The day after the NBA trade deadline, Nikola Vučević was set to make an appearance on his then-Orlando Magic teammate Terrence Ross’ podcast, the TRoss Podcast.
Vučević had been wanting to come on to the podcast, which Ross co-hosts with G-League alum Stephen Madison. But when Vučević was traded to the Chicago Bulls, plans got complicated. But with the Bulls not participating in the playoffs, Vučević had a chance to be a guest on the podcast last week.
His transition and adjustment to Chicago was, unsurprisingly, brought up. Madison asked Vučević to talk about what it was like to have Ross as a teammate. Ross also asked his former teammate for his Finals predictions — he went with a Brooklyn Nets–Los Angeles Lakers matchup.
But the biggest topic of discussion during Vučević’s episode? His love for the “Star Wars” franchise (except for maybe the Sequel Trilogy).
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How Vučević’s ‘Star Wars’ Fandom was Born
During the podcast, Madison mentioned that Vučević is a big fan of “Star Wars” and asked him how he developed an interest in the franchise.
It all started when Vučević was 8 years old, and the first prequel, “Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace” was released in theaters. He detailed how his mom took him and his friend to the movies and that “The Phantom Menace” was being shown. He liked it right away but wasn’t aware going into the film that the movie was a part of an existing cinematic universe.
“After that, I was talking to other people about it, and they told me there was a whole other ‘Star Wars’ movies, a whole other ‘Star Wars’ world that I really didn’t know about,” Vučević explained.
An Orlando Sentinel article mentioned that Vučević, who was born in Switzerland but has Montenegrin heritage, was actually living in Belgium at the time.
However, the Bulls’ big man also mentioned that it wasn’t till college that he really came to love the franchise, because it wasn’t until he was older that he could truly appreciate the complexity that the films offer: the dark and light sides of the Force and how the themes “connect to real life.”
“As you get older, you see it totally differently,” Vučević said.
Vučević Has Strong Feelings About the Sequel Trilogy
The “Star Wars” franchise has nine episodic films. The last three make up the Sequel Trilogy and include “The Force Awakens,” “The Last Jedi” and “The Rise of Skywalker.” In the “Star Wars” fandom, this trio of films is generally seen in a negative light.
When it comes to Vučević, his opinions are no different.
During the podcast, he admitted that, because the films are still a part of the “Star Wars” universe, there will always be things to like about them. But, in general, he is not a fan. He even went as far to say that the new movies shouldn’t have been made.
“My biggest issue was they went away from what ‘Star Wars’ is,” Vučević said. “They didn’t respect none of the Jedi rules, none of the Jedi ways, how it’s done. They didn’t respect any of that. Everything was just so easy for Rey. And then, Kylo Ren was a terrible villain. And then, Darth Sidious comes out of nowhere. You’re just not following how the Jedi way is and the Sith and everything is. You’re just throwing things here and there.”
The two-time All-Star is such a big “Star Wars” fan that, in December, he jokingly posted a tweet about his disappointment with his wife after she disrespected Yoda:
Vučević had more to say than just complain about the existence of the Sequel Trilogy, though.
He listed Luke Skywalker, Ahsoka Tano and Darth Vader as some of his favorite characters in the franchise. He mentioned that he owns a collection of “Star Wars” comics. He expressed his desire to have costumes to wear for Halloween but that his seven-foot frame is not well-suited for such.
How ‘Star Wars’ Ties Into Vučević’s Retirement Plans
While discussing his “Star Wars” fandom, the 30-year-old center briefly mentioned that Legos are one of his hobbies. He said he has a “big collection” of “Star Wars” Legos, but they are still in their respective boxes, unbuilt.
“I’m waiting until I retire, and then I’m in the house, wherever we live,” Vučević said. “I’m going to build a nice room for myself to build them.”
A November 2018 article from The Athletic revealed that, for his 27th birthday in 2017, Vučević wanted a Lego Millenium Falcon — a set that consists of 7,541 pieces. Whether he ever got one wasn’t mentioned. But the two-time All-Star did address the reason why he hasn’t built any of his “Star Wars” Lego sets during the TRoss Podcast.
Once a Lego set has been assembled, it needs to be treated as a fragile item because of how easily it could break if not handled with care. So transporting an assembled Lego set wouldn’t be easy. Vučević acknowledged this fact and the hassle that would come with it if he ever had to move. It’s why he’s saving the Lego building for his post-playing days.
“If a mover was to break my Legos, it would not be good for him,” Vučević said.