Friday, October 15, 2010

If You've Seen One Clone, You Have Not Seen Them All

My six year old put me in my place last week while ordering Halloween costumes online.

There was a great deal of discussion and debate over what they would be this year. I eventually needed to accept that, although they are barely a year apart, they are not twins like everyone who first meets them thinks they are and they have distinct opinions regarding what makes a cool costume.

Once I’d gotten past that and price restrictions were made clear, my six-year-old stated he wanted to be Commander Fox.

“You want to be a clone trooper?” I asked.

“Commander Fox,” he repeated.

I love Star Wars. I love that my children love Star Wars. I know just about every character from the original trilogy due to my brothers and I owning them in action figure form in such large quantities that it required my parents move an old dresser into the basement to store them when the Darth Vader shaped carrying case nearly burst.

I’ve spent so much time correcting my sons’ classification of characters and detailing of the historical events of the Star Wars universe that I have witnessed more than one argument with their friends over the accuracy of their imaginary Star Wars play time.

“Dad! Joey says that Sandpeople and Jawas are the same thing!”

At times like this, I calmly step in and explain to Joey that “Sandpeople” is actually a term used to describe Tusken Raiders, who were a nomadic, desert-dwelling people who were similar to pirates and rode on large wooly mammoth looking creatures called Banthas. I also usually point out that, while they are easily startled, they return soon, and in greater numbers. The Jawas, on the other hand, were a dwarf-like dessert-dwelling people that used a large tank-like vehicle refered to as a sandcrawler as transport. While the behavior of the Jawas was also ethically suspect, they were more like used car salesmen than pirates.

Joey then stares at me blankly while whichever son was in the argument with him chimes in, “See!”

But now that we are in the era of the Clone Wars, I have been downgraded from expert to novice with the ease of flipping the old, similarly labeled, Atari 2600 switch. As far as my Star Wars knowledge went, a Stormtrooper was a Stormtrooper. They were all reproductions of Jango Fett with greatly reduced target acquisition. With the new trilogy, I merely replaced Stormtrooper with Clone and I thought that was all it took.

My son set me straight.

“This one?”

“No, that’s Commander Cody. I want to be Commander Fox.”

“Oh, this guy?”

“No, dad, that’s Captain Rex. Commander Fox has maroon on his helmet and suit.”

I was humbled. Eventually I found the right costume. It was met with a big sigh as if to say, Finally, you got it.

I suppose I ought to get used to this feeling. I’m sure this will not be the last time that they are better informed on the details of something I thought I was on top of. The balance of Star Wars knowledge in my household has shifted. I just pray that they use this newfound power for good and are not swayed by the Dark Side.

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