I like to think that I know my kids pretty well, aside from the fact that I rarely call them by their correct names. I know their favorite colors, foods, sports, books, teams, and TV shows. I know what makes them happiest and what makes them want to go Kylo Ren and impale me with the nearest lightsaber. But last week I was talking to my eight-year-old son about Star Wars and began wondering what is his favorite Star Wars installment if he could choose from the movies, The Clone Wars series, the Star Wars Rebels episodes, and any of the Lego Star Wars episodes. I suggested to my son that after he told me his favorite that we watch it together, dissect it in a very Coffee With Kenobi way, and write a blog about our experience. I’m always interested to get different points of view on Star Wars from fans of different age groups to see how they perceive and process it. And to make sure I’m raising my children properly. This is up for debate since my eleven-year-old son revealed to me recently that he thinks The Empire Strikes Back is boring, as some of you may have read in this blog.
My son didn’t have to think long about his favorite. I assumed he would choose Revenge of the Sith since that is his favorite Star Wars movie. But he said it was The Clone Wars episode from season 3 called “ARC Troopers.” I admit that I struggled to recall the plot of this episode at first. Basically, the Separatists, led by General Grievous and Asajj Ventress, are launching an attack on Kamino to destroy the clone production facilities. It seemed pretty straight forward, but like anything in Star Wars, the deeper we looked, the more that was revealed.
As we sat down to watch “ARC Troopers” we both got our notebooks ready to write down questions, observations, and cool stuff we thought of while watching. The following is some of our discussion during and after we watched, and it’s clear which of us is the over-thinker and which has a solid understanding of Star Wars:
Me: Why is “ARC Troopers” your favorite? (I expected a very deep, profound answer.)
My son: Because I really like the ARC troopers. (No profound answer needed. Just simple and to the point.)
My son: Why is everything so white on Kamino?
Me: I think it symbolizes how sterile and unfeeling the Kaminoans are. They have a job to do and treat the clones like a product and not people. (That should really blow his eight-year-old mind.)
My son: Okay.
Me: Why do the Separatists want to recover and/or destroy the clones and clone DNA on Kamino? (I was sure he was going to say because it would help the Separatists win the war.)
My son: I don’t know! Because isn’t Palpatine in charge of the Separatists too, and if he had them destroy the clones wouldn’t that mean the Separatists would be close to winning the war? The Republic would run out of soldiers. And if the Separatists win the war then how could Palpatine make himself Emperor, because if he did he would have to tell everyone that he was in charge of both sides?
Me: Umm….I’m going to have to get back to you on that one.
My son: Did Ninety-nine know he was going to die when he tried to help the other clones? (Now he’s just trying to challenge me!)
Me: I don’t know. I think so. I think he wanted to show that he was as much of a soldier as they are, and he saw that it was more important to the Republic that Fives and Echo live. (But I also thought I knew everything about Star Wars before this little father-son project started.)
My son: I don’t know if he did or not.
We both noticed some other really cool things that I may not have thought of without watching this with my son. We both noted that Grievous calls Ventress “Assassin,” just like Darth Vader referred to Boba Fett as “bounty hunter” in TESB. Is this done in a condescending way to exert authority over the other? Also, we both found it interesting that Anakin was going to let the clone troopers execute Ventress without a trial, which is a decision Anakin has to make on more than one occasion later on in Star Wars.
I had a lot of fun watching and discussing “ARC Troopers” with my son. I went into it thinking that I was going to educate him on the finer points of The Clone Wars, but instead I came away with questions and answers I’m not sure I would have had if I hadn’t watched with him. His point of view helped add layers to this episode that I probably woudn’t have noticed otherwise. And it was great to be reminded that Star Wars is supposed to be fun, and doesn’t need to be taken too seriously like we adults do sometimes. After, he even told me that he wants to have his own Star Wars blog and website. I shall watch his career with great interest!
Coffee With Kenobi
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