Tim Rose, who portrayed Admiral Ackbar in multiple Star Wars films, says he was disappointed by the character's death in The Last Jedi. As many people know by now, Rian Johnson's entry in the Skywalker saga proved to be one of the most divisive studio tentpoles in recent memory when it premiered in December 2017. Viewers continue to debate the film's merits to this day, feeling that it was either the breath of fresh air the franchise needed or the film that effectively ruined the saga.
Several of Johnson's creative decisions were highly controversial. Many people took issue with the way the director handled key sequel trilogy plot points, such as Rey's parentage, Supreme Leader Snoke, and Luke Skywalker's exile. But there were also smaller choices that rubbed some fans the wrong way. Chief among those was the death of Admiral Ackbar, a fan-favorite Rebellion figure since his debut in Return of the Jedi. During the First Order's attack on the Raddus, Ackbar is among several Resistance leaders who perished when they were blown away in an explosion. As one can imagine, Rose was hoping for a different fate for his character.
In an interview with Jamie Stangroom, Rose talked about his reaction to Ackbar's demise. The actor admitted he was let down by Ackbar's role in The Last Jedi, especially after he had so little to do during The Force Awakens. He was always hoping the filmmakers would give him "something more juicy," but instead learned Ackbar was going to get shot out of a window. Things only got worse for Rose before he left the set:
We finished all of our bits and they asked me to come down to camera and I thought "Oh well maybe they're going to say thank you for being one of the heritage characters and giving 30 years and all that" but what they did was ask me to look at camera and say "it's a wrap". I was actually in tears in the suit because I thought - after everything, after hoping they'd be something, after knowing there wasn't going to be anything else, Ackbar's final moment before he went in to the box was a big joke about it's a wrap. And that was the sum total of my life as Ackbar!
The "It's a wrap!" moment can be seen in the Last Jedi behind-the-scenes sizzle reel that was released during the 2017 D23 Expo. It's obviously a play on Ackbar's now-iconic "It's a trap!" line from Return of the Jedi. While that bit was amusing for fans, one can understand Rose's point of view when thinking about it from his perspective. His last moