, which I did not know before writing this and oh god I’m writing about a book that has an adaptation…well, in my defense it won’t come out in America until May. So as such, all I’ll be using is the text…and boy, what text we have.

Alan Karlsson is turning 100, and as such, everyone at the old folks’ home will soon be celebrating-along with the mayor, the news station, and others, since turning 100 is a pretty rare thing. But there’s just one problem-shortly before the celebration starts, the birthday boy goes missing, and from there…well, one of the craziest journeys since Monty Python or It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World ensues. Including, but not limited to-a suitcase full of money, a gang of criminals called Never Again, a few hit-and-runs, a man who is almost every occupation in the world, and an elephant squashing a man to death. Yes, it’s that kind of story…and believe it or not, that’s only half.

The other half of the story-basically, every other chapter-is a recap of Alan’s 100 years before he ended up in the retirement home, from 1905 to 2005…and let’s just say, his life is just as, if not more interesting than what’s currently happening to him. You can probably tell by the years of his life that Alan lived through various wars-and his talent for explosives meant that he was often right in the thick of things. Since Alan isn’t one to lean toward politics and really just cares about living well, we see him doing things like becoming drinking buddies with Harry S Truman, saving Mao Tse-tung’s wife, blowing up a whole lot of things, and even becoming friends with Albert Einstein’s brother. I mean, screw Forrest Gump and the Dos Equis guy, this man is the most interesting man in the world. And honestly, with each chapter, you’re just wondering what’ll become of Alan next, even if you already know where he ends up.

Part of that, though, is because of the humor-since this is first and foremost a humorous novel. A lot of it comes from slapstick, or just from seeing the historical figures in these strange situations. But it can get dark, too-there’s death, and usually it’s played for laughs by being done in a very over-the-top way, but presented in a very dry, British-style way. And whatever you can say about the historical inaccuracies in this book, they’re presented in a way that feels like this could have really happened, minus some of the over-the-top parts. It seems to be very well-researched-though admittedly, this is a translation. Like Alan, Jonas Jonasson is Swedish, and thus, what I’m reading or listening to is a translation. And it might be a product of that translation or the fact that the audiobook was read by a very British man that the humor reminds me of British movies, but I’ll never know because I don’t read Swedish.

Regardless, one thing is true of the version I’ve read-it’s a madcap, hysterical, historical story that still has a lot of heart and strong writing. And if I haven’t made it clear, it is well worth reading, or getting the audiobook as I did. It’s worth pointing out before I go that Jonasson has another book out, The Girl Who Saved The King of Sweden, and it too has been translated and is now available through Audible or at your local bookstore. And you’d better believe I bought a copy after I had finished this book. I haven’t listened to it yet, but I look forward to it and seeing the movie based on the first book. Because if either of them are half as good as my first experience with this author, then we’ll be in good shape.
Book Review: The 100-Year-Old Man...
I've actually done a few text review on Manic Expression, but for some reason it didn't occur to me to post them here, too, just for safekeeping.  Until now, that is. 

This was originally uploaded on April 19, 2015, so I'm now curious as to how the movie version of this went.  It was certainly an enjoyable book--enjoyable enough to kick off this series. 
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www.manic-expression.com/carto…

It's time to knock out a summer top 20 list and another Patreon request at the same time!
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The Ace Attorney Retrospective finally resumes with a leap into the future--here comes Justice!
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It's time to knock out a summer top 20 list and another Patreon request at the same time!
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deviantID

NinjaHeart
Eli Stone
United States
My name is Eli, I'm 22, and I'm a writer by trade. My dream is to one day write screenplays for Hollywood movies, and have them be successful ones.

Current Residence: wouldn't you like to know?
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Favourite genre of music: Rock
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Favourite style of art: any
Operating System: COMPAQ laptop with Windows XP
MP3 player of choice: any; *I don't have one.*
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Wallpaper of choice: null
Skin of choice: Caucasian. *hey, it works for me.*
Favourite cartoon character: Too many to list!
Personal Quote: "Anime obsessed? I prefer "enthusiastic."
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:iconharleythesirenxoxo:
HarleyTheSirenxoxo Featured By Owner Jul 20, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks so much for watchin, Eli Baybee!Chinatsu Yoshikawa (Fangirling) [V1] by Jerikuto  If you're interested feel free to check out my cosplay page!  :iconfacebooklogoplz: Harleythesirenxoxo Cosplay
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:icondannyart-z:
DannyART-Z Featured By Owner Jul 7, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks for the fav!!!! ;)
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:icontehwatcher:
tehwatcher Featured By Owner Jun 1, 2015
Happy birthday
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:iconeverythingreviewer:
EverythingReviewer Featured By Owner Jun 1, 2015  Student General Artist
Happy birthday to the Cartoon Hero!!!
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:icondark92enigma:
Dark92Enigma Featured By Owner Jun 1, 2015
Happy Birthday, Eli! Here's hoping it'll be a good one! :)
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:iconyellowflash1234:
YellowFlash1234 Featured By Owner Jun 1, 2015
Happy birthday!
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:iconthewalrusclown:
TheWalrusclown Featured By Owner Jun 1, 2015
Happy birthday
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:iconjackassrulez95:
JackassRulez95 Featured By Owner Jun 1, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Happy birthday, Hero! :D
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:iconnotacukoofangirl121:
notacukoofangirl121 Featured By Owner Jun 1, 2015  Student General Artist
happy birthday!
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:iconpixargirl:
Pixargirl Featured By Owner Jun 1, 2015
Happy Birthday Eli! I hope you have a good one!
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:iconanime-iac:
Anime-iac Featured By Owner Jun 1, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Happy Birthday:party::cake:
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:iconpsyko6669:
Psyko6669 Featured By Owner Jun 1, 2015
Happy Birthday Eli! I really love your work.
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Biruka Featured By Owner Jun 1, 2015
Happy Birthday!!
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:iconthepinkapocalypse:
thepinkapocalypse Featured By Owner Apr 18, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
I love your accent for some reason...you're from the south arent ya? umm Arkansas right? I am from Georgia. but yeah i hope to see more of your videos its too bad reviewers unknown got deleted because i still see the link to the site on your channel.
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:iconthewalrusclown:
TheWalrusclown Featured By Owner Mar 9, 2015
Episode 6 of walrus reviews is up,, thanks for all the help, you get mentioned in the credits : thewalrusclown.deviantart.com/…
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:iconthewalrusclown:
TheWalrusclown Featured By Owner Mar 9, 2015
I found a movie that you might want to take a crack at reviewing (I'd make a review video myself but my good computer blew up and now I'm using my old vista) Just six word, my friend, just six words "Tyler Perry's Madea: The animated movie "

I took the liberty of embedding the trailer in a journal so you can see if it's worth it or not: thewalrusclown.deviantart.com/…
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:icongearsx:
GearsX Featured By Owner Mar 8, 2015
If you check out and review the anime, School Days, be forewarned, it will make you angry
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:iconthewalrusclown:
TheWalrusclown Featured By Owner Feb 11, 2015
hey, hero
I'm almost at 50 subscriber milestone on the youtubes, hear take place in the 50 subscriber special vote to determan what MLP Episode gets the Walrus treatment next: thewalrusclown.deviantart.com/…
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:iconthewalrusclown:
TheWalrusclown Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2015
Hey, CH, hears a link to a special preview of Walrus Reviews: Maude Pie: thewalrusclown.deviantart.com/…
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:iconpixargirl:
Pixargirl Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2015
Hello Mr. Eli Stone.
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