Exclusive cover peek at new Shakespeare 'Star Wars' prequel parody

The best-selling Shakespearean "Star Wars" parodies continue with "William Shakespeare's The Phantom of Menace." CNET doth reveal an exclusive look at the new book's cover.

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Behold the new cover of "William Shakespeare's The Phantom Menace" by Ian Doescher, illustrated by Nicolas Delort. Quirk Books

"O Threepio, Threepio! Wherefore art thou Threepio?"

"William Shakespeare's The Phantom of Menace" -- the fourth installment of Ian Doescher's Shakespearean "Star Wars" parodies from Quirk Books -- hits bookshelves on April 7, and CNET got an exclusive look at the cover.

The cover portrays Queen Amidala in all her regal glory, much like other Shakespearean leading ladies from "Macbeth," "Hamlet" and "Romeo and Juliet."

"The prequels are happening because time and time again, people approached me at readings of the 'William Shakespeare's Star Wars' books and asked, hopefully, if I was going to write the prequels," Doescher told Crave. "This was especially true for young people, for whom the prequels ARE Star Wars."

Fans of both Shakespeare and "Star Wars" will be treated to a retelling of "The Phantom Menace" as only the Great Bard himself could have written. The saga starts with a tantalizing tale featuring a disguised queen, a young hero and two brave knights facing a secret evil enemy.

"I think 'Star Wars' fans will appreciate learning more about the inner lives of the characters in the prequels: Jar Jar Binks may not be as dumb as you think, the cloners do some funny things when they talk, and Mace Windu is every Samuel L. Jackson fan's dream," Doescher told Crave.

Just like a true Shakespearean drama the retelling is filled with sword fights, soliloquies and a doomed romance written in the stars. The tale is written iambic pentameter illustrated with 20 Elizabethanesque drawings.

"Shakespeare fans, I think, will appreciate having the full arc of Anakin Skywalker completed -- the six-book series becomes The Tragedy of Anakin Skywalker, and his downfall in Episode III is as Shakespearean as 'Hamlet,' 'Macbeth' or 'King Lear,'" Doescher told Crave. "In other words, the 'Shakespeare's Star Wars' prequel trilogy maintains the elements of the original books and adds a slew of new surprises!"

All three prequels will be released by Quirk Books this year leading up to the highly anticipated release of "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" on December 18.

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