Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Star Wars Conversations Over Lunch

boingboing.net - How cool is this???On Sunday, after learning some celebratory news from some church friends, we received an impromptu invitation to lunch afterwards. Quite impromptu, considering we received the invitation while driving alongside one another at about 35 miles an hour with the windows down. Anyways, these friends are the homeschooling friends we mentioned in this previous post. (we have since learned of a couple of other homeschooling families) Apparently their 3 children are fans of mine, as I am of them, seeing as we are often spotted playing together after church.

Their children had been asking me Star Wars questions after church. They are much more intelligently inquisitive about SW than I ever was as at that age. (consequently, I foresee that they will be much more intelligent than I was at the corresponding age) The discussion continued at lunch. Their father (who I can imagine would've fit the typical Georgia Tech techie mold quite well, and still does, I shall call him Father Techie) and I fielded the questions as best as we could. Here are some of the things we discussed:

Question from 7 year old Daughter K: What did Leia do? As in, what was her role in the Rebellion? Goodness child, when I was your age, she was just Princess Leia. She didn't need to do anything. She just was. But nay, this maiden is very smart, precocious, and inquisitive. She wants to know what Leia did. We told her that Leia was a politician and a princess, so she had the big name recognition. She was diplomatic and good at gaining people's trust. She was good at bypassing typical bureaucratic regulations and getting things done quickly.

Say you are the owner of a repair shop for old Y-wing starfighters. If some random person comes to you and says he really needs spare parts for a Y-wing, you would be wary. After all, this could be an Imperial spy trying to out you. Then again, if Princess Leia came to you and asked for spare parts, you would be more willing to trust her. I think eventually she came to understand Princess Leia's role in the Rebellion.

Question from Father Techie: Why did the Empire even bother with big cumbersome AT-ATs? (those are the big four legged walkers that were in Episode V, on the snowy planet) After all, they can be taken out very easily by one person with a grenade, or one little speeder with a tow cable. I told him that AT-ATs were probably a pork barrel project of sorts. Some influential senator or two probably had production or manufacturing facilities in his district and fought tooth and nail to keep the big cumbersome inefficient AT-ATs from being stricken from that year's "defense" budget.

More question from kids: How old was Luke when he first fought Darth Vader? I believe Luke was 18 when he blew up the first Death Star. Technically you could say that that was their first encounter, since Vader tried to shoot Luke down. This did not suffice for Daughter K. She wanted to know how old he was when they first met, face to face. (I should have asked her why she wanted to know). Father Techie and I tried to recall how many years had passed between Episodes 4 and 5. We surmised it probably wasn't more than 3, so the answer was that he was no older than 21 when he first fought Darth Vader face to face.

Daughter K thought it was very important to learn as much as she could about Leia. Most of her questions concerned Princess Leia and her doings... I suspect it's because of the Princess title. We talked about why she was on the Death Star (Empire found out she was working for the Rebellion) what was happening to Leia on the Death Star (torture), why it was happening (the location of the secret Rebel base), why the Rebels had to have a secret base, which necessitated an explanation of the concept of guerrilla warfare. So you see, one thing leads to another and conversations about Star Wars turn out educational sometimes. One day when Daughter K and Strapping Lad B are studying history and learning about insurgencies and asymmetric warfare (WW II resistance movements, Iraq, Afghanistan, every.single.Latin.American.country's.history, etc.), they will fondly recall lunchtime discussions with JunkMale, over burritoes and Mexican rice.

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