As you may have heard, Star Wars: The Last Jedi is officially out today. (It was actually released yesterday but I haven’t seen it yet and am not bitter about this fact at all.) At this time I can admit this: I am very turnt to see the new film.
Why? Well, for much of the 2000s, thanks to the prequels, Star Wars was bad. Now, thanks to the new batch of movies, Star Wars is good again. Granted, with Disney’s purchasing of Lucasfilm (and much of our childhoods), we can talk until we’re blue in the face about corporate hegemony and the potent weaponizing of nostalgia. But you know what else? I don’t care. Star Wars is good again. Case closed.
In any case, you may be asking yourself now, what does this have to do with the Raptors? A fair and good question — allow me to explain.
Despite some people’s attempts to make OG-Wan Kenobi a thing (it should not be a thing), the Raptors do in fact align quite neatly with the Star Wars universe. It’s true (would it shock you to know most things do?). What follows then is a list of analogues, the character assignments that most thoroughly fit each member of the team.
(Important note: We’re drawing from only the eight theatrically released Star Wars movies here — Ep. 1-7 and Rogue One — not the EU stuff, not the video games, not the TV shows, etc.)
It’s Friday, Star Wars is in theatres. Let’s get nuts.
Kyle Lowry - Saw Gerrera
A man on the fringes, at the end of his rope, his mind curdled after years and years of fighting a losing battle. Has he given up hope? No, not quite, but that doesn’t necessarily make him easy to deal with on the day-to-day. (I’m... I’m talking about Saw.)
DeMar DeRozan - Obi-Wan Kenobi
DeRozan is the longest tenured Raptor, goes about his business with a certain wry wisdom, and doesn’t quite fit into the current NBA landscape — despite being a legitimate badass. This doesn’t sound like a certain hermit Jedi?
OG Anunoby - General Grievous
Admittedly, Grievous talks a lot more than OG, and is far more evil. But there’s something to this comparison: both are driven, both have impossible dimensions, and both.... are underrated. (Yes, I said it! I like General Grievous!)
Serge Ibaka - Lando Calrissian
Hello, what have we here? Serge is just as smooth as Lando, and just as frustratingly unreliable. Ultimately both get the job done (Ibaka is rounding into form right now; Lando destroys the second Death Star), but boy if they don’t make us sweat a little bit.
Jonas Valanciunas - Wat Tambor
I thought about this for awhile and finally concluded that yes, JV and Wat Tambor are the same. Look, I can’t explain it completely, it just feels right.
C.J. Miles - Wedge Antilles
C.J. and Wedge are two of the more significant minor characters engaged in the main story line. Both are around to be professionals, both are generally older than the star players, and both are shooters.
Pascal Siakam - Nien Nunb
To me, Nien Nunb is one of the more funny and fascinating characters in the whole Star Wars universe. He and Pascal both came out of nowhere, both move really fast (by land or by ship), and both just seem like the best guys to have on your wing.
Jakob Poeltl - Chewbacca
Both are legit seven-footers who appear at first to be extremely ungainly. Except both are also adept at feats of extraordinary agility of both mind and body. The verdict is still out on whether Jak will pull someone’s arms from their sockets if he loses though.
Norman Powell - Boba Fett
Silent. Cool. Deadly. But then, more time passes and you either end up playing piano in a GoDaddy commercial or, uh, get accidentally knocked, screaming, into the Great Pit of Carkoon.
Delon Wright - Admiral Firmus Piett
This is probably a stretch but consider the facts: Piett is a good soldier, he gets thrust into a role because of an untimely departure, he labours under the shadow of a fearsome leader, and he eventually goes down due to circumstances beyond his control. That’s suitably Delon-y, right?
Fred VanVleet - Lobot
I always make room for Lobot, an unsung character in the Star Wars universe who comes through at exactly one time in one way, but is stolid, reliable and unflashy. If that doesn’t sound like VanVleet I don’t know who does.
Lucas Nogueira - R2D2
Playful, useful (at times), unique shape — and both are unsung heroes.
Bruno Caboclo - Anakin Skywalker (Attack of the Clones version)
Obviously, Anakin goes on quite a journey (from innocent kid to villainous mass-murderer) but in between there, in Episode II, he’s more akin to Bruno. Semi-angry, semi-skilled, a blurry vision of something positive, but also petulant and vaguely upsetting. We’re not entirely surprised when things go wrong here.
Lorenzo Brown - Greedo
Just shoot, Lorenzo/Greedo!
Alfonzo McKinnie and Malcolm Miller - Doctor Cornelius Evazan and Ponda Baba
This one feels mean, since neither McKinnie or Miller did anything to get lumped in with this sorry pair. But I do like to imagine ‘Zo and Mac riding up on gyms across the country to convince people they played in the NBA in a similar fashion.
Dwane Casey - Watto
Of course Casey is Watto, come on. Both are smart and set in their ways. Both wish people would just listen to them and do what they say. And both have an affinity for hats worn in a strange manner (e.g. Dwane’s dad hat, Watto’s... bowler?). Case closed.
Masai Ujiri - Admiral Ackbar
We know Masai isn’t evil (so, scratch Palpatine), and we know he’s a great leader — if often at a remove from the action, and a tad conservative. We also know that while he may walk the Raps into a trap on occasion (e.g. signing DeMarre Carroll), he can think fast enough to get them back out.
Now I’m going to watch The Last Jedi. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.