THE whole world is engulfed in Star Wars fever.
The heroes from a galaxy far, far away have returned to the big screen in what is widely-tipped to be the biggest box office movie of all time.
Whether you’re a fan or not, there’s no denying the effect Star Wars has on popular culture.
With all the hype surrounding Star Wars: The Force Awakens, our resident science fiction geeks put their heads together to ascertain which heroes from the sporting world would be just as adept at wielding lightsabers and shooting down bad guys.
Nick Cummins as Luke Skywalker
We know what you’re thinking… how can The Honey Badger relate to Luke Skywalker from Star Wars?
Well, the Force is strong with this one.
Luke Skywalker was a hero who helped defeat the Galactic Empire and created the New Jedi Order, and although Cummins didn’t help the Western Force win the Super Rugby title, he did create a new order for media-friendly rugby players.
The Honey Badger is more known for his off-field antics as opposed to his stellar play on the field – despite making the Wallabies side in 2012.
After spending six years with the Western Force, Cummins decided it was time to leave and head over to Japan for a stint with the Coca Cola West Red Sparks.
Like all good heroes, Cummins would return to his home and once again play for the Western Force in 2014/2015.
The chosen one had returned.
Whether or not Cummins’ return to Perth will help the Force win the 2015/2016 Super Rugby Championship is yet to be known, but Sportsbet.com.au certaintly don’t believe in The Jedi.
The Australian bookmaker are giving away $67 for the Force this season, making them an enticing betting prospect.
Phil Jackson as Yoda
Phil Jackson, the NBA mastermind coach and administrator, is akin to the wise Yoda from Star Wars, especially after signing Kristaps Porzingis this season.
Not only did Jackson have a successful playing career which included two NBA titles [1970, 1973], but it was his coaching and admin career that has put him atop of the NBA food chain.
Without the physical similaries, Jackson is much like Yoda as he provides great advice and if you should ever doubt a decision made by either Jackson or Yoda, you have clearly moved to the dark side.
After winning 11 NBA Championships as a coach of the Chicago Bulls and LA Lakers, Phil Jackson took over the job as the New York Knicks president – a long suffering franchise which needed the wise thinking of Jackson to instil some confidence.
After Jackson signed unknown Latvian Kristaps Porzingis in the 2015 NBA Draft, many Knicks fans were livid with Jackson and wondered how he could pick a European over some of the local talent in the US.
Those who doubt the master are often left embarrassed.
Porzingis made his debut earlier this year he has since become a candidate for Rookie of the Year, averaging 13.5 points and 9.2 rebounds per game.
Phil Jackson isn’t known for speaking in a reverse, nor speaking in cryptic tongue, but he’s clearly the wise head the Knicks needed at the top of their organisation, much like the important Yoda has in Star Wars.
The Knicks are $151 to win the NBA Championship at CrownBet.com.au. As Yoda would say, “May the Force be with you and gamble responsibly.”
Mark Winterbottom as Han Solo
The beloved V8 Supercar driver and smuggling scoundrel have one important thing in common.
Han Solo piloted the Millennium Falcon, Winterbottom pilots a Ford Falcon – not exactly the same, but we’re running with it.
Han Solo is known for saving the life of a Wookiee named Chewbacca and eventually becoming a hero of the Rebel Alliance. Mark Winterbottom is known for saving Ford from the depths of V8 Supercar doom.
Ford was in strife after continually struggling to compete on the V8 racing circuit as its rival Holden continued to dominate, but Winterbottom led the revival for Ford and he now leads the V8 Supercars Championship.
Winterbottom is currently paying a short $1.11 to win the Championship at Sportsbet.com.au, with his closest rival Craig Lowndes [Holden] at $6.50.
P.S. Han Solo is played by Harrison FORD.
Holly Holm as Princess Leia
Princess Leia was one of the Rebel Alliance’s greatest leaders and she also dedicated her life to ending the tyranny of the Empire. In this case, the Empire was the domination of Ronda Rousey in the UFC and Holly Holm was here to bring her down.
The experienced boxer Holly Holm came into the Octagon last month to face her toughest test to date, taking on Rousey. Most expected the fight to last only one round in favour of Rousey, but Holm had other thoughts in mind as she dominated the fight from start to finish.
This wasn’t just another UFC fight, this was the end of an empire which had dominated the sport since it took off in 2012. Rousey had become a global figure in MMA and it didn’t look like her reign as champion would ever end, but Holly Holm was a fearless opponent, much like Princess Leia.
Holm will face Rousey in a rematch for the Women’s Bantamweight Title in July, 2016 where Holm is $2.39 to retain her title at CrownBet.com.au.
Lance Armstrong as Darth Vader
We couldn’t find any physical similarities with Darth Vadar and a Lance Armstrong, but based on morality, we think we’ve hit the nail on the head.
Darth Vader was once a heroic Jedi Knight, but he was seduced by the dark side of the Force and he led the Empire’s dissolution of the Jedi Order.
Lance Armstrong was the face of cycling after winning seven Tour de France titles and coupled with his fight against testicular cancer, Armstrong gained the support of just about everyone in the world, but he was hiding a rather large secret.
In 2012, Lance Armstrong was stripped of his titles after a lengthy doping scandal. Armstrong had tested negative for drugs throughout his career even though many believed he couldn’t win seven Tour de France titles without some form of artificial help, and that was proved to be true.
Armstrong, like Darth Vader, turned his back on his morals and went to the dark side. For Armstrong, this meant injecting himself with such things as horse blood – a technique which helped him escape from testing positive throughout his career.
The world was shocked, especially considering the amount of money people had donated to his charity. It was all based on a lie and there is nothing Armstrong can do to win back the public’s vote. He’s the Darth Vader of the sporting world.
On the plus side, the Tour de France continues on where Chris Froome looks set to dominate the sport for years to come. He’s a $2.10 chance at Bet365.com.au for the 2016 Tour.