Thursday, May 25, 2017

Star Wars as Baseball

May 25, 1977, 40 years ago today: Star Wars premieres. Or, as it's officially known now, Star Wars, Episode IV: A New Hope.

May the Fortieth be with you.

If Star Wars were a baseball game...

Dark Side

Batting 1st, center field, Willhuff Tarkin. The Grand Moff of the Death Star, played by legendary British actor Peter Cushing, was a prototypical center fielder: Tall, lean and ruthless, prepared to play both offense and defense. An ideal leadoff man.

Batting 2nd, 3rd base, Ben Solo/Kylo Ren. It might be a little early to put him in the lineup, but he is the Rookie of the Year.

Batting 3rd, right field, Count Dooku/Darth Tyrannus. The Jedi-turned-Sith of the prequels was even taller, and, despite his age, as deadly as ever. He might be the David Ortiz of this team -- but hardly fat, and able to play defense. Given his World War II heroism, his friendship (founded in The War) with James Bond creator Ian Fleming, his status as the anti-Bond in The Man With the Golden Gun, and his role as Sauron in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, Christopher Lee has been called "the most metal man ever" -- even though he was not known for wearing metal.

Batting 4th, pitcher, Emperor Palpatine/Darth Sidious. Also the manager. Throws "Force lightning."

Batting 5th, 1st base, Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader. The armor doesn't really restrict his movement, but he looks like a big hulking player who might not field well, and thus would be stuck at 1st base in a league that doesn't have the designated hitter. However, since he was on the Light Side before turning to the Dark Side, that might qualify him as a "switch-hitter."

Batting 6th, catcher, Darth Maul. Swings a big stick, but he did catch something.

Batting 7th, shortstop, SS Jango Fett. Does considerably more than his "son." The team wishes it had some clones of him.

Batting 8th, 2nd base, Qymaen jai Sheelal/General Grievous. Quick and versatile. Not especially healthy, though.

Batting 9th, left field, Boba Fett. Doesn't do much. Just sort of stands there, thinking he looks cool.

Jabba the Hutt wouldn't be of much use. Besides, he didn't work for the Empire.

You don't need to root for the Dark Side. This isn't the team you're looking for.

Light Side

Batting 1st, shortstop, Leia Organa. Carrie Fisher was short, but also rangy and versatile, as shortstops tended to be. She's also the manager: Princess, Senator and General. Even though Yoda does bear a bit of a resemblance to Casey Stengel. The bench coach, like Don Zimmer, he can be, hm? Pitch count, hmpf! Long relief, hmpf! A Jedi craves not these things.

Batting 2nd, left field, Qui-Gon Jinn. Like most Liam Neeson characters, he was a good defender whose ideas "came out of left field."

Batting 3rd, center field, Han Solo. The Rick Blaine of outer space went from caring only about his own interests to wanting to save the galaxy, and remained cool as hell, so he certainly showed enough range to be a good center fielder. And, unlike Rick at the end of Casablanca, did get the girl in the end.

Batting 4th, catcher, Chewbacca. Big strong hitter. Good defense. Keeps pitchers in line by threatening to rip their arms off when they lose.

Batting 5th, starting pitcher, Mace Windu. Would have beaten Palpatine if Anakin hadn't stepped in. That's how powerful he was. Imagine the brushbacks that Samuel L. Jackson would throw if he were a pitcher.

Batting 6th, 3rd base, Obi-Wan Kenobi. More the prequel version played by Ewan McGregor than the "old man" whose "powers are weak" played by Alec Guinness. Young Obi-Wan would have had Brooks Robinson-style defense and Mike Schmidt-style power.

Batting 7th, 2nd base, Padme Amidala. A mother-daughter double-play combination? Why not? She did prove she could hold her own in a fight in Episode II.

Batting 8th, right field, R2-D2. Not especially mobile, but valuable.

Batting 9th, 1st base, C-3PO. Kind of stiff, and might not field well, and thus would be stuck at 1st base in a league that doesn't have the designated hitter. On the other hand, he has a gold glove. Literally.

Did I forget somebody? No:

Pinch-hitter off the bench, Luke Skywalker. What else would you consider him -- in Episode IV, Episode V, Episode VI or Episode VII?

Relief Pitcher, Lando Calrissian. He was very sneaky, he sort of painted corners, did what had to be done within the rules, and was the closer in Episode VI.

It remains to be seen how the next generation -- Rey, Finn, Poe and the others -- would fare on the field.

Jar Jar Binks isn't even allowed to buy a ticket to see the game.

How does this game end? With Boba Fett pinch-hitting, and taking a called third strike from Lando. Ballgame over. Rebels win. Theeeeeeee Rebels win.

No comments: