LeBron James as Annikan Skywalker

So since it seems like it is inevitable that LeBron James is going to win his first NBA title and also his first NBA Finals MVP, I figure this is the perfect time to chronicle James’ career according to a popular movie series in which everyone should be familiar with. It starts as his time as the chosen one, then making the journey over to the darks side. One day it just kind of hit me how many striking similarities LeBron James has to Annikan Skywalker from the Star Wars series. You might be thinking that I’ve lost my mind here, but let me explain and hopefully you’ll see where I’m coming from.

Everyone knew of LeBron James as a kid in high school. He was in the national spotlight as the next big thing, well more than the next big thing really; many deemed James “the chosen one”. Everyone knew LeBron was going to be a very special person at an early stage in his career, just as when Annikan was a pod racer already going up the best of the best, people expected great things from him.

The Cleveland Cavaliers drafted LeBron as close to his hometown as he could have been when selected first overall in the 2003 NBA Draft. As a kid form Akron, Ohio, James was supposed to bring glory to the Cavaliers franchise, a franchise that had been troubled
for some time now. His early years in Cleveland he was an instant success. Like Skywalker, LeBron was winning nearly every battle that came his way at a very young age.

The only problem is that James wanted much more than just winning games. He wanted to win an NBA Championship. The only problem is that he wasn’t getting help from the Cavaliers front office to help him achieve his goal. They kept saying they would get him help, but it didn’t seem to ever come through. Think of when Skywalker wanted nothing more than to be a Jedi, but the counsel would not grant him the rank of master. They told Skywalker multiple times that he must be patient with them, and that he was destined for greatness. The Cavaliers and Skywalker both couldn’t wait around much longer.

Currently, the public opinion on LeBron James is very divided. This wasn’t always so. When with Cleveland, everyone seemed to like LeBron, because he might bring his hometown an NBA Championship. Cleveland is the Jedi way here. Patience is key, and it is what he has always known and wanted to be. Times became hard for James though, because, like Annikan, he had all this power, but did not think it was being used to its full potential. This is when Counselor Palpetine comes in to the mix. Palpetine is actually split between two people involved with the Miami Heat. He is a mix between Dwyane Wade and Pat Riley. In the third installment of Star Wars, Palpetine establishes himself as a close friend of Skywalker’s, and uses this to get into his head. Dwyane Wade had been a good friend of LeBron James for some time and used his friendship with him to try and lure him to the Miami Heat, the dark side, where it would be much easier to win an NBA Championship and his power could be truly recognized.

It was a tough time for James. He wanted to stay with Cleveland, but he wanted to save his dream of being an NBA champion even more. After much deliberation, LeBron decided that he must make a decision on what he wanted to do with his life. Did he want to stay in Cleveland and do things the Jedi way, or bring his talents to the dark side and be a part of the Miami Heat? The choice was not an easy one for James, but it was one that inevitably changed his life forever.

To backtrack just a bit here, there is one person I’m leaving out of the mix here and that is the owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers, Dan Gilbert. Gilbert was a big LeBron fan, but was very much against what Dwyane Wade was trying to do in leading him to the Miami Heat. For comparison’s sake, let’s say that Gilbert approached Wade for this discussion. Wade being Counselor Palpetine, and that would make Gilbert Mace Windu. (Honestly, this is giving Gilbert way too much credit, because Windu was awesome, but it makes the comparison better due to the letter he wrote after James left. I pretty much consider that the death of Gilbert) In Revenge of the Sith, Windu and Palpetine get into a heated exchange in which Windu is about to successfully get rid of the Counselor, whom he believes is a Sith Lord. It is at this time that Skywalker walks in and sees what is going on. It is right here and now that he had to make “the decision”. LeBron had to decide if he was going to help his owner and stay with the Cavaliers and trust in him to get the right pieces around him, or go with his friend to the dark side. We all know how this ends up. Just as in the movie, James chooses to save his friend in Dwyane Wade and join the Miami Heat. This was a very controversial scene when James made the decision to take his talents to South Beach, just as Skywalker ultimately killing Windu was also controversial.

Now, earlier I stated that public opinion was greatly on LeBron’s side while he was in Cleveland. Everything changed once he made his decision to become a part of the Miami Heat. As far as public opinion goes, for the most part, everyone thought James was a sellout, and he became the most hated man in the city of Cleveland, and also the whole state of Ohio. To want to win a championship this way, James had to be a different person, and he had become one in joining the Heat.

Also, in Star Wars, when Palpetine succeeds in winning over Skywalker, he decides to take the Republic in a different direction deeming himself emperor. This is more so the Pat Riley side of Palpetine, since he ultimately made LeBron James his “apprentice.”

Skywalker promised the emperor that he would do great things for him. Kind of like how LeBron said he would win not just one championship, not two, not three, not four, etc. This brings us to the first year of LeBron James in Miami. He was the chosen one that went astray. He joined a team that ultimately consisted of three superstars. Together, they formed the dark side that is the Miami Heat. Everyone assumed that the Heat would make true to James’ promise on multiple championships, starting with their first year together. They were just too powerful.

Then, in a fiery battle last year that was the NBA Finals, the Heat ran into the Dallas Mavericks. If the Jedi way were staying with the team that drafted you throughout troubles and losing seasons while still wanting to win a title, then this would make Dirk Nowitzki Obi Wan Kenobi. Yes, I know. Nowitzki did not train James as he grew up, but again, for the sake of the comparison bear with me here. In a heated battle, Nowitzki and his Dallas Mavericks successfully defeated the Miami Heat in last year’s NBA Finals. James did not play well in these Finals. It is that year though, and that playoff series, that changed LeBron James forever. This NBA Finals, we are witnessing a poised LeBron James. His facial expression does not change from pre-game introductions to post-game interviews. He wants his championship and he has matured before our eyes. He has become a different person and will ultimately win multiple championships to go with his multiple MVPs. Some say he is the best ever, which makes the comparison that he has changed and become Darth Vader all too easy.

It will be some time before a team is able to grow up and defeat the Miami Heat. Some may ask though, are the Oklahoma City Thunder the team that can one day oust Darth Vader and the Heat? Kevin Durant as Luke Skywalker, Russell Westbrook as Han Solo, and James Harden as Chewbacca. The comparisons are there. Durant could be the savior; he just hasn’t grown into it yet. Westbrook likes to steal the show from Durant and is very flashy. Harden, well, that one is just self-explanatory. Until the Thunder realize their true potential though, or some other team with their band of heroes step up, the Miami Heat and LeBron James are going to go on winning championships in a galaxy not so far, far away that is the NBA.

Day to Day Sports Contributor


  1. Nice try in again propagating LeBron James a villain because he cares about winning more than being a superstar. You sir, are clueless.

    The Anakin analogy not only makes no sense, but does not apply to James at all.
    I hope you never write another article.


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