Do you know how sometimes you get an email and you have to read it a few times before it really sinks in because it can’t possibly be saying what you think it’s saying except it is? I got one of those last November. It ultimately resulted in this:
In the grand scheme of things, it’s probably not that big of a deal. The essays I wrote for each character were a very small part of the comics just one page in the back, but they’re not something I’m going to forget any time soon. When I was initially asked to write the Jango Fett essay, my hopes were two-fold: 1) that they’d like it and 2) that they’d like it enough to let me also write the Padmé essay. Clearly both of those worked out. And then they… kept having me write more essays to go alongside the stories of some incredibly talented writers and artists?
I’m sure people (especially those who follow me on social media) are tired of hearing me talk about this and a blog post here is probably too much but I wanted to try and preserve the sentiments while they’re still fresh. Because I don’t want to forget how it felt to see my work in print for the first time or how it felt knowing my mom went into the comic store I went to as a teenager and bought something I wrote. This is one of the first times I’ve been able to easily explain to my parents what my nerdy work actually is. Also, shout out to my dad who read the Dooku essay and texted me to say, “I read your piece in the Count Doolittle comic. Very well done.” There’s also something somewhat magical about being able to go to your local comic store and ask them to pull a few extras of certain books for you because you’ve worked on them. Add in the somewhat surreal feelings from the first time I saw someone specifically call out my work in their review of the issue and when someone came up to be at Celebration to ask me to sign my work and yeah. Just… wow.
Each essay was fun to write for different reasons but obviously a few of them meant more to me than some of the others. The Padmé essay was the unabashed ode by a proud woman of the Prequel Generation to a character who’s been tragically ignored or put down over the years. I cried multiple times while writing the Leia essay especially while rewatching the panel from Celebration Orlando. The Rose essay was another emotional one for me (although I managed to avoid crying in public while writing it). And then the Hux essay… the Hux essay was just plain fun (and I did not throw away my shot).
At the end of the day, I’m incredibly grateful. I’m grateful to Marvel and Lucasfilm for taking a chance on me and then believing in me and my work enough to let me write thirteen (sometimes very personal) essays about some of their most important characters. I’m grateful to everyone who has ever reached out to tell me how much they really liked one of my essays or how my essay helped them gain a new perspective on the character. And I’m grateful to have contributed even a little to the galaxy far, far away that I love so deeply.