Star Wars and The Strand: The Week in Pop-Culture Writing

Highlights from seven days of reading about entertainment

The Strand's Stand: How It Keeps Going in the Age of Amazon
Christopher Bonanos | Vulture
"Those new books are profitable because of a source almost unique to the Strand: broke editorial assistants."

Star Wars: The Force Awakens Trailer: A Deep Dive
Darren Franich | EW
"Ending on a shot of the Falcon feels like a clear statement of purpose from new franchise steersman J.J. Abrams: 'Remember all the fun stuff? We brought that back.'"

Trading Spaces Set a High Standard for Reality TV That Has Not Been Matched Since
Libby Hill | The A.V. Club
"These were people with a passion for design who were determined to share their creative gifts with the less artistically fortunate of the population."

Shady XLII: Eminem in 2014
Molly Lambert | Grantland
"I’m sure he feels like the same angry boy from Detroit he has always been, but it’s as if he’s been frozen in amber for the last decade while the world has changed around him."

Is Beyoncé the Future of Digital Cinema?
Phillip Maciak | Slate
"On Nov. 5, Christopher Nolan released Interstellar ... And on Friday night, Beyoncé released “7/11,” a music video she seemingly shot on her iPhone, crafted to take full advantage of the interactive possibilities of Twitter, Vine, and Tumblr, and presented to the world while it wasn’t paying attention."

The Gaming Industry's Greatest Adversary Is Just Getting Started
Sheelah Kolhatkar | Businessweek
"As online hatred has continued to pour in, Sarkeesian’s voice has only gotten louder."

Killer Mike's St. Lois Blues: Live From Tuesday's Run the Jewels Show
Ben Westhoff | Deadspin
"Many believe mainstream rap hasn't gone hard enough for the #ferguson cause, but Killer Mike plunged directly into that void and emerged a leader."

The Man Who Made Tetris
Jagger Gravning | Motherboard
"I’m at the wheel of a Tesla with a license plate that reads, simply: TETRIS. Alexey Pajitnov, the creator of that legendary video game, rides shotgun."

How The Hunger Games Challenges Old Hollywood Expectations About Gender Roles
Allison Willmore | BuzzFeed
"Katniss is the action hero, and Peeta, in Mockingjay — Part 1 more than ever, is the damsel in distress."