The Power of Little Redboots

You’ve probably never heard of my daughter’s favorite Star Wars character.

Her name is Little Redboots. She’s best friends with the Rancor, is a Sith warrior of immense power, and is four years old.

She has a GNK power droid who she liberated from Jawas, is an ambassador to the Ewoks, and had helped Obi-Wan Kenobi and Ankakin Skywalker throw a surprise party for Count Dooku.

If you ask Betty why Little Redboots isn’t in any of the Star Wars movies, she’ll explain, exasperated: “She’s just in stories!”

Betty has captured something that I had back when the only action figure my step-brother was comfortable with me handling was Greedo. Right now, Star Wars is a mailable world. Her imagination is free to run wild in a rich and structured world. Eventually, someone will come along and complain that there’s no *real* Little Redboots, but as she’s already demonstrated, Betty knows the difference between canon and non-canon Star Wars. I’m not about to tell her there’s no four-year-old Sith girls running around pulling pranks on people.

This flexibility may end up serving her well, also.

Over on Winter Is Coming, people are discussing HBO’s upcoming series Game of Thrones. There have been numerous fan blow-ups regarding “offenses” that have occurred during the translation from book to show. I think of it as a lack of imaginative fluidity.

Maybe a character doesn’t look how fans imagined, or weapons have the wrong hilts, armor isn’t functionally correct, costumes aren’t fancy enough, etc. It’s enough to “completely ruin” that aspect of the series for some. Most of this is like water off a duck’s back for me, because when *I* played Star Wars, Greedo had a sword and could jump super high. My friend insisted that Han Solo had several extra layers of skin that protected him from blaster shots.

Sometimes my adult head gets in the way, like if I’m upset about a younger, prettier actress being cast in a role I felt was described as a worn middle-aged woman. However, eventually the spirit of play kicks in and I roll with it. Why? Because the existing story will remain no matter what happens in the offshoots.

This is the power of Little Redboots: Not only is she able to interact with the Star Wars stories, but she’s able to alter their outcome. Luke doesn’t have to kill the Rancor, because Little Redboots asks them not to fight. Luke never goes to Mos Eisley space port because Little Redboots tells him that she’ll take care of the droids so he can get his power converters.

Now if you ask her, “Who went to Mos Eisley space port?” she doesn’t say, “Little Redboots.” She says, “Luke.” She knows the difference between the movies and her own stories. One doesn’t mess up the other one.

Whenever I hear people complaining about adaptation and remakes, I always think back to the first time a kid told me that Greedo can’t have a sword because Greedo never had a sword in the movies. It was *impossible* for him to act out a scenario that wasn’t in the movies. He was so opposed to it that he almost threw a tantrum. I went along with it just so we could actually play.

I’m sure Betty will run into this situation sometime in the future. Hopefully, though, the days of Little Redboots will ensure she’s the one who’s able to compromise in the name of fun.

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About paulgude

Paul Gude writes small books, makes stupid music, draws silly pictures, and does weird things on stage.
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2 Responses to The Power of Little Redboots

  1. Mokes says:

    I love these posts about Star Wars and Betty SO MUCH! When I was little, I had my own scenarios: one was Space Sally, a game I played on the beach, that involved Space Sally being in a fort and bombarded with rocks, but then emerging victorious.

    Also, I grew up in a carpet store (antique carpets, Turkish, etc.) and was Rug Girl. I would jump from pile to pile of carpets and save the world daily.

    These things are vital. We lose touch with them as we get older, which makes me sad. I had SUCH A GOOD TIME playing both Rug Girl and Space Sally. Perhaps I’ll go build a fort…

  2. Larisa says:

    Hurray for you and Little Redboots! Derrick would be so jealous if I showed him this post. I am sad for the kids who feel they have to “color within the lines” even in fantasy play. (When I was a child I had an imaginary horse whom I would tether to the car as we drove to and from school every day, and he would run alongside the car on the shoulder. If we weren’t in the lane closest to the shoulder? It’s OK, he was an imaginary horse on an imaginary tether, so it worked out just fine.)

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