Ian Doescher fills The Clone Army Attacketh with the poetry readers have come to expect from him. It reads like Shakespeare, and is full of references, both overt and subtle, to the bard’s plays. There are also scattered pop-culture references throughout. It turns out, too, that converting Anakin and Padme’s flirtation into iambic pentameter does wonders for their love; it is a reminder of Romeo and Juliet and how young they were, and so it is possible to believe in this love too, even with the age disparity.
Alas, the Jedi still seem careless when it comes to Schmi; Doescher can alter the language, but not the plot entire. He does however, give Anakin some magnificent speeches about her death. In fact, The Clone Army Attacketh has a number of powerful monologues as the speakers muse about their fates. The ability to give the speakers—even the beasts of the pit—interior thoughts and musings is one of the advantages of this form. In the movies, no one now gives long asides explaining their motives and thoughts. In Shakespeare, this is expected, and so the characters come to a fuller life.
There are also still quietly funny moments worked in, such as when Yoda muses
Hath been eliminated,
What remains is truth
Or when C-3PO, having suffered the indignity of having his head swapped with another droid is given a variant of Bottom’s dream speech in Midsummer Night’s Dream once his head is restored to his body, a choice which is both amusing and fitting.
Nicolas Delort again provides the illustrations, a beautiful set of black-and-white, detailed work, providing the setting for the play. While Jango Fett has a poor choice in occupation, his taste in clothes here is impeccable.
The Clone Army Attacketh will please anyone who has been following the Shakespeare’s Star Wars series. Newcomers will find Shakespeare and Star Wars marvelously matched as the tale moves toward its end.