Whenever my friends and I are bored at work we like to fantasy draft things. Anyone who’s played fantasy sports will be familiar with the basic concept; we simply take it a step further and draft… whatever. Food, albums, movies, and most of all, characters and people. It’s a fun distraction, and it’s easy to do over email. The only downside is there’s no real way to determine who “won,” other than to argue about it, but of course, the arguing about it is the point.
Our favorite variety of fantasy draft is the “Trial of Seven.” Fans of Game of Thrones will be familiar with the “trial by combat,” whereby two fighters fight one another in order to determine a party’s guilt. (What an insane miscarriage of justice, by the way.) A lesser-used variant of this, from the books and supplementary material, is the Trial of Seven. It’s the same idea, but with two teams of seven fighters, instead of one-on-one.
For this draft, I invited MMH founder Sasha, and my good buddy Dan, to join me in fantasy drafting a Trial of Seven team, using characters from the Star Wars universe. The rules were as follows:
Only characters from the movies are eligible.
It’s Music, Movies, and Hoops, not Music, Expanded Universes, and Hoops. Also, the limited scope will force us to get more creative.
You may only draft 1 Jedi, and 1 dark-sider, for a max of 2 Force-wielders per team.
Without this rule, we might as well just call it a Jedi-draft.
You may draft characters who are Force-sensitive, but who will not use the Force (e.g. Leia), and these will not count as one of your Force-wielders. (You must make this clear in your pick.)
Cyborgs, or beings with organic parts, do not count as droids.
The draft order was randomly determined to be Dan, Sasha, Dave. This was a snake draft, so it went down the list, and then turned and went back again. Each person has included a short blurb discussing their reasoning, and I have also chimed in with some draft analysis.
Without further ado, here is the draft! Vote for who’s team you like the best, so we can settle it once and for all!
Dan, Round 1, Pick 1: Emperor Palpatine (Darth Sidious)
Dan: The rules of the draft played a big role in the order of my choices. Relative value becomes a huge factor in any draft scenario, especially given this was a snake draft where we could only use two Force users. I started with Darth Sidious because he’s by far the strongest dark-side user in the film-canon. More importantly, I saw a bigger gap between Sidious and the second or third strongest dark side picks than I did between the top three light-side force-wielders. Given how the draft fell from there I think this pick ended up justified.
Dave: Dan made the right move here. Obviously, Force-users are the running backs of this draft, and given that the bench is just so much deeper on the light-side than the dark, securing a dark-sider quickly is a must. Palpatine is so much more powerful than all of the other options, he’s Christian McCaffrey—an obvious number one overall pick.
Sasha, Round 1, Pick 2: Rey
Sasha: I think Rey is the strongest Jedi of all-time?? I feel like the movies basically concluded that was the case. So I think I have the strongest player in the game at least when it comes to the light-side. If nothing else, I know she’s the only one who can heal! Try beating my team with Rey healing everyone’s wounds like Rogue meets Wolverine!
Dave: Not sure I agree with the “strongest Jedi of all-time” implication from the films. Granted, she’s never lost a fight, but I also feel like she’s never been seriously challenged, at least in lightsaber combat. The only person she’s ever crossed blades with is Kylo Ren, and he’s… well, anyway. The healing is an interesting element though, I hadn’t thought of that. Definitely, something no other team is going to have.
Dave, Round 1, Pick 3: Yoda
Dave: Do I really need to justify it? He balances the strength Dan gets from Darth Sidious since he’s the yang to Palpatine’s yin, his equal or better in combat, and the ultimate Jedi Master. And come on, he’s freakin’ Yoda.
Dave, Round 2, Pick 1: General Grievous
Dave: This is where I started getting strategic. With one Force-user in the bag, I could have secured the other one, but with Palpatine already off the board, I didn’t feel any particular rush to grab my Sith. That being the case, I went for a fighter who was so powerful, he was knocking off Jedi without even having the Force at his disposal. This guy came within a hair of killing Obi-Wan! And anyone who watched Clone Wars knows he’s a force (pun intended) to be reckoned with. Plus, I knew Dan liked him, and he’d never make it back to me, so it was now or never, plus a good opportunity to mess with him, and throw him off his game.
Note: Since Grievous has organic body parts, he does not count as my droid pick.
