Four University of Mississippi students joined together for a joke, launching the Ole Miss Rebel Alliance, a group intent on finding a new mascot for the Oxford, Miss., school. The quartet came up with a face for the movement—Admiral Ackbar, a strange-looking figure from Star Wars—and even a website, Facebook group, and Twitter account.
They never expected the admiral to become a dark-horse contender for the students' vote on a new school mascot, the Daily Mississippian reports.
"We started this as sort of a fun thing," one of the alliance's founders, Tyler Craft, tells the Daily Mississippian. "We did it with satire, fun, and a little comedy. Admiral Ackbar represented the people who wanted to move forward, which apparently was a good portion of the campus."
The Rebel Alliance has gained considerable momentum with its push. "Ole Miss Rebel Alliance" was the sixth-most-searched term on Google, according to the Daily Mississippian. But don't be confused by the group's intentions. While Ackbar is the face of the movement, he's not necessarily the founders' ideal mascot. He's just the face of a push to start a fresh mascot search at Ole Miss. But that may be lost on some students, who seem to be attached to the idea that Ackbar could be their mascot.
"From the beginning, we never intended for Admiral Ackbar to be the mascot, and I think now there are people who want him to be the mascot," Craft says. "I think this whole process should be a student-led, nebulous effort. If some people from the group are inspired by this and want to push for it, obviously we're not going to stop them."
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