Though he only appeared as a supporting character in the second half of Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of The Jedi, Admiral Ackbar became an iconic figure both in pop culture and for fans with his unique fish-like appearance and signature line-reading of “It’s a trap!” Re-emerging in a cameo for The Force Awakens, Admiral Ackbar remained the most prominent known character of the Mon Calamari alien species.
Now, meet a new fish-eyed tactician who’ll be aiding the cause in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, as a military leader designed to resemble a famous real-world statesman.
Debuting in a preview from Entertainment Weekly, Admiral Raddus is a Mon Calamari military advisor who is involved with the Rebellion’s plans to raid the original Death Star and steal the plans that will eventually be passed from Princess Leia to R2d2 and then to Obi-Wan Kenobi in Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope. While decidedly non-human looking, Raddus bears a subtle resemblance to World War II-era British Prime Minister Winston Churchill – and according to creature effects supervisor Neal Scanlan, that was entirely intentional:
“We always tried to find a real world example of who these creatures may be, and in this case we used Churchill. Admiral Raddus is a very strong figure. We would use [Churchill] not only as visual reference for his physical features, but also when it came to performing him and expressing him through the actor. It helps to have someone to reference in the real world. It grounds our creatures and ideas. We use these references to pull these creatures back and make them feel like they belong here in our world.”
Known for his gruff demeanor and blunt, to-the-point style, Winston Churchill served as the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1940 to 1945 and again from 1951 to 1955. Widely credited with the statesmanship and strategic thinking that helped rally the Allies to victory during World War II, he is regarded as one of the most respected political figures of the 20th Century. Though, of course, his two administrations were not without their critics and controversies.
The precise nature of Admiral Raddus’ role in Rogue One is not known, though the first images of the character depict him sharing at least one scene with Diego Luna’s prominently-featured Captain Cassian Andor. Thus far, Mon Calamari characters in Star Wars have mainly been featured in positions of leadership but not directly involved in combat sequences. Still, it remains to be seen how Admiral Raddus will factor into Rogue One.