Star Wars, Casting, Carson Wentz, Luke Skywalker
Emperor Palpatine as Bill Belichick is a no-brainer. Twitter

Metro Sports editors Matt Burke (Boston), Evan Macy (Philadelphia) and Joe Pantorno (New York) prepped for Star Wars week by casting the most popular athletes in U.S. sports today in their proper roles. Some were layups (Bill Belichick as Emperor Palpatine … the hoodie cinches it), most were highly disputed. The following is the list we settled on, but the debate rages on.


Luke Skywalker: Carson Wentz

Reason: Generally viewed as the consummate professional/good guy.


Debate: Joe (NY) wanted Eli Manning as Luke, as Eli had member(s) of his (sports) family (McAdoo/Reese) try to cut him down. Eli is generally hated in New York and Philly, though, so Eli doesn't quite fly on a national stage. Matt (Boston): “I want to root against Wentz, but I can’t yet. There’s plenty of time to find a reason, but we’re just not there yet. Also, Wentz’ ACL this past Sunday went the way of Luke’s arm in The Empire Strikes Back, so it’s a great fit."


Princess Leia: Serena Williams

Reason: Royalty, unstoppable bad ass.

Debate: Not much of a debate on this one. Though Matt (Boston) thinks Hope SOLO could have worked simply so we could start dating rumors between Leia and Han.


Emperor Palpatine: Bill Belichick

Reason: The epitome of evil.

Debate: So easy. This comparison pops up on the Internet like every three minutes but it's a hoot every time.



Darth Vader: Tom Brady

Reason: The epitome of evil.

Debate: Obviously Matt (Boston) had a problem with this one. He actually thought Brady should be Yoda due to his unlimited powers at an advanced age. Joe (NY) accurately pointed out that Yoda is wrinkled and ugly, and Brady is certainly not that.


Supreme Leader Snoke: Roger Goodell

Reason: The epitome of evil.

Debate: A pretty obvious choice. Universally despised.


Kylo Ren: Lonzo Ball

Reason: Talented youngster who is also annoying as all hell.

Debate: Evan (Philly) points out that we really don’t know Ren’s story yet. Same for Lonzo. The difference is that Lavar is much more reprehensible than Ren’s father – the incredibly awesome Han Solo.


Han Solo: Joel Embiid

Reason: Plays by his own rules.

Debate: Joe (NY) was in favor of Bryce Harper here as he brings a new flavor, demeanor to baseball – much like Han brought an entirely different personality to counter boring old Luke. Evan (Philly) was obviously in favor of this one as he points out that both Han and Embiid are unapologetically themselves.


C3PO: Chris Paul

Reason: CP3, CP30 … get it?

Debate: Sometimes a name is all you need.


R2-D2: Kyrie Irving

Reason: A jack of all trades and vital to the cause.

Debate: Joe (NY) went with Deshaun Watson, Evan (Philly) didn't understand the comp, but Matt’s homerism eventually won out. Matt (Boston) points out that it would be easy to remix a Kyrie highlight film with the quick, weird, beeping sounds that R2 makes. Plus he could show a flat Earth pretty easily on his little projection screen device.


Chewbacca: Rob Gronkowski

Reason: Big. Groans a lot. Kicks ass.

Debate: Evan (Philly) points out that neither Gronk nor Chewy speak great English and both are loyal and obedient but with a mean streak (see: Gronk’s play in the Buffalo game). Joe (NY) correctly points out that Brent Burns of the San Jose Sharks is literally called “Chewbacca” by his teammates and literally dresses up as Chewy on occasion.



Yoda: Gregg Popovich

Reason: Old wise one.

Debate: Makes a ton of sense. Both old curmudgeons. Joe (NY) originally wanted Lionel Messi, calling him “the little maestro that’s still the best in the world.”


Obi Wan Kenobi: Jaromir Jagr

Reason: An old legend who is more teacher than star now, but he still can produce.

Debate: The “old and wise” role is kind of interchangeable between Yoda and Obi Wan. Like, Evan (Philly) originally voted for Popovich here. Evan came around though, saying that “Obi Wan had still had some moves when he fought Vader in ‘A New Hope’ – even as a grizzled veteran coming out of retirement. Jagr has skills too and lots to teach."

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