In honor of Star Wars Day — May the Fourth be with you — we look at which NFL teams are the best fits for main characters from a galaxy far, far away.
May the Fourth be with you. Based on that simple pun, May 4 is National Star Wars Day, celebrating all things from a galaxy far, far away. There’s no need to recap anything about the films, Star Wars Episodes I-VII or Rogue One at this point. Their prevalence in mainstream culture is near untouched by any movie, story or anything of the sort.
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Obviously Star Wars has very little to do with the NFL on a baseline level. They aren’t on Tatooine tossing around the pigskin or anything — although that would be kind of incredible. However, there are always parallels to be drawn from something with as rich of a history as Star Wars has. Thus, that’s what we’re going to do here.
Looking at the biggest figures and characters in the main Star Wars canon, and while also looking at each NFL team as a whole (what they represent, where they currently stand, etc.), we’ll decide which team would be the best fit for each of these characters. Not every team will make an appearance, but that’s alright.
With that out of the way, here are the best NFL fits for each Star Wars main character.
Luke Skywalker: Green Bay Packers
Before the prequels and now the subsequent trilogy, Star Wars Episodes IX-XI featured Luke Skywalker as the primary hero. Though he was often in over his head, he always remained powerful due to his connection with the force. Ultimately, this led to him being the triumphant hero at the end of both a A New Hope and Returnof the Jedi. Luke’s ability to never be out of the picture, even when it seems like he should be, puts him in a similar conversation as the Packers.
Kylo Ren: Dallas Cowboys
There’s no denying the popularity of the Dallas Cowboys, arguably more popular than any of the 31 other teams in the league. However, that also causes them to be viewed as the villain at times. Kylo Ren can relate to that sentiment. At least through The Force Awakens, he can also relate to the plight of the since-mid-1990s Cowboys. Despite immense power, many followers and a name everyone knows, he can’t complete his ultimate task.
Han Solo: Oakland Raiders
Particularly this version of the Oakland Raiders feels perfect for Han Solo. Much like with Solo, there’s no denying the superstar-like merits of the Raiders. They have Derek Carr and Khalil Mack, bonafide studs. However, they also have areas where they’ve been lacking. Solo, similarly is a tremendous smuggler, pilot and even fighter, but he also has a propensity to get through by the skin of his teeth. The Raiders thrive on that trait, thus putting Han Solo in the Silver and Black.
C-3PO: Chicago Bears
Especially after trading up for Mitchell Trubisky, reportedly after a bidding war against themselves, there are many people panning general manager Ryan Pace and the Chicago Bears. That’s why C-3PO feels made for this team. Though Pace and the organization give the appearance of being smart, they seemingly are lacking when it comes to common sense — and functionality — right now.
Because she’s the focal-point of the new Star Wars trilogy, some people may have expected a bigger-name team to be included here. However, after just one film in The Force Awakens, I think that makes her being a fit for the Tennessee Titans all the more apt. With Marcus Mariota and an influx of draft picks, the Titans are on the cusp of becoming great as they have the pieces and tools. However, they must refine their craft to reach their potential. Sounds a lot like Rey, if you ask me.
This was too easy, frankly. Though the Cleveland Browns put together a largely nice 2017 NFL Draft, it’s hard to argue that they’re exactly where Jar Jar Binks would suit up in the NFL. Even if he has his moments, Jar Jar is ultimately an unsightly outlier in the Star Wars canon that everyone would be okay going away. The feelings towards the Browns aren’t that strong, but they’ve been about as effective of a football team as Jar Jar was at endearing himself to fans.
Leia Organa: Philadelphia Eagles
Frankly, I struggled a great deal as to which team was the best fit for Leia Organa. She’s such an entrancing figure in Star Wars as she’s useful in regards to fighting and strategy, independent, but also not wholly a central figure in the way that Luke or Darth Vader are. Thus, that landed me with the Philadelphia Eagles. Always relevant and capable of making an impact, they’re also going to be outshined by their larger rivals or peers.
Darth Vader/Anakin Skywalker: Pittsburgh Steelers
This is another fit that was all-too perfect. When you look at the Pittsburgh Steelers, it often feels like there’s a duality about them. On one hand, you have the fun, explosive offense that people can’t help but enjoy. And yet, there’s always something villainous about the team as a whole. Be it suspensions, things like tripping players on the sideline and so on, there’s always something with the Steelers. That duality is reminiscent of the villain of Darth Vader, but the light that still remains deep within him.
While most of these fits have to do with the Star Wars characters having traits of a team, this one changes that up a bit. The Jaguars have been a potentially talented team for some time now. Especially with the way they spend in free agency, they should be able to win more than five games — yet they don’t. Thus, they need the ultimate teacher and Jedi master to guide them. Do, or do not; there is no try, young Bortles.
Despite the fact that Finn is currently in a coma following The Force Awakens, he’s obviously a pivotal figure in the canon. He’s also a character in a situation that the Buccaneers can relate to. Like Tampa Bay with Jameis Winston at the helm, Finn is trying to establish his new identity and purpose. This leads to a few stumbles along the way, but it’s clear that he has tremendous promise and is vitally important.
Jyn Erso: Denver Broncos
The star of Rogue One makes an appearance and seems like a natural fit for the Denver Broncos and John Elway. When you look at the Broncos and Super Bowl 50 and up to now, it’s hard not to see the parallel between Jyn’s journey and their own. They may have ultimately been able to reach the mountaintop, but they’ve fallen off a great deal since then.
Obi-Wan Kenobi: New York Giants
One of the interesting things I’ve always found about the New York Giants is how it seems like they have their hands on everything that happens. Whether it’s in the NFC East, with the Patriots, or with countless other teams, the Giants have a history of success and making rivalries. Thus, wouldn’t it be fitting to have Obi-Wan Kenobi play for them seeing how his fingerprints are on everything in the Star Wars universe?
One of the trademarks of Bruce Arians’ Arizona Cardinals team is that they love players that they can just let make plays. Even as recently as looking at their draft class, you see players like Haason Reddick and Budda Baker that can move all around and are exceptionally versatile. There’s no character in Star Wars more versatile than R2-D2. Whether he’s delivering messages, repairing ships, or providing comedy, he fills multiple rolls and does so with great effectiveness.
Chewbacca: Baltimore Ravens
A bastion of brute force and aggression, but also with a deep sense of loyalty and an underrated ability to repair ships, Chewbacca is as true of Baltimore Raven as I’ve ever seen. You can just imagine the wookie making plays for the defense and bleeding purple and black. This was another relatively easy call.
Lando Calrissian: Detroit Lions
The character arc of Lando Calrissian is one of the more interesting elements of the Star Wars canon. From friend, to traitor, to friend once more, it’s hard to ever know what truly to make of Lando. That’s somewhat the embodiment of the current Detroit Lions. They were a playoff team a year ago, but escaped so many close games with a win that it’s hard to say if they’re actually a team on the rise or just lucky. Lando and the Lions mirror one another well.
Like anyone else was going to be the former Chancellor turned all-powerful Sith Lord? There’s no denying the power that the New England Patriots possess. As defending Super Bowl Champions and still in the midst of a dynastic run, they are the Empire in the truest sense of it all. Let the hate flow through you.