What happened to peace, man? (or how George Lucas has ruined my children)

strong in you, is the force little

What percentage of my daily conversation involves the word blaster? I’d say 50%. What about rifle? 42%. How about pistol? A whopping 60%!

Within the last year my boys have one by one become enamoured of all things Clone Wars; not Star Wars mind you. Don’t try to pull out any of your childhood knowledge of Leia and Ewoks. Very uncouth. The Clone Wars is the Pre-Star Wars stuff. It’s located somewhere between Episode 2 and 3. Anakin (a.k.a Darth Vader for all of you old people) is still on the good side. We’ve yet to see Order 66, so the clones have not yet turned to the dark side and the Jedi population is flourishing. I can not believe I know all this. It’s only the tip of the proverbial iceberg, the kind they probably have on Hotha (ha!). So what draws my boys to The Clone Wars and I mean really draws? We have videos, books, action figures, lego guys, computer games, comic books and even fruit snacks. And weapons. A full arsenal of plastic weaponry. A blaster that in all it’s glory is actually longer than little is tall. He stands and holds it and my heart breaks a little. I always think of the child soldiers of Rwanda with their tiny bodies and big guns. Of course the plastic blaster situation is not nearly so dire or horrifying.

Their play revolves around the Clone Wars about 85% of the time and when it doesn’t it’s some offshoot of the Clone Wars, like Jedi Garfield and the Sith Nermal or something like that.

I don’t get it. It’s good vs. bad. Light vs. Dark. Clones vs. Droids. It’s always one vs. another. Someone is always the hero and someone is always the bad guy. Except when nobody wants to be the bad guy so the good guys fight. Usually it’s not too hard to get middle to volunteer.

When I was a girl I played veterinarian and teacher. I may have occasionally played Buck Rogers, but I was always the damsel in distress (cringe). I don’t understand their obsession with all this good vs. bad stuff, so I tried to learn more…

Dare you cross me, dark lord?

This week’s question: What happened to peace, man? had a very interesting answer. I gathered information on the topic from The Male Brain by Louann Brizendine, M.D. and The Purpose of Boys by Michael Gurian.

Brizendine shares scientific research on the male brain throughout different parts of a man’s life. This is what Dr. Brizendine had to say; during the period she calls the juvenile phase, boys are experiencing a higher level of a hormone that builds their brain circuits for “boy” behaviors (winning, chasing, protecting, defending, wrestling). by puberty this hormonal level will decrease rapidly and instead be replaced by a twentyfold increase in testosterone.  So there’s that trade-off… Boys already have 10 to 20 times more testosterone than girls, so multiply that times 20 and you’ve got a lot of  Terminator movies.

To take this brain research further, Gurian extrapolates on what these brain differences mean in a boy’s life, particularly his sense of purpose. This age range is a time when Gurian believes that boys are trying to build their self-esteem by finding their own magical powers and being a hero. They’re acting out their own hero fantasies and while doing so feeling more powerful themselves. I think this quote says it all:

“Boys are searching for their own power to help others by identifying with those that help… They are gaining courage to become important young men by watching and enjoying heroes who are constantly tested and challenged.” (Gurian, p. 38)

Brotherhood means nothing in the fight against the dark side!

That totally and completely sums up The Clone Wars. Those people are ALWAYS fighting with someone, and for a very good reason (like intergalactic peace). They battle and win, but also lose sometimes. I guess there’s an important message there too. You can bet that those Jedis and the ultimate fighting clones, built from the DNA of a bounty hunter (just the thing I want my three-year old to be well-versed in).

I suppose this helps me understand what the draw is but just once in a while could we please play veterinarian? Pretty Please?


1 Response to “What happened to peace, man? (or how George Lucas has ruined my children)”

  1. March 9, 2011 at 3:32 pm

    Wow. You have some serious knowledge of Clone Wars. Maybe your next book should be in the fantasy genre? Just kidding. Writing is probably one of your only escapes from the droid battlefield.


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