Kids who love Star Wars grow up to be adults who love Star Wars, and some of them take their love of the Saga into the workplace. Meet “Roger-Roger”: a full scale replica battle droid that helps one junior high history teacher educate and entertain in the classroom. Whenever Roger-Roger’s classroom moves on to a new era in history, the battle droid is dressed in period clothing. After seeing Roger-Roger on a Star Wars message board, I reached out to his creator to learn more. The educator agreed to speak, but asked that I do not reveal their identity, location, or user name.
Are you a Star Wars fan, or is Roger-Roger just to amuse the kids?
I’m a huge Star Wars fan. I have loved them ever since I was little. A lot of people talk down about the prequels but I loved them too. The prequels came out when I was in middle school so I always relate them to those days of youthful enthusiasm. Roger-Roger is an outcropping of my love for anything and everything Star Wars with the added benefit of amusing the kids.
What is Roger-Roger made out of?
He is solid pine from his joints, the pegs that hold him together.
What kind of classroom does Roger-Roger live in?
I have a big classroom with around 40 desks. My class changes every couple of weeks to fit the time period that we are discussing. I put up different models and posters and pictures to fit whatever we are learning.
What do you teach? What grade?
Eighth grade history.
Ever have any interesting questions or comments about Roger Roger?
No one in particular sticks out but the best are the kids who walk in on the first day and he is the first thing they notice. The look in their faces reminds me of when I was that age watching Star Wars for the first time. Having something that they know and can relate to (especially something that big and cool looking) makes them feel at home my class almost immediately. Another great thing is seeing the kids who don’t know what Roger-Roger is from talking to the ones who do and trying to figure it out. Some of these kids may be the “uncool” or “unpopular” kids and, all of a sudden, they know something that the others don’t and they get to be the center of attention for a little while.
Does it make it easier for kids to learn when they have things like Roger-Roger?
It most certainly does. Roger-Roger isn’t just a cool thing to look at. He helps the kids. When they come in and see him in a different outfit they know that we have moved on to a different period in history. It helps them organize and conceptualize the hundreds of years of history that we have to fly through in a couple of months.
If you could pick any character from Star Wars and be his/her/its teacher who would it be? What subject would you teach it?
I think it would be cool to teach a young Anakin Skywalker the history of the Jedi. Hopefully I would be able to show him the dangers of the dark side and keep that whole Darth Vader thing from happening. It it used a lot but that old phrase about those who don’t learn from history being doomed to repeat it is very true. I think I could have shown little Anakin the good things that the Jedis did and the dangers of the dark side and changed his future choices for the better.
Anything else? Are you interested in Episode VII?
I await Episode VII with bated breath. I was worried about Disney taking over at first but, after seeing the great job they have been doing with the Marvel movies, my excitement is renewed and then some!