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December 16, 2013
Conley says The Force is with him
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Jedi Warriors, unite. Chris Conley has summoned you to Tatooine.
That challenge, if you dare, is to join in for an epic light saber adventure to defeat the Death Star, one that will be filmed across the campus of the University of Georgia next month after the Bulldogs' appearance in the Gator Bowl against Nebraska.
Conley feels the force is with him.
"It's going to involve a lot of people, a lot of sweat and a lot of flailing of sticks around," the Bulldog wide receiver explained. "When those sticks are done flailing, we'll go in, edit it, put special effects to make it look cool and sound cool. When we're shooting it's probably going to look like a bunch of nerds running around with cameras and stuff."
Conley revealed the battles will take place at several sites across campus, including Sanford Stadium, the driveway in front of Tate Plaza, the steps of Park Hall and the roof the UGA Library, culminating with an epic battle against the evil Darth Vader.
Bulldog running back Todd Gurley proclaims he's ready to become the Jedi's champion . Or is he?
"I hope I get a good role," Gurley championed. "I think I might have to die, but I want to defeat Darth Vader - which nobody can do. I just want to get a couple of scenes."
Conley said he'll do his best to oblige, but warned Gurley that it would be a challenge unlike any he's ever faced on the football field.
"I told him he can't necessarily do that because nobody is going to kill Darth Vader. I said if you fight Darth Vader you will probably die," Conley said. "He said 'Ok, I don't want to die, let me find somebody else.' So, we'll find somebody else to get Todd in there and let him get his acting career launched."
It's not certain whether head coach Mark Richt - himself an acting "veteran" with his role in "Facing the Giants" - will take part, either as a Jedi Knight or play the role of Obi Wan Kenobi.
"Well, I know about Star Wars pretty good. I watched the movie, saw pretty much all of them. I didn't really realize he was making a movie. I was in 'Facing the Giants', that thing went world-wide, you know?" Richt said. "I'm afraid it would ruin my reputation as an actor if I did something again. No, if he asks me, I'd consider it, but I'm not making any promises right now."
Ironically, Gurley said he's never been a Star Wars fan.
In fact, he said he's never seen a single episode.
"What are they, five hours long?" he said. "Nah, I don't get into it - seriously. The only thing I watch is Harry Potter - those are cool."
Fellow wide receiver Michael Bennett can only shake his head.
"He's (Conley) a little bit different. It took me a year or two to get used to it, but now it's just comedy. You just roll and laugh with it a little bit," Bennett said. "That's his deal, I love him. He's a great teammate, a great leader, if he likes Star Wars - its fine. Deep down, he's a really good guy - just a little bit different."
Conley - who became hooked on Star Wars as a young child - says finishing the film will be the culmination of a dream.
It's one he's determined to see to its conclusion.
"I think even though I don't have a lot of time right now, why not do something that's really cool, that's epic while you're still in college?" he said. "Everybody talks about doing something like this, but why not take the time to actually make something happen? I guess it's being trained to finish the drill or follow through on things. I started this now I want to finish it."