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Monday, October 7, 2013

Power of the Force Rankings: Mixed Division

All the talk nowadays is about "seeding predictions," but we know you've really been hankering for another round of UltiWhirled Power Rankings.  This time: the Power of the Force Rankings, in which teams are paired up with appropriate Star Wars characters, and ranked accordingly.  Nobody gets to be Luke or Anakin. 

Just for fun, and to give it a little 'Club Championships' spin, we've included a "Frisco  Tip" for each team, a little piece of advice from UltiWhirled for finding success at Nationals. 

May the force be with you!


1) Cosa Nostra: Jabba The Hutt
Probably a handler. 
Cosa Nostra takes its name from a popular term for the mafia, and no Star Wars character is more like an old-school mob boss than Jabba the Hutt.  Immense, powerful, wealthy, and immune to Jedi mind tricks, he’s the head of a criminal empire that dabbles in everything from slavery, to smuggling, to leaving behind slime trails so gross they ought to be illegal.  

Frisco Tip: When a Jedi dressed in orange gives you a warning, pay attention. 

2) Wild Card: Lando Calrissian
The ultimate wildcard, Lando appears suddenly in the plot and dives headlong into shocking betrayal, the pursuit of redemption, and eventual heroism on an epic scale.  Lando somehow managed to lose the fastest ship in the galaxy to Han Solo in a game of cards, and we have a sneaking suspicion that he went all-in during a game of Uno.  

Frisco Tip: Double-check the hyperdrive.

3) Drag’N Thrust: X-Wing
Small, one-man fighters.  No shit.  These ships can hit a womp-rat-sized target while under fire and hurtling down a narrow trench.  And they look totally sweet, too.  Sure, nobody’s quite sure why the wings flip out like that, but it kind of gives the whole thing a Lamborghini feel.  Drag’N Thrust gets the X-Wing because…well…they fly and breathe fire (sort of).  

Frisco Tip: Don’t let Porkins drive. 

4) The Ghosts: Spectral Jedi
Seriously, why did this change?
This one’s a touch obvious, perhaps, but the spectral spirits of the dead Jedi Masters are pretty awesome nonetheless.  Bonus points for “Use the force, Luke.”  Un-bonus points for subbing Hayden Christensen into the Return of the Jedi DVD.  

Frisco Tip: It’s not a pick if you’re incorporeal. 

5) 7Express: The Millennium Falcon
If any team can make the Kessel Run in under twelve parsecs, it’s 7 Express, named after an express train route in New York’s subway system.  Apparently the “Super-Express” train runs straight to Mets games, but, really, who wants to go see the Mets?  The Falcon, on the other hand, is great—even if it is a little dirty and heavily used.  

Frisco Tip: Do not hide in that cave.  Trust us.

6) 7 Figures: The Cloud City
7 Figures is a self-described golf and polo club, interested in the expensive and fine things in life.  The Cloud City is basically the country club of Star Wars.  The Cloud City is short on defensive systems, but it’s the site of the most epic reveal in movie history.  

Frisco Tip: you might want to throw some locks on the doors to your utility tunnels. Someone could get hurt down there. 

7) Odyssee: Mon Mothma
Coach of the Year
Mon Mothma is calm and reserved on-screen, dishing out orders on how to destroy the Death Star, but she has a seriously epic history behind the scenes, an odyssey (get it?) that includes imprisonment, escape, war, and the founding of the Rebel Alliance.  Like Mon Mothma, Odyssee is a mystery, and much of their story happens off-screen (in Canada, in French, no less), so you’ll probably never know about it.  

Frisco Tip: Lighten up a bit; you’re dragging the mood down in the mission briefings. 

8) Chad Larson Experience: Figrin D’An and the Modal Nodes
Wait, who did I have?
Yes.  That’s the name of the cantina band.  Let that soak in for a minute.  Much like CLX, the cantina band is simultaneously bizarre and positively normal.  The Nodes help to set the tone for that Cantina scene, and they have that one really sweet song.  If the Chad Larson Experience can achieve the same energy at whatever passes for a Daiquiri Deck in Frisco, they should have a great weekend.  

Frisco Tip: Try something with lyrics. 

9) Ambiguous Grey: Boba Fett
Who is Boba Fett?  That’s a clone question, bro.  The kickass bounty hunter is one of the most ambiguous characters in the original trilogy.  Is he a good guy because he hunts down criminals, or a bad guy because the criminals he hunts are the good guys?  Where did he get that sweet jetpack?  Why doesn’t he speak?  Most importantly, did he manage to survive the Sarlacc pit, or was he slowly digested over the course of a thousand years?  We may never know. 

Frisco Tip: Silent stalling doesn’t count. 

10) Slow White: Storm Troopers
They’re slow, they’re dressed in white, and they can’t aim for shit.  You can count on one hand the blaster shots that storm troopers manage to land in the original trilogy.  Not a good sign for Slow White’s deep game.  To top it off, they’re absolutely terrible at hide-and-seek (hint: those were the droids you were looking for).  

Frisco Tip: Use cute animal stickers on your helmets to express your individuality.

11) Cahoots: Watto
Watto is totally a sleaze-ball, but he probably fits right in with Cahoots…primarily because he’s in cahoots with several other shady characters to run his price-gouging chop shop.  You know he’s a seedy fellow when Qui-Gonn has to invoke the Hutts to keep Watto honest.  

Frisco Tip: Save money on team hotel rooms by challenging manager to a roll of the chance cube.

12) Polar Bears: Wampa
Doesn't wear cleats.
The giant space-yeti that thrashes Luke in the beginning of Empire Strikes Back is pretty vicious and intimidating.  He thrives in the sub-zero temperatures of Hoth, but a simple lightsaber amputation sends him running.  You have to feel iffy about his chances of holding up well in the Texas heat.  

Frisco Tip: Swing by the Savage tent if you’re looking for a date.   

13) Mischief: Salacious Crumb
Few characters in Star Wars bring as much raw enjoyment of life to the table as Mischief does to ultimate, but Salacious Crumb might be one of them.  For the uninitiated, Crumb is that weird critter who hangs out next to Jabba and shrieks with laughter whenever anyone does anything.  He seems like a mischievous guy, and his name is Salacious Crumb, so we totally had to include him.  

Frisco tip: Watch out for droids with Tasers!

14) Steamboat: The Stolen Imperial Shuttle
It’s hot property, it’s beat-up, it has totally B.S. security codes, and it definitely shouldn’t have worked…but, hey, it did!  Similarly, Steamboat seems like they have absolutely no business getting past the Frisco defense shield, but for some unknown reason Darth Vader seems to have let them through.  

Frisco Tip: I don’t know…fly casual. 

15) AMP: Sebulba
That fast cutter who can't turn well.
We struggled a bit with this one, but we settled on Sebulba for a few reasons.  He’s a highly-ranked favorite in competition.  He’s always amped to the limit, on the racetrack and off.  He’s also the guy we could most easily imagine spitting on an opponent during a match (too soon?).  

Frisco Tip: Cops in Texas aren’t allowed to exceed 275mph, so if you get pulled over, just gun it. 

16) The D’OH Abides: Jar-Jar Binks
D’OH Abides draws the most Simpsonian of Star Wars characters: Jar-Jar Binks.  He’s a slapsticky fool, who never seems to learn from his mistakes, and he mostly just gets in the way of sensible people trying to avert war.  He has good intentions, but he’s more likely to inadvertently bring about the end of democracy than help. Thanks, D’OH.  

Frisco Tip: To ease tensions, resolve all contested calls in a thick Gungan accent.

Honorable Mention: Blackbird: Admiral Motti
He barely survives an early choking incident at the hands of Vader, only to be blown straight to hell in the Battle of Yavin.  Yikes.  

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