Xavier Woods as Lando Calrissian: Recasting 'Star Wars' with WWE Superstars
Solo: A Star Wars Story hit theaters last week, and while the film had a troubled production, many things about it have received praise from the Star Wars community.
The story chronicled the early days of a young Han Solo as he began his career as a smuggler, met Chewbacca and Lando Calrissian for the first time and set himself on a course toward becoming a hero of the rebellion.
This is movie No. 10 in the overall franchise, but there is more to Star Wars than the films released in theaters. The expanded universe of books, comics and other media (now called "Star Wars Legends") was wiped out of canon by Disney, but the shows Star Wars: Clone Wars and Star Wars: Rebels are still considered part of the movie universe.
Two weeks ago, we compared WWE Superstars to Marvel characters due to the success of Avengers: Infinity War, so it only seemed appropriate to do the same thing with Star Wars characters this week.
Spoiler Warning: This article may contain minor spoilers for Solo.
Vince McMahon as Emperor Palpatine
If you are reading this article, chances are good that you love pro wrestling and/or Star Wars, but if we are being honest with ourselves, WWE is the Galactic Empire in this scenario.
The leader of the Empire was Emperor Palpatine, and the only person working for WWE today who even comes close to representing the Sith Lord is Vince McMahon.
He is brilliant, cunning and ruthless, just like Palpatine. He might not be evil, but he is as close to an overlord as WWE has.
Triple H as Darth Vader
If Vinnie Mac is Palpatine, then Triple H is obviously going to be his Darth Vader. The relationship he has with McMahon mirrors the Emperor and Anakin Skywalker in many ways.
McMahon is grooming Triple H to take over some of his responsibilities, much like how Palpatine was preparing Vader to lead the fight against the Jedi Order and the Rebellion.
Like Vader, Trips has been on both sides of the fight between good an evil. He never slayed an entire class of younglings like Anakin, but you get the picture.
Finn Balor as Darth Maul
Finn Balor hasn't used the Demon King makeup and entrance in quite some time, but those two things alone make him the ideal Darth Maul.
The red and black color scheme is an obvious link, but the cool factor also has to be taken into consideration when it comes to this comparison.
Maul was arguably the best part of The Phantom Menace. Fans were dressing up like him before the movie was even released. That's the kind of impression his look left on people.
Corey Graves often refers to Balor as the James Dean of WWE because he is cool under pressure and wears a leather jacket. All he needs is a double-sided lightsaber and he's all set.
Paul Heyman and Brock Lesnar as Jaba the Hutt and Boba Fett
The original Star Wars trilogy introduced several characters who have become instantly recognizable around the world, and Jabba the Hutt and Boba Fett were two of them.
The slug-like gangster had a lot of power, but he never did any of the fighting himself. He left that up to hired guns like Fett.
Paul Heyman and Brock Lesnar have a similar relationship. Heyman does all the talking, but he cowers at the first sign of trouble when he doesn't have Lesnar to stand up for him.
The Beast is much more successful than Fett ever was in the movies, and Heyman is nowhere near as evil as Jabba, but everything else about this comparison matches up.
Charlotte as Captain Phasma
Captain Phasma didn't get much attention during her two film appearances, but her chrome uniform made her stand out much like Fett's Mandalorian armor made him into an instant fan-favorite.
Phasma was tall and intimidating, and anyone who has seen Gwendoline Christie out of costume knows she is a blonde.
Charlotte has all of these qualities and more. In fact, her natural athleticism and power would have made her a great candidate for this role when producers were originally casting the movie.
The Shield as the Inquisitors
Star Wars: Rebels was a cartoon series focusing on the early days of the Rebellion following The Clone Wars and Order 66. Darth Vader was not one of the main characters, but his Inquisitors played a large role in the series.
They were a group of Sith employed by the Galactic Empire to wipe out the rest of the Jedi Order. There were three male Inquisitors, and The Shield is the perfect representation, especially in its early days.
Before The Hounds of Justice all went on to become WWE champions, Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose were working for Heyman and CM Punk as his enforcers/bodyguards.
They refused to acknowledge any alliance for a long time, but their attacks were focused solely on Punk's rivals for their first few months.
With Solo bringing Maul back into the public eye, perhaps the Inquisitors will make an appearance during one of the upcoming prequels Disney has planned for the franchise.
William Regal as Obi-Wan Kenobi
This suggestion comes courtesy of Timothy Ryan on Twitter.
While Obi-Wan Kenobi isn't technically British, Sir Alec Guinness was, and since the actor portrayed the character with his natural accent, Kenobi is essentially an Englishman.
There is only one choice when it comes to which WWE talent could portray him, and it's William Regal. They are both Brits, but the similarities don't stop there.
Kenobi's primary role throughout every appearance has been to guide a younger generation of Jedi Knights, much like Regal helps coach the NXT Superstars before sending them to the main roster.
Both are beloved figures within their respective fandoms. Regal may have played a villain for many years, but he did it with class.
Bayley as Princess Leia
Princess Leia is one of the truly good and pure characters in the original Star Wars trilogy. When most people were questioning their path, Leia remained resolute.
Her hairstyle became recognizable from a great distance and her unwavering determination made her one of the stronger female leads of the '70s.
Bayley has a lot in common with Leia. For one thing, they both have signature hairstyles their fans have emulated for years.
But Bayley is also a true babyface. Her gimmick wouldn't work as a heel unless WWE gave her a complete overhaul, so, much like Ricky Steamboat, she may spend her entire WWE career as a hero.
Both women are great role models because they embody what is good in the ring and in a galaxy far, far away.
The Miz as Kylo Ren
Kylo Ren seemed like a Darth Vader knockoff at first, but he has developed into a deep and interesting character over the course of two movies.
He is definitely a villain, but he showed signs of being conflicted with his role as a Sith apprentice when he stopped himself from firing at Leia's ship in The Last Jedi when he had a perfect shot.
When he joined forces with Rey to take out Supreme Leader Snoke and his guards, fans in theaters around the world began hoping for a Rey and Ren partnership, but their alliance only lasted a few moments.
The Miz is a heel in every sense of the word, but he is also someone many fans want to see make it back to the top because he has worked so hard to get where he is today.
Both men have been shown to have violent tempers that can often get in the way of achieving their goals, so they each have anger management issues to overcome.
Randy Orton as Han Solo
Han Solo is known for many things. He has a cool ship, a furry best friend, a sweet sidearm and some great one-liners, but one conversation has defined the character; did he shoot first in the cantina?
The answer is yes, Solo did, in fact, shoot Greedo first in the original edit of Star Wars: A New Hope. If anyone in WWE can relate to striking first, it's Randy Orton.
The Viper's signature move became so popular, fans began editing him into other clips of people falling to make it look like he took them down with an RKO out of nowhere.
Orton also has the cool factor that one would need to play Solo, but his willingness to make the first move is their biggest similarity.
Asuka as Sabine Wren
For those of you who are not familiar with the Rebels animated series, Sabine Wren is a Mandalorian who left her post in the Empire to help kickstart the rebellion.
Her wildly colorful hairstyles helped her stand out, and it was her graffiti that helped inspire the Rebellion insignia we have come to know over the years.
Asuka has a similar look with her multi-colored hairdo, but the real connection between these two is their unwillingness to give up.
Wren is one of those characters many fans hope to see brought to life with a live-action portrayal someday. Maybe Asuka can book an audition if it ever happens.
Daniel Bryan as Luke Skywalker
The first three Star Wars movies changed filmmaking as we know it, and the hero at the center of the franchise was Luke Skywalker.
He grew from a frustrated teen into the savior of the galaxy right in front of our eyes. The WWE Superstar whose path most closely resembles Luke's is Daniel Bryan.
The Leader of the Yes Movement is arguably one of the most popular pro wrestlers in the world, and like Luke, he had to fight for everything he has.
Going from the indy scene to the big time could be compared with going from a moisture farm on Tatooine to being an integral part of the Rebellion. It's a bit of a stretch, but it works.
We won't even get into how Luke's beard and hair were just as shaggy in The Last Jedi as Bryan's is right now.
Giant Gonzalez as Chewbacca
Big Show and Braun Strowman were originally the frontrunners to be paired up with Chewbacca for this article, but then James Moffat made a much better suggestion on Twitter.
Even though he is not a member of the current roster, Giant Gonzalez is perfect for the role of Chewie both due to his height and his attire.
For those of you too young to remember, WrestleMania 9 featured a match between Gonzalez and The Undertaker. It is Taker's one win by Disqualification at 'Mania, and it is widely considered to be his worst match at the PPV.
Like Chewie, Gonzalez didn't have much mobility, but what he lacked in quickness he more than made up for with power.
Becky Lynch as Rey
When the relatively unknown Daisy Ridley was announced for the role of Rey in The Force Awakens, nobody knew what to expect. Fortunately for her and the entire fandom, Ridley knocked it out of the park.
Rey became an instant hit because she was a good and honest character. It kind of sounds like Becky Lynch, doesn't it?
The Lass Kicker has the same fire and passion as Rey. She worked as a heel for a short time in NXT, but she has only ever been a babyface on the main roster.
Just like with Rey, people want to see Lynch succeed because she has worked so hard and earned the love and respect of the WWE Universe.
Curt Hawkins as a Random Stormtrooper
Some comparisons make too much sense to ignore. If anyone on the WWE roster was going to be a random stormtrooper, it would be Curt Hawkins.
The man with the longest losing streak since The Brooklyn Brawler has won roughly the same number of matches as stormtroopers have successfully shot anyone.
Recent entries into the franchise have made these armored warriors appear slightly more dangerous, but they still fail to hit the hero every time.
At this point, even an Ewok could take out Hawkins with relative ease.
Xavier Woods as Lando Calrissian
Before anyone jumps to the conclusion of Lando Calrissian and Xavier Woods being compared just because of their skin color, you may want to take a closer look at both characters.
Calrissian is smart and can read people like a book. Woods has a PhD in child psychology, so not only is he intelligent, but he has a keen understanding of the human mind.
Lando is a successful businessman in multiple fields. Woods is a top star in WWE and has a popular gaming channel on YouTube called UpUpDownDown, so he knows how to diversify.
The former owner of the Millenium Falcon began as an untrustworthy smuggler before finding his heroic side, much the same way the former Consequences Creed and The New Day found success as heels before turning into the fun-loving trio we know today.
Donald Glover stole the show in Solo, and Woods has been outshining everyone in the ring recently. He also has the ability to talk circles around his opponents, just like Calrissian can talk his way out of almost any situation. If anything, this is the most accurate comparison in this entire article.
The Superstars listed in this article all match up to different Star Wars characters in one way or another, but they aren't the only ones. This piece wouldn't be complete without mentioning a few more.
- Rhyno and Heath Slater as C-3PO and R2-D2.
- Bray Wyatt as General Grievous.
- AJ Styles as Kanan Jarrus.
- Braun Strowman as the rancor.
- Sami Zayn as K-2SO.
- The Undertaker as The Grand Inquisitor.
- Elias as the lead singer of The Cantina Band.
- Matt Hardy as Yoda.
- Big Show as a tauntaun.
Which WWE Superstars would you cast in the Star Wars universe and who would they play?