The works of William Shakespeare are incredibly versatile, especially when it comes to science fiction and fantasy. They’ve been translated into Klingon, been reinterpreted as science fiction films and novels, and even been used as a way to reinterpret the Star Wars franchise. A new Star Wars fan film takes one of the playwright’s most famous monologues as a devastating inspiration.
Directed by Quebec-based director Maxime-Claude L’Écuyer, Squad Leader TD-73028 Soliloquy (spotted by io9) follows a lone sandtrooper (portrayed by cosplayer David Blouin and voiced by Anton Golikov) as he navigates his way across a desert planet, reciting Hamlet’s famous soliloquy. He eventually comes across the body of a fellow trooper, and faces his own mortality. [Content warning — this film deals with themes and depictions of suicide]
L’Écuyer told The Verge that the inspiration for the film came when Blouin showed him an image of his costume. “As soon as he showed me picture of his costume, I told myself right away that I had to do something with it and I said to him jokingly, ‘I’m going to make a Shakespearean short film with your costume,’” and over three years, developed the concept and directed the short film.
He noted that while everyone knows the the openings lines to the soliloquy, “few people know the rest. If we can give access or illuminate a new generation to Shakespeare’s writing, our job is done through this film.”
Despite the grim subject matter, the film is a beautifully designed short. The stark, inhospitable desert serves as an ideal backdrop for the lone trooper as he contemplates the meaninglessness of his own existence.