I really liked reading Ian Doescher's William Shakespeare's The Phantom of Menace. Is it my favorite of the series? I'm not sure I can honestly say that though I enjoyed it. What I liked best about The Phantom of Menace was the role Jar-Jar played in it. I liked how Doescher transformed the character. Yes, some of the movie's dialogue remains. Jar-Jar on the surface appears as you probably remember. But the reader knows that Jar-Jar is playing a game, and that he's manipulating things actually. It is too his advantage to appear clumsy and stupid and obnoxious.
I found The Phantom of Menace to be a quick read. I read the play in just two days. I found myself enjoying the writing and the illustrations. Even if you're not a fan of the movie, you may enjoy this one.
Jar Jar A man approacheth, cloth'd in Jedi garb.
Belike this man brings aid unto Naboo
Such as will help my people and my land.
Mayhap this is the chance I have desir'd!
For I have wander'd lo these many months
A'thinking o'er this planet's dreary fate:
Two peoples separated by their fear
And prejudice, which e'er doth make us shirk
From giving help unto each other. Aye,
It may be that the only hope for us
To be united is to realize
That our two fates are tightly knit as one.
Perchance this Jedi, follow'd by these droids,
Doth bring the words to break our deep mistrust.
I shall make introduction--in my way--
Portray the part that I have learn'd so well:
It doth befit the human prejudice
To think we Gungans simple, low, and rude.
I shall approach them thusly, yet shall bend
Him to the path that shall assis us all.
Put on thy simple wits now, Jar Jar Binks:
Thus play the role of clown to stoke his pride. (25)
© 2015 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews