Of all the new mascot submissions Ole Miss officials prepared themselves for, I'm betting they didn't expect a serious challenge from a little-known Star Wars character. And yet, here he is.
Do you know Admiral Ackbar? Even if you like Star Wars, you might not; it's not like Ackbar is Chewbacca or R2. The fishy character is best known for his famous "It's a trap!" line from "Star Wars Episode VI: Return Of The Jedi," a line that's managed to become something of an Internet meme in recent years, culminating with appearances on "The Daily Show" and "The Colbert Report" earlier this month.
Which is where Ole Miss students come in. After Mississippi officials decided to officially do away with the controversial Colonel Reb and search for a new mascot, students voted on the mascot they'd most like to see take Reb's place. The winner? Admiral Ackbar. High five, Ole Miss students. You guys win. Too funny.
Of course, not unlike Luke Skywalker's journey from desert peon to (spoiler alert!) savior of the Galaxy, the good Admiral's path to mascotdom is fraught with challenges:
Officials say there's virtually no chance the fish-faced leader of the Rebel Alliance in the movie could become the on-field mascot for the Rebels of Ole Miss. The Associated Student Body president dismisses it as "comic relief."
And, of course, there's that whole "using a licensed character for profit motives" thing that probably isn't going to fly with George Lucas' army of Sith lawyers. Still, though, a rogue faction exists. They are small. They are young. They are taking on an institutional Empire of legal prohibitions and stuffy old men in tweed jackets. Their goal, however, is noble, and that is the only thing that matters. I feel like I've heard this story before.
Ole Miss students, you rakish devils. May the Force be with you.