What a match! Tottenham Hotspur went in with the vibes virtually non-existent, five games winless, three home games dropped in a row — and went out and clobbered Newcastle 4-1 at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. That was incredibly cathartic — great performances from virtually everybody, a Richarlison brace, a gol-danged penalty kick taken by someone not named Harry Kane... this match had EVERYTHING.
I’ve been sitting on this theme for a while and I’m not sure why. Probably because it’s going to make a bunch of nerds argue in the comments. Well, that’s okay. Star Wars has been a theme a number of different times over the years, but I’ve never done a small screen version of it, mostly because until recently there hasn’t been enough material to really cover. But there is now, so I thought it’d be fun to rate the Star Wars TV shows in the Disney era. So that’s what we’re going to do.
And before the contrarians pipe up in the comments with the “#Actually all Star Wars is bad and dumb” takes, let me make a statement first: Shut up.
5 stars: Andor
No surprise here, as this show is the most critically acclaimed Star Wars small screen show yet. It is, as Vulture says, “A prequel to a spinoff movie that told the story of the opening crawl of the first Star Wars,” Andor nevertheless takes the thinnest of premises and turns it into a tightly-narrated, tense political thriller without a single goddamn lightsaber in sight. The first few episodes are a slow burn, but the atmosphere is intense, showing all of the various shades of grey present on both sides of the Empire/Rebellion conflict.
Pedro Porro (Community — 4.5): My goodness, what a match. He might’ve gotten a 5 here simply for that long pass to Richarlison alone, but created several big chances and put a shot off the post himself. I think, quite simply, this was his finest performance in a Spurs shirt yet.
Son Heung-Min (Community — 4.5): Superlative. For a guy who was supposedly injured, he sure didn’t play like it. Regularly tortured Kieran Trippier on the left, assisted two goals, and scored from the penalty spot. Happy to see him back wide again, he looks comfortable there.
4.5 stars: The Clone Wars
A cartoon? This high? Yeah, I hear you and yeah, you’re wrong. The animated series might be for kids, but it fleshes out a whole heretofore unexplored era of the Star Wars timeline, introduces several notable (and loveable) characters, and fleshes out the complicated backstory of Anakin Skywalker in the years in between Episodes II & III. In fact, The Clone Wars actually partially redeems both of those movies. It’s a lot of animation, there are good and (really) bad episodes (consider the “essential list” if you’re short on time), but on the whole it’s great, you should watch it.
Richarlison (Community — 4.5): I was so happy for him. Moved well, and at pace, scoring twice which suggests maybe the Richy that we have seen almost his entire tenure was just... playing injured? I hope this is the start of bigger and better things for him.
4 stars: The Mandalorian
The last season of this space Western is closer to 3 stars than 5, but that would take away from what an absolute pleasure it was to follow Din Djarin around for a couple of years in the Razorcrest. I have concerns about the scope of the series and where it goes from here, but
Guglielmo Vicario (Community — 4.0): Strangely, Vicario didn’t have a ton to do in this match but he played comfortably, almost effortlessly, out from the back and didn’t make any crucial errors this time.
Ben Davies (Community — 4.0): Ben has turned out to be about as perfect a squad player as you can have. You don’t expect anything too exceptional out of him, just solid play and this time he outdid himself. His game-saving run and lunging block saved an early goal and he was well up to the task of keeping Newcastle’s attackers in check.
Destiny Udogie (Community — 4.5): In the right place at the right time to tap home Son’s cross for his first goal. Seems to relish the inverted fullback role and everything that comes with it. A good response after a fairly terrible match mid-week.
Dejan Kulusevski (Community — 4.0): Once again excelled in the advanced central midfield role for Spurs. Ange may like him on the right, but I think he’s found his role... at least until Maddison comes back.
Pape Sarr (Community — 4.0): A sneakily very good performance from Pape in his first start since returning from injury. Showed for the ball well, dragged players out of position, and made some excellent runs and passes to create or further scoring opportunities. He was great. Really should’ve converted that goal scoring chance; I think he was as surprised it came to him as anyone.
3.5 stars: Rebels
Another animation? Dustin, srsly. OK fine, but this was an unexpectedly deep show that fills another unexplored niche (the gap in between Episodes III and IV and the birth of the rebel cells that eventually form the Rebellion) and in the process introduces some deep mythology that resonates forward even into the sequel trilogy.
Cuti Romero (Community — 3.5): Solid enough defense, worked hard, passed well out of pressure, but probably should’ve been sent off for that horrible challenge on Wilson. Now he’s sitting on four yellows with three matches before the reset.
Yves Bissouma (Community — 4.0): A couple of loose passes now and then but stabilized the midfield as the deepest player there and had a few crunching tackles. Rarely let Guimaraes or the rest of the Newcastle midfield feel comfortable. Seems to play with more comfort alongside Sarr.
Brennan Johnson (Community — 3.5): Had some super bright moments (hit the crossbar twice), and one bit Ooof (loose pass that led to big Almiron chance). That pace is terrifying. Hopefully the final ball at the byline will come.
3 stars: Ahsoka
Thanks to The Clone Wars, Ahsoka Tano has turned into one of the best and most beloved characters in the Star Wars universe, so the anticipation of this show was incredible... but I’m not sure it did her story or the main characters a ton of service. I’ll just say it — if you hadn’t watched the Clone Wars or (especially) Star Wars: Rebels, to which Ahsoka basically served as a live action extension, I don’t think this show is especially enjoyable because you spent half the time wondering who the hell these people are and why they’re doing what they’re doing. It’s the most fan-servicey Star Wars show of any of them, and while I thoroughly enjoyed it, I’m just not sure it works for anyone not fully in the tank for Star Wars. Sorry, mom.
Giovani Lo Celso (Community — 3.0): He’s been great lately. He was fine today. No complaints.
2.5 stars: Obi-Wan Kenobi
I don’t really know why we needed this show. We know (spoilers!) Obi-Wan ends up a PTSD-afflicted hermit in the Tatooine desert after the fall of the Jedi. We know why he’s there too. Do we really need an entire series of Obi-Wan looking guilt-wracked and hiding? Darth Vader coming back was cool I guess, but it also raised some sticky canonical issues. This show was the answer to a question that nobody really asked.
Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg (Community — 2.5): Looked a little uncomfortable out there in relief, gave the ball away in the buildup to Newcastle’s only goal. Did not play with the level of intensity the situation required, though Spurs had taken their foot off the gas late.
2 stars: The Book of Boba Fett
Nobody really comes off looking especially good in this show. Boba Fett looks incompetent, Fennic Shand looks bored, and those stupid scooters looked... stupid. Terribly plotted, borderline nonsensical, and constantly veers off into wild tangents that have little to do with Tatooine. Just call it another season of the Mandalorian, lean into that part of it, and stop jerking us around.
No Tottenham players were this bad, and isn’t nice to say that?
1 star: Star Wars — Max Rebo
This show doesn’t exist, but does anyone really doubt that if someone put a compelling pitch together about how Max needs to go on a cross-planetary Blues Brothers-esque road trip to get the band back together for a one last big gig at Jabba’s Place (tm), that it would get made? I don’t. And (deep sigh) I’d probably watch it.
No Tottenham players were as bad as the idea of a Max Rebo miniseries.
Tom Carroll Memorial Non-Rating:
Oliver Skipp, Bryan Gil, Jamie Donley
Eric Lamela Memorial Shithouse Award:
Guglielmo Vicario: Googly Elmo had a very good match. What made it an exceptional match was the way he emphatically and repeatedly wound up Callum Wilson over the course of the match — making faces, trash talking, etc. — apparently in retaliation for Wilson making dismissive comments about Richarlison on a podcast earlier in the season. Game respect game.