Sasha, Round 2, Pick 2: Kylo Ren
Sasha: Kylo’s a badass. He’s the Vader remix, but more agile. Plus come on, we can all agree that Kylo and Rey enhance one another’s powers. We got them together for about half a scene in Rise of Skywalker, I think we unite them from the jump, and it’s lightsaber’s up and lights out for my opponents.
Dave: Again, I don’t totally agree… Kylo’s kind of a whiny, untrained baby. Sure, he aspires to be the next Vader, but he’s no Vader. Still, plenty of raw power, and once again, I had not considered the “Force battery” idea. That could be cool, though given how it was portrayed—as a sort of mystical thingamabob—I’m not sure what it would mean in a more practical melee setting. Still, Kylo and Rey do like fighting as a team.
Dan, Round 2, Pick 3: Boba Fett
Dan, Round 3, Pick 1: Jango Fett
Dan: This was a snake draft so I got to double dip right here. In the movie universe, I think these two are arguably the strongest non-Force users. Dave and Sasha had already made their light-side Force picks so I didn’t have to reach there. The only other non-Force user that is potentially better is General Grievous. Sadly, I had assumed the Jedi-hunter would fall to me here. I would have taken him given the opportunity, yet pairing the versatile Fetts together still gives me a strong advantage among the non-Force users that will whittle away fast since we’re limited to movie picks.
Dave: I was pissed about this. I really wanted at least one of the Mandalorians to fall to me. Oh well.
Sasha, Round 3, Pick 2: K-2SO
Sasha: LOVE K-2SO from Rogue One! As far as I’m concerned, he has the weapons skills of an IG-88, plus the strength to fight a Bossk or Magnaguard.
Dave, Round 3, Pick 3: Darth Vader
Dave: I like K-2SO too, but Sasha made a critical error by allowing this pick to fall to me! You can argue all you want about Kylo Ren’s merits, but at the end of the day, Anakin Skywalker is the steal of the draft here at the end of Round 3.
Dave: Droids are kind of like the kickers or defenses of this draft; a built-in weakness. There are good ones for sure, but as something you have to take, it forces a certain amount of strategy as to where and when to pick one. K-2 was a good option, but with him gone there were still some good ones. I decided to grab the bounty hunter droid since his rep was second only to Boba Fett’s, and his doppelganger in The Mandalorian, IG-11, impressed me.
Sasha, Round 4, Pick 2: Chewbacca
Sasha: Strength, power, shooting accuracy. K-2S0 and Chewie are my muscle.
Dave: This was a strong value pick. Chewie is a Round 2 value taken in Round 4. I also felt that this was the official point where the draft started getting more challenging. All the obvious warriors were taken, and we were going to have to start making some deeper cuts.
Dan, Round 4, Pick 3: IG-100 Magnaguard
Dan: Dave got great value with Vader in Round 3, but I still have the dark side edge. And while I question that Darth Maul or Count Dooku weren’t selected, droids are starting to come off the board. Although we only HAVE to pick one, it’s likely that more than one will be useful in any trial by combat. I went with an IG-100 Magnaguard here, who serve as bodyguards for Grievous and Dooku. Obviously, they’re not stronger than Jedi, but they can actually put up a fight and hold their own against them, even one on one. Dave questions my love for them over, say, a Droideka. I did consider picking a Droideka here because of their shield generators, and their ability to fight at a range. Yet Droidekas are weaker against Jedi ultimately because they can be force pushed or more easily smashed by, for example, a thrown boulder that an IG-100 could dodge.
Dave: Droidekas are better. Didn’t you see the start of Phantom Menace?
Dan, Round 5, Pick 1: Luke Skywalker
Dan: What. A. Steal. He’s arguably the most powerful Jedi in all of Star Wars canon. I even considered him at pick one. George Lucas himself said Luke is the most powerful. Maybe surprisingly, I thought long and hard about this pick here. I almost decided to wait! My two other combatants had already chosen their light-side Force users, so had no real use for him. I could potentially wait and get other characters I wanted and still pick up Luke. And Mace Windu was still on the board too, in a worst-case scenario. But, even though Sasha is probably justifying his pick of Rey, I still felt that he could swerve and pick up Luke because the Jedi Master was still sitting there meditating on Temple Island waiting to be called to action. I’m a risk-taker but I couldn’t pass this up… even here I get the best value in the draft.
Dave: Superficially, this is the best value, but I think you could have waited longer to take him. I can’t speak for Sasha, but I wasn’t going to take Luke as a non-Force fighter. Still, nice pick.
Sasha, Round 5, Pick 2: Captain Phasma
Sasha: My big thing was I didn’t want people in just regular clothes. If you’re not gonna be a Jedi or a badass droid, at least have some armor. Phasma was totally misused in the movies, but she seems like she has a game, and I’m proud to have two kickass women!
Dave, Round 5, Pick 3: Baze Malbus
Dave: I went to Rogue One here, taking this badass gunslinger. Chirrut would have been an obvious choice, as well, but without his connection to the Force, he was not as strong a pick as his friend.
Dave, Round 6, Pick 1: Cassian Andor
Dave: Back to the Rogue One well. He’s an assassin and a sniper, which means he can hopefully do some damage picking people off along the edges of the fight while my stronger guys like Vader and Grievous occupy everyone’s attention.
Sasha, Round 6, Pick 2: First Order Elite Praetorian Guard
Sasha: Alright, last time we saw these guys, they got their ass kicked. Fortunately, that was by the GOAT duo, Kylo and Rey, who are both on my team!!! These guys are badass. Love their armor, love their look. I feel like this was a steal.
Dave: I notice a strong affinity for the sequel trilogy in your picks, Sasha. Not really analysis, just noticing.
Dan, Round 6, Pick 3: Droideka
Dan: Well, well, well. Look who ended up with the Droideka, anyway.
Dave: Yeah, yeah. Whatever.
Dan, Round 7, Pick 1: Bossk
Dan: My dark horse pick I saved for last, and I snag the deadly bounty hunter, Bossk. Physically strong, vicious, and he had the trust of Darth Vader for an important mission. I almost went with a wild pick like a Rancor here, and although that would definitely be a powerful choice, it’s not clear that I could control it to only attack my enemies. I certainly think Bossk can be a dangerous gladiator against the later round picks of my opponents, even those that went ahead of him such as Cassian or Captain Phasma. And man I’d love to see him square off against the big Wookie that Sasha snatched up earlier.
Looking over my picks I don’t think I’d change any, even in hindsight. We were limited to movie picks, and I based power levels off Star Wars canon. With that in mind, I ended up with arguably the strongest dark and light-side Force-users. The only non-Force user I really worry about is General Grievous, but my picks of Boba and Jango Fett outclass any other non-Force pairing. I also got two of the top three deadliest droids available, and possibly the two best outright. Rounding out my team with one of the scariest bounty hunters in the galaxy, I shouldn’t have any trouble winning this trial by combat.
Dave: Just to be clear, the Rancor would have been disallowed. The draft is “characters,” so no “creatures.” I’ll put that in the rules next time. Nonetheless, both of your final two picks were my final two picks that I was holding in reserve for the final round, so I was pissed when I saw your turn. I figured at least one of them would reach me. I ended up flailing around for something to do.
Sasha, Round 7, Pick 2: Han Solo
Sasha: It’s Han. He’s our leader. I think we got the best pilot in the draft if ships get in the mix. He keeps things light when the fatigue of war sets in. And I’m all for uniting strong pairs that are more than the sum of their parts: Kylo and Rey, now bringing the boys back together: Chewie and Han. Can’t beat it.
Dave: I do like the strong emphasis on teamwork you’ve got built-in on your team. Could make all the difference.
Dave, Round 7, Pick 3: Commander Cody
Dave: With all my clever final picks taken, I had to think of something fast, and I settled on this guy. He’s only a small part of the films, with just a few lines in Revenge of the Sith that barely make him stand out as different from any other clone trooper. However, the Clone Wars series fleshes Cody out quite a bit, marking him as an elite warrior and not someone to be underestimated. I like the value.
1. Darth Sidious/Emperor Palpatine
2. Boba Fett
3. Jango Fett
4. IG-100 Magnaguard
5. Luke Skywalker
2. Kylo Ren
6. Elite Praetorian Guard
7. Han Solo
2. General Grievous
3. Darth Vader
5. Baze Malbus
6. Cassian Andor
7. Commander Cody