Star Wars connections in the NFL universe
- Published: May 3, 2012 at 09:21 p.m.
- Updated: May 15, 2013 at 02:07 p.m.
Saturday is May the 4th Be With You, a holiday for all Star Wars fans to celebrate. With that in mind, we draw some connections between the NFL and Star Wars universe.
Tim Tebow as Jar Jar Binks
One is the most polarizing creatures in the entire universe. The other is Jar Jar Binks. And if you're looking for the similarities, Jar Jar had his Invasion of Naboo; Tim Tebow had his win over the Steelers in the AFC playoffs. And then they were both cast aside rather quickly after.
Cowboys Stadium as the Death Star
Well from the physical resemblance alone this comparisons fits; and then depending on your view of the Cowboys, well, that could certainly add another layer. And the Cowboys wearing the white uniforms of the Stormtroopers? Well, that's just the icing on the cake.
J.J. Watt as General Grievous
Some Jedi and offensive coordinators might disagree, but neither one of these guys are a droid. Don't make that mistake. Grievous is one of the most feared villains in the Star Wars universe, but I wouldn't say Watt is a villain (anything but). However, the expansive wing spans of both Grievous and Watt are enough to make the average clone or quarterback tremble at the mere sight. And no NFL quarterbacks, it only seems like Watt has four arms.
Russell Wilson as Wicket
The Empire made a costly mistake when they overlooked Wicket because of his size. But his leadership and tenacity made him one of the unsung heroes of "Return of the Jedi". Now the 31 other teams in the NFL have made a similar miscalculation by allowing Wilson to last all the way until the third round in last year's NFL draft.
Josh McDaniels as Grand Moff Tarkin
Moff Tarkin was known as an ambitious social-climber who knew how to get himself to the top. A brilliant tactician, he was known for ruling through fear and getting rid of those who opposed his rule. Remember, it was Princess Leia who said "The more you tighten your grip, Tarkin, the more star systems will slip through your fingers." Isn't that a pretty fitting description of McDaniels' time in Denver when Jay Cutler and Brandon Marshall slipped away? But what would be McDaniels' failing to leave the Death Star moment? Oh yeah, drafting Tim Tebow.
Ed Reed as Mace Windu
Windu stood out among the other Jedi as one of the best and the brightest. And like the way Reed holds a place of admiration among his NFL peers, Windu is one of the most well-regarded Jedi out there -- as well as being on the baddest guys around being portrayed by Sam Jackson. Seriously, he destroyed an entire battalion of super battle droids and Separatist seismic tanks in the original animated "Star Wars: Clone Wars" series. And it should be viewed as no coincidence his lightsaber is purple. But will it now switch to Texans' red?
Ben Roethlisberger as Jek Porkins
Porkins is not your prototypical fighter pilot in terms of aesthetics. Many of the pilots are young, dashing and, well, let's just say it, athletic-looking. That's not Porkins. So he certainly finds a kindred spirit with Roethlisberger, who certainly cuts the figure of an offensive lineman, instead of a quarterback. And yes, it should be noted that Porkins' ultimate demise came at the Battle of Yavin (yes, when they blew up the Death Star), but he had the same gung-ho spirit that Roethlisberger displays on the field.
Drew Brees as Qui-Gon Jinn
Jinn was one of the most respected and veteran Jedis, but he often did things his own way and he was quick to question the Jedi Order. Similarly, Brees is one of the most respected players in the NFL and he isn't afraid to express his opinion about the NFL, even if it's to the contrary. And yet he's still beloved by all. Well, maybe not A.J. Smith, but seemingly all.
Mike Shanahan as Dooku
Dooku was once one of the greatest Jedi, but somewhere along the way he lost his faith. Where he was once a hero, he was one of the most feared in the universe. You can kind of say this is the way Shanahan is viewed among fantasy football owners. Where he once unearthed great talents like Terrell Davis in Denver, he truly became a villain with his running back-by-committee approach in Washington. Really, the only thing separating these two is that the Star Wars universe is apparently devoid of tanning beds.
Darrelle Revis as Darth Maul
The last time we see Darth Maul in "Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace" (and let's be honest, he was one of the very few cool things about Episode I), he was cut in half and dispatched. But that wasn't the end of Maul. He languished on Lotho Minor (which is easily comparable to the Jets' 2012 season) for years but eventually regained his status as one of the most fierce warriors in the universe. Which should be good news for Bucs fans.
Richard Sherman as Boba Fett
First things first ... Boba Fett didn't die in the mouth of the Sarlacc. Tortured? Yes. But he does escape. (And this better be addressed in Episode VII, so help me.) But when I think of Fett as an NFL player, I can't help but think of Richard Sherman. Both are trash talkers and always seem to get their man. Fett was an unexpected hero of the Star Wars universe (which George Lucas realized and is why Jango Fett and his son have such a huge storyline in "Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones"). And likewise, Sherman is becoming one of the most famous (infamous?) players in the NFL.
Vince Wilfork as Jabba Desilijic Tiure
Jabba The Hutt, as he was more dis-affectionately known throughout the Star Wars universe, was one of the most feared creatures of his time. And let's be honest, he could really clog the middle. So really, the only choice here is Wilfork, who cuts the same imposing figure. And while Wilfork can be an effective player on the field, I really doubt he would have any of his opponents fed to the Sarlacc.
Peyton Manning as C-3PO
Yes, the only reason I'm drawing this comparison is because both of them move around the pocket in similar fashion. Yep, think about that next season when you see Manning "scramble." Wait, so would that mean Tom Brady made Peyton Manning? Well, we'll just be like Lucas and leave some continuity questions lingering.
Wes Welker as R2-D2
If Peyton Manning is C-3PO, then it only makes sense for Welker to be R2-D2. R2-D2 was given to Anakin Skywalker when he was a first made a Jedi Knight and the two served side-by-side. But now R2 has moved on to serve with C-3PO. Yes, both R2-D2 and Welker are about the same height. (Don't get mad at me, we were both thinking it.)
Michael Vick as Lando Calrissian
Calrissian was a smooth operator. A charming, debonair military genius, and part businessman. But Calrissian was prone to bad mistakes. The first being wagering the Millenium Falcon and the more egregious was selling out his great friend Han Solo. So Calrissian starts off cool, you hate him but then he finds a way to redeem himself by rescuing Han from Jabba and destroying the second Death Star. Vick has made some bad choices in his life after being the toast of the NFL, but he is currently authoring his redemption story.
Brett Keisel as Chewbacca
Chewy was really one of the unsung heroes of the Star Wars universe. A loyal companion, he did his job without a lot of recognition (and yes, I understand he was honored at the end of "Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope", but still). Keisel is cut from the same cloth, as a loyal member of the Steelers who doesn't really get the limelight of his more celebrated teammates. And yes, let's not dodge the most obvious part of this comparison -- it's the hair!
Tom Coughlin as Yoda
Yoda might not have seemed like much upon first glance (Luke did this), but he was the all-time Jedi Master. You wouldn't want to mess with this guy, as Count Dooku and Darth Sidious could attest to. And the same goes for Coughlin. He served his time in exile (the swamps of Jacksonville were not unlike Dagobah), but now he's come back as one of the top coaches in NFL history.
Joe Flacco as Luke Skywalker
There is a gap in "The Empire Strikes Back" and "Return of the Jedi" that makes Luke into a more cocksure Jedi. Look at the way he rolls into Jabba's house at the beginning of "Jedi". You wonder, hey, when did Luke become a badass? And that's the way Flacco has kind of just emerged as this elite quarterback. It just kind of springs up on you. And you know, he takes down the whole Empire and such.
Ray Lewis as Obi-Wan Kenobi
Kenobi was the leader of the Jedi and led his troops to many victories. But he knows that young Skywalker has to lead the way at some point. So maybe Lewis didn't take a lightsaber through his body, but he did pass the torch to Flacco who led the team to a win over the Empire.
Aaron Rodgers as Han Solo
Han Solo was the character most young men wanted to be. (Well, not me. I went as Boba Fett in back-to-back Halloweens back in the day.) But most kids wanted to be Han, and not Luke Skywalker or anybody else. Rodgers has that quality to him as a swashbuckling anti-hero who was cocky, but also a great friend (this may smell bad, kid, but it will keep you warm). And really, there is absolutely no doubt Rodgers would shoot first. Han also talked about being a mercenary and always being in it for the money. But in the end, he does the right thing. The same way Rodgers took a cap-friendly deal for the Packers.
Tom Brady as Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader
We rooted for Brady during the Clone Wars (Super Bowl XXXVI) when he was wiping out the Raiders and Rams. But he eventually lost his way. NFL fans are still waiting for his turn back to the good side. There is still hope for Brady, though. The guy we rooted for a decade ago is still buried beneath that Patriots helmet. I just hope we get to see it again.
Gisele as Padme Amidala
Well, if Brady is going to be Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader, then it only makes sense Gisele would be Padme.
Bill Belichick as Emperor Palpatine
Aside from coming from similar hoodies, the two also have similar backgrounds. Palpatine was the last Chancellor of the Galactic Republic (which would have been the Patriots during their Super Bowl XXXVI run), and then first Emperor of the Galactic Empire (which would have been the Patriots from Super Bowl XXXVIII to now). Wow, does this mean Tom Brady will one day overthrow him? Hmmm.