The theme of the short story “Star Food” is that you cannot create ambition. Not everyone is ambitious. Another theme is the conflict between parents’ expectations of their child and children’s success.
In the story, young Dade never seems to be able to amount to much. Even when he sets out to try to be more ambitious and catch the shoplifters, he ends up letting one go. He simply does not have the passion, ambition, and drive that his parents have.
The difference between Dade’s views of himself and his parents’ are the key here. Dade wants to please his parents, but he cannot find himself on the roof of their grocery store. When he tries to settles with himself and become the person they want him to be, he fails miserably.