“Search your feelings, Anakin.”
“Uhg, but master!” Anakin said, sprawled across a zero gravity recliner with a bag of Space Cheetos sitting in his lap. “Just, like, 5 more minutes, man. I’ll search my feelings after this episode.”
Obi-Wan’s foot tapped against the ground like an angry space woodpecker, but Anakin couldn’t hear him over the mouthful of cheese-flavored junk food powder that he was lazily gumming. “If you want to be treated like a Jedi Knight then you need to start acting like one, young man.”
“I’ve got the sword and the robes and stuff, man. I can do the flips and the mind tricks. I’m, like, pretty much already a jedi. What’s the point in training?” Anakin reached into the now empty snack bag. He brushed it off his lap and let it drift lazily to the floor. “Hey, can you get me another one of those?”
“Anakin Skywalker! I will not allow you to talk to me like that as long as you are living under my roof!”
“Banakin Spybalker bleh bluh bluh bluh blah bleh bleh bluh,” Anakin said, blowing raspberries toward Obi-Wan.
“That is it! I’ll give you until the count of three before I… before I…”
“Before you do what, old man?”
“Before I… I…”
Obi-Wan stood silently, staring as his slack-jawed apprentice flipping between reruns of Real Housewives of Nar Shaddaa and Keeping Up with the Snootles until he could no longer bear the sight. He grabbed the plastic bag from the floor and walked out of the room without uttering a word.
* * *
Obi-Wan returned later that evening, eyes dried and wounds licked. Anakin was in a slightly augmented version of his previous position, his legs dangling slightly farther over the arm of the chair. On the television, a dug’s snout was being slammed up against the hood of his speeder by a couple of Coruscant police officers. Obi-Wan tossed a bag of chips Anakin, who replied with a curt grunt, and pulled up a zero-gravity stool next to the boy’s zero-gravity recliner.
“Look, I’m sorry that I snapped at you earlier. It’s just… when I was this age, I was so eager. I wanted nothing more than to wake up in the morning and hone my connection with the force or do that thingy with the floating laser ball. Why, I remember this one time that Qui Gon and I…” A ghost of a smile appeared in the corner of Obi-Wan’s mouth, but he shook it off. “Not important right now. My point is, I wouldn’t be the Jedi I am today if I didn’t learn the most powerful technique a Jedi can know; I put forth some Force Effort. That is what makes you a Jedi. Not the robes, not the lightsaber, but the way you live your life. A Jedi greets the day by saying ‘What secrets of the Force can I unlock today?’ or ‘How can I make the galaxy a better place?’ I know that life in the Order isn’t easy and that your case is an atypical one, but you can’t let that stop you from being all that you can be.”
“Hold up, can you, like, say that again? I missed it because of the show or whatever.”
“It’s fine Anakin, it was nothing.” Obi-Wan sighed. He stood up, shoved the stool away with his foot, and made his way for the door.
Obi-Wan stopped, his thumb hovering over the door controls, and turned to face the boy. “Yes, Anakin? What is it?”
“Can you go get me a soda? These Space Cheetos are, like, hella salty and rough and get everywhere in my teeth and stuff.”
“Make sure it isn’t diet! I don’t diet! It’s bland and has a weird aftertaste and gets-”
“I know, Anakin. I’ll be back soon.”
Obi-Wan left the small Jedi Temple dormitory and headed for the nearest for the nearest 7-1138.