It may seem like a stretch, but the NFL and Star Wars are not so different.
Besides the immense popularity of both the Star Wars universe and the NFL, you can’t deny the similar themes between the two. On any given Sunday, you can witness good versus evil. The best teams in the league have coaches who act like mentors and quarterbacks who are as close to pupils as you can get. There are the distinguishing uniforms and bitter rivalries. There are the family legacies and impossible-to-reach standards. And then, of course, there are the fans.
Whether it’s in support of their NFL team or the release of a new film, the cult-like followings experienced by both of these parties are hard to describe. People gather in droves to show their support. They dress up in crazy outfits, exude immense pride, and are totally unwavering in their loyalty. Granted, there are plenty of differences between these two monster brands, but the similarities can’t be overlooked.
Graphic illustrator John Raya recognized the connection in 2013 and decided to transform every NFL helmets into a Star Wars counterpart. And just like in the National Football League, some franchises are better than others. With that in mind, here are 10 NFL teams that have the force with them.
1. New York Jets
Star Wars name: Yavin 4 X Wings
If you transform the New York Jets’ helmet into something Star Wars related, you better focus on something that “flies.” For that reason, we absolutely love Raya’s choice with this particular design. The Jets may consistently struggle to cruise into the playoffs, but with these (X) Wings, at least they’ll soar (into the offseason) in style.
2. Green Bay Packers
Star Wars name: Nal Hutta Hutts
Few NFL helmets are more iconic than those of the Green Bay Packers. Therefore, when redesigning it, it’s important to maintain the overall integrity of the lid. Which is exactly what we have here. The helmet is yellow (with a green and white stripe down the center), the facemask is green, and the all-important “G” is still recognizable in its latest “Hutt” form. This is a top that both cheeseheads and Star Wars fans should be proud of.
3. Los Angeles Rams
Star Wars name: Ryloth Twi’leks
You can’t have the Rams without the horns. It’s a fact. The Twi’leks don’t actually have this distinct feature, however, they do have some healthy tentacles growing out of the bases of their skulls. And if you ask us, when utilized properly, a creative person can make it work. This helmet is definitely ready for its Hollywood close-up.
4. Cincinnati Bengals
Star Wars name: Iridonia Zabraks
The Cincinnati Bengals keep it fierce with an orange helmet covered in black tiger stripes. This Star Wars redesign, featuring the facial tattoos of the Zabrak, is just as intimidating. Here’s one lid we wouldn’t want to mess with; unless, of course, we happened to be Obi-Wan Kenobi.
5. Indianapolis Colts
Star Wars name: Mos Eisley Troopers
The Indianapolis Colts choose to keep their helmets simple. The lids are white (with a grey facemask) and feature a dark blue horseshoe. This redesign maintains the effortless look associated with the Colts, but spruces it up a bit by incorporating an armed stormtrooper. Considering we’ve long believed Indy was overdue for a helmet makeover, we definitely dig this upgrade.
6. Chicago Bears
Star Wars name: Hoth Wampas
The beauty in this helmet is that it manages to not only maintain the simplicity of the Chicago Bears logo, but it also finds the perfect connection between the organization and its Star Wars counterpart: freezing cold weather. Hoth is a remote planet that’s blanketed in snow and ice. While Chicago isn’t exactly remote, it’s not a pleasant place to be come winter. It’s not as if it’s called the “Windy City” for nothing. Just ask quarterback Jay Cutler.
7. Oakland Raiders
Star Wars name: Coruscant Vaders
Who are we kidding? The Oakland Raiders were born to sport the Vader look. The Raiders’ helmet is ominous and sleek with its silver-and-black combo. Plus, the eyepatch-wearing pirate rocking a football helmet shows that this team plans to attack its opponent hard. That’s what Raider Nation expects from its favorite NFL franchise. And if you decide to attend a Raiders home game and you feel defiant, we suggest steering clear of the “black hole.” That’s where you’re sure to see the most Vader-like behavior.
8. San Diego Chargers
Star Wars name: Dorin Lightsabers
Taking the lightning bolts of the San Diego Chargers and turning them into lightsabers is nothing short of genius. Pure. Genius. There’s nothing like a little reminder that this team’s logo is meant to be fast, sharp, and quick to cut.
9. Philadelphia Eagles
Star Wars name: Dagobah Yodas
The Philadelphia Eagles and Yoda both follow a similar color scheme — and the green looks good on all parties involved. But there is more to it than that. Yoda is wise, eccentric, and moves to the beat of his own drum. This is pretty much how they roll in the City of Brotherly Love.
10. New England Patriots
Star Wars name: Coruscant Jedis
You’re fooling yourself if you think that Bill Belichick didn’t use a jedi mind trick on Pete Carroll in the waning minutes of Super Bowl XLIX. It’s the only plausible explanation for not giving the ball to Marshawn Lynch at the one-yard line. After all, “He was not the running back you were looking for.” If you’re still not convinced, just look to the hoodie.