I’m not sure if any of you know this, but there’s a new Star Wars movie out now. Something about a Death Star. I haven’t seen it, but I plan to the week of Christmas, so don’t you dare spoil it for me.
We’ve done Star Wars as a theme a couple of times before for player ratings, but we’ve never narrowed the focus like this. Punk and I sat down and hammered out the category descriptions this afternoon, which was a lot of fun. With the release of a new Star Wars movie, this seems like a good time. The irony is that, as far as I know, Rogue One doesn’t actually include any Jedi in it (DON’T TELL ME SHHHHHHHH!). But we won’t worry about that.
5 stars: Anakin Skywalker
Anakin is a bad-ass. Yes, he’s a whiny brat for most of the prequel trilogy and the whole of the Clone Wars, but you can’t deny his power. He’s the most powerful force user in 1000 years, undone only through love (blearrgh). Even after losing his arms and legs via a combination of hubris and Obi-Wan-with-the-high-ground, he has enough command of the force to hunt the Jedi to the verge of extinction, build two Death Stars, and destroy a planet. As a middle-age quadriplegic (presumably with a spare tire under the armor) he still destroys the Sith and fulfills the prophecy of bringing balance to the Force. He just had to kill a bunch of children, destroy the Jedi Order, and spend 30 years as a bad guy to do it.
Christian Eriksen: Wow. Even by the Hull-Is-Trash standards by which we’re judging this match, that was a super impressive performance by our #23. He was everywhere in the midfield, passing well, pressing high, and causing havoc. Five goals in his last four. Holy smokes.
Kyle Walker: Yet another fantastic match down the right flank from Kyle. Set up Eriksen’s second with a wonderful fizzing ball across the face of goal, and had one of the best long range low passes I’ve seen this year to Moussa Sissoko in the first half.
Danny Rose: If I’m giving five stars to Walker, I have to also for Rose who was equally good. Hull are awful, and Rose had acres of space to work with. Great move and pass in the box to set up Eriksen’s first goal. Are there two better fullbacks in the EPL right now than Walker and Rose.
4 stars: Obi-Wan Kenobi
Obi-Wan Kenobi is one of the most important characters in Star Wars. While we first saw him as the wise old man helping out and, in a couple of instances, saving Luke from certain dismemberment (Mos Eisley, anyone?), we saw glimpses of his abilities. Jedi mind tricks, stealthy movements, and even taking on Vader in a light saber battle: All of this showed that Obi-Wan in his older age was still powerful. In the prequels, Obi-Wan had three large victories in the form of Darth Maul, General Grievous, and Darth Vader pre-life support suit. Let's also remember that he was considered strong and wise enough to sit on the Jedi Council by Revenge of the Sith. However, Obi-Wan doesn't get the top spot here for one simple reason: He didn't kill a dark side Anakin, at that point officially dubbed Darth Vader, when he had the chance. Sure, he defeated his former apprentice, and while the argument can be made that he assumed it was over after chopping off his limbs and watching him burn, the mission was to destroy the Sith. He only slowed him down, allowing Vader to become Lord of the Sith anyways.
Jan Vertonghen: Playing as the left sided defender in a back three, Jan looked comfortable there, as he should considering he can play left back quite capably. Had several long passes from deep (including the one to Rose that set up the first goal) and should’ve scored in the second half after dribbling into the box.
Toby Alderweireld: Anchored the back line as the most central defender and was his usual rock in the heart of Spurs’ defense. There’s no better choice to put in the middle of a back three than Toby.
Eric Dier: Four stars for all the central defenders! Dier in the same squad as Wanyama only really makes sense if he’s playing defense, and Dier looked very solid as the right sided defender. Starting to think Eric’s evolved Pokemon form is really Philipp Lahm.
Hugo Lloris: Hull had a couple of decent chances on goal, and Hugo was there to make two key stops. His low block of Jake Livermore’s shot was especially good. With a lesser keeper, Spurs might have conceded at least one goal to the Tigers.
Harry Winks: That was a very, very nice shift from Winksy, who was exceedingly calm in possession, passed the ball very well (only misplaced one pass), was progressive, and even had a nice shot that went just wide. I’m all in on Harry Winks, you guys. The chips are in the middle of the table.
Moussa Sissoko: This was, with the possible exception of the 2-0 win over Manchester City, easily Sissoko’s best match in a Spurs shirt. He dribbled past Hull players with regularity and looked dangerous while doing so. His end product still needs work, and that’s concerning, but if he can start playing like this against non-trash opposition, it bodes well for his future with the team.
3.5 stars: Mace Windu
Mace Windu may have gone out (in the words of Samuel L. Jackson) kinda like a punk, but there’s no denying he was an amazing Jedi. No, he didn’t see the Emperor coming, and he made a critical error in judgement by confronting Palpatine with only three Jedi masters (instead of, y’know, EVERYBODY), but even so he very nearly took out Palpatine in single combat and saved everyone a lot of trouble before he got his hands cut off by the one guy stronger in the Force than him. As a character in the prequel trilogies, he was lame. As a Jedi, he was a bad-ass motherf***er.
Victor Wanyama: Did well to get his goal, and credit to Victor for being at the right place to receive it (Kane juuuuuuuust missed getting a boot to it). Otherwise, Wanyama was solid enough, though seemed to have a little trouble with Hull’s midfielders, especially Jake Livermore.
3 stars: Yoda
Who doesn’t love Yoda? He’s short, green, and incredibly powerful. But there are serious problems with his judgement. He was easily duped by one Sith lord and a parade of subordinates, and when the crap hits the fan and he loses a (close) fight against a disfigured Palpatine, his reaction isn’t to retreat and start organizing a guerrilla organization of Force wielders, it’s to say “Welp, I guess I live in a swamp now.” What a quitter. Plus, he’s a bad teacher (though training Luke was probably like trying to teach Biff Tannen calculus).
Dele Alli: Surprisingly quiet in a match that you thought he’d take over. Sprung past Hull’s back line in the first half with a great run and probably should’ve scored, and had another weak attempt on goal. If Alli’s going to have a midseason lull, this is a pretty good time to do it against terrible competition, so whatever.
Harry Kane: Meh. Not his best, but he didn’t have to be for this one. He was fine.
Son Heung-Min: Came in as a substitute for Kane. He ran around a bit. Moving on!
2 stars: Kylo Ren
This is maybe a stretch because you can make the argument that Ben Solo was never a Jedi to begin with, but there’s no denying he’s a trash-ass Force user, so I’m including him here. He’s obviously got the family midichlorians, but this is a dude so wracked with doubt that he comes unhinged at the slightest provocation and can’t top a completely untrained Rey who had never picked up a lightsaber before. It’s a shame that he’s obviously going to end up in some sort of redemptive arc before the end of Episode IX, because he’s bad. Maybe he’ll get better after
Jar Jar Lord Snoke completes his training.
This was Hull, so everybody was good.
1 star: Luke Skywalker
I can already hear the whining and shock about how hot a take this is, but hear us out: Luke was a bad Jedi.
His claim to fame is blowing up the Death Star, which is good! However, he was not a Jedi at the time of that. Yes, he was force sensitive but he hadn't come anywhere close to learning how to utilize those powers. All he had was Obi-Wan Kenobi whispering "USE THE FORCE!" over and over again. If he was just a pilot in the Rebellion, he would be one of the best simply from blowing up the Death Star. In The Empire Strikes Back we get to see the "training" he goes through, which is perhaps the shortest training any Jedi has ever received. It didn't last more than a couple of days, unless he went through reverse time dilation. While he holds his own against Vader, there was never the belief he was powerful enough to kill the Sith Lord, and that's proven when he gets his hand cut off. When we hit Return of the Jedi, he's learned some force moves and all, but when you look at what he accomplishes, it really isn't all that impressive. He needed a ton of help to save Leia from Jabba and it takes Vader turning back to the light side to prevent him from being toasted by the Emperor.
Luke, as a Jedi, was bad.
No Tottenham Hotspur players were as bad as Luke Skywalker.