Ledger - The Sunday Index

Star Wars isn’t anyone’s, anymore. It hasn’t been for a while.

I spent a lot of time as a kid imagining myself into a universe that seemed even bigger than the one I actually lived in. Maybe a lot of that time was as enjoyable as it was because I felt like I owned the whole place. It’s an enticing thought, right? Imagine you could go anywhere and do anything, no limitations except your imagination. And that “anywhere” includes literally an endless universe, outside of a galaxy so big it contains more planets than numbers can do justice.

Probably right around the week after Star Wars hit theaters in the 70s (before anyone could call it A New Hope) the world changed. I believe that. It’s slightly hyperbolic, because sure, religion and politics and human misery did not see drastic setbacks or leaps forward thanks to Lucas’s movie - but I do think eventually those things were affected. Decades passed and all the people who went out into the world carrying whatever Star Wars did to them, well they started doing things to the world. It’s why fiction is important.

I’m a huge believer that when stories affect people, they have the power to affect the world. When I finally realized what made all of Star Wars so great wasn’t that it was mine, but that it was everyone’s, that’s when I freed myself of the bullshit opinions about the prequels. That doesn’t mean I changed my opinion, but that I wasn’t letting it drag me away from enjoying this thing I love. Star Wars is and always will be mine, and it’s cool to also know it is everyone else’s, and will likely be that way for a while after my physical presence is long gone.

Anyway, that’s my opinion about the new teaser, kind of. I could talk about it way more, and go into the story implications and all that (maybe I even will), but today I’m just feeling pretty grateful Star Wars is there for me. I struggle with Disney owning it, but - and get ready for this, ‘cause it’s cheesy as hell - they don’t own the Star Wars I have with me always. They can’t buy that, ever

I’m basically stealing Warren Ellis’s idea of producing content every Sunday here. Originally I was going to steal it even harder and just do a newsletter. Due to the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 (I’m sure they were fucking thrilled with themselves for that one), my newsletter would need to include a physical address. Not currently being set up for using any address other than my own, I reconsidered and aimed in another direction.

This week I discovered a feature on The Verge called What’s In Your Bag? - not to be confused with Amoeba's show What’s In MY Bag, which I also love - and very obviously I enjoy seeing people present items they’re carrying around inside of some other item. I fell in love with the feature, which revealed how susceptible I am to capitalistic bullshit like advertising, product placement, and am just generally suggestible when it comes to new things. I’ve always loved pens and notebooks, and for some reason I’m super happy to have all my cords and chargers and little items organized within my own bag (I have too many bags at this point)…

That’s a way of saying I saw what pens and notebooks Marlon James uses and immediately bought some of both. I’m indifferent on the notebooks. The paper is slicker than I’d like, and I don’t enjoy the section at the top of each page for writing in the date and a title of some kind. I’m sure they have versions without those, but the real killer is that paper stock. Those pens, on the other hand, oh man. I’m into their stuff.

Also bought one of these for my cords and tiny items. I bought this Grid It from The Container Store at some point, but it's always felt way too bulky.

Recently finished reading A Memory Called Empire by Arkady Martine. It's a political sci-fi, with hints of space opera inside technological and human musings. Lots of interesting bits set up for the sequels that are obviously coming (I freaking hope they are anyway). Going to read her short story The Hydraulic Emperor next, as her Twitter feed had some hints it was connected to the novel.

Now onto State Tectonics by Malka Older, and to finish Dune, finally. I also started reading Who Is Vera Kelly? by Rosalie Knecht because out of nowhere I felt like I had to read some good espionage, spiced with revolution.

Or maybe not out of nowhere, A Memory Called Empire primed me for that pretty specifically.

I'm playing through a Nintendo Switch game right now, one I've had for a bit, in hopes of gearing up to interview the director/writer. There's a sequel too, so that'll be next. More on this later.

I have Cuphead and Katana Zero waiting for me, which both got pre-ordered, and both come out on April 18th. Expecting to be upset at my reaction time and general inability to beat these games. Speaking of that…

Haven't played Sekiro since Lady Butterfly demoralized me about 10 times in a row a week or so back. I need to get back in there, because it's a fantastic game. Just SoulsBourne enough to scratch that itch, with new hooks that dig in nice and deep. Plus it's just gorgeous as hell.

Also, if you're in the mood for longer reads about video games, check out the oral history of Morrowind by Alex Kane (with great illustrations by Ben Bachau), or this freaking massive dive into the development, release, and subsequent failures of Anthem, by Jason Schreier.

Did you see the story I published on here, Aggressive Goose Season, with art by Luca Vassallo? The world that generated that story is on my mind a lot. I’ve been hinting, so I’ll go ahead and say definitively there’re more stories from that world coming. And I’m goddamn excited about them. Feels good.

Back next week.
*austin