The NFL meets Star Wars: Helmet designs from a galaxy far, far away
11:42 AM EST, Fri February 5, 2016
Coruscant Vaders —
What if NFL teams relocated to a galaxy far, far away? Would the Raiders become the Vaders? This galactic mashup - where NFL teams meet characters from the Star Wars universe - comes courtesy of Mexican designer John Raya, who found a way to mix up his two greatest passions. The idea started with his favorite team, the Oakland Raiders, who experienced a very smooth transition to the Dark Side, becoming the Coruscant Vaders (if you're not a Star Wars geek, Coruscant is the home planet of Anakin Skywalker, who later becomes Darth Vader).
Tatooine Banthas —
"The challenge was to find the best link between the two universes for each team," Raya told CNN. "I'm a big fan of both, but I don't know everything about every species in Star Wars, so I needed a little research to find the right character every time." The gargantuan Banthas, used as transport by the Tusken Raiders and first seen in Episode IV, seem like the ideal flip side of the Buffalo Bills.
Affa Androids —
"The easiest way to create a new fusion for the logo is the color code, and each one has a close approximation with the star wars world," says Raya. That's why the golden New Orleans Saints needed just a quick transition to become the Androids, modeled after C-3PO.
Dagobah Yodas —
The Philadelphia Eagles helmet design posed a challenge, brilliantly solved by using Yoda's ears in place of the eagle's wings.
Coruscant Jedis —
The most successful football franchise of the last decade, the New England Patriots, maintain their Stars & Stripes color code and become Jedis. The hooded one portrayed on the helmet is Obi-Wan Kenobi, but to Patriots fans it could well be coach Bill Belichick.
Mos Eisley Troopers —
The dusty space port of Mos Eisley, on planet Tatooine, looks nothing like Indianapolis, but the general feel of the Colts helmet stays intact in this new design dominated by the classic Stormtrooper figure.
Hoth Tauntauns —
The Denver Broncos have turned from wild horses to furry alien lizards, the Tauntauns native to the icy planet of Hoth.
Naboo Gungans —
It's only fitting that the Washington Redskins, who have been through some serious controversy over their name, have become the most controversial character in the Star Wars universe, the Gungan hailing from planet Naboo, Jar Jar Binks.
Toydaria Wattos —
The menacing livery of the Seattle Seahawks helmet is perfectly preserved in their transition to Toydaria Wattos: the flying junk dealer who enslaves Anakin Skywalker as a boy might not be as a graceful a sight in the sky, though.
Dxun Mandalorians —
Sticking to species and races rather than individual character names, Raya envisioned the Tennessee Titans to be a team of Mandalorians, a group of warriors whose most renowned member is Boba Fett.
Ryloth Droidekas —
These fearsome battle droids, prominently featured in the prequel trilogy, are a good fit for the Pittsburgh Steelers, whose logo originally referenced the Steelmark logo of the American Iron and Steel Institute.
Rodia Greedos —
Who shot first? If you're a hardcore Star Wars fan, you'll be well aware of the controversy over the scene from Episode IV involving Han Solo and bounty hunter Greedo, whose snout is a close enough match for the Miami Dolphins.
Endor Ewoks —
The arrowhead from the Kansas City Chiefs helmet looks just like those used by the furry Ewoks to pester Stormtroopers during the epic battle of Endor, which seals the fate of the galaxy in Return of the Jedi.
Nal Hutta Hutts —
Easily shaped into a giant "G," the slimy piece of worm-ridden filth (Han Solo's words, not ours) known as Jabba the Hutt becomes quite the physical feature of the reimagined helmet for the Green Bay Packers.
Yinchorr Royal Guards —
The Royal Guards looking after Princess Padme Amidala in the prequels trilogy train at a special academy on planet Yinchorr, and their distinguished looks lend well to the Arizona Cardinals treatment.
Malastare Dugs —
Given his attitude during the pod race in The Phantom Menace, the Dug from planet Malastare called Sebulba - who tries everything to take out young Anakin Skywalker - is a great match for the Carolina Panthers, whose motto is "keep pounding."
Mygeeto Siths —
The Baltimore Ravens are not your average pretty team. The intimidating mix of purple and black just screams Dark Side, so it's not surprising to see the evil Emperor emblazoned on this helmet.
Ryloth Twi'leks —
Remember Bib Fortuna, the tall guy with a bunch of tentacles coming out of his skull who played sidekick to Jabba the Hutt? He's a Twi'lek, and the Los Angeles Rams helmet has a design to match those unique features.
Kashyyyk Wookies —
Chewbacca was inspired by George Lucas' dog Indiana, an Alaskan Malamute, but with a bit of mental choreography it's not hard to see it replace a feline on the helmet of the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Iridonia Zabraks —
Planet Iridonia is home to a species of horned, human-like beings made famous by evil Darth Maul, the bad guy from The Phantom Menace. The strange pattern of his black-and-red skin is a dead ringer to the helmet design of the Cincinnati Bengals. See the remaining NFL teams at John Raya's website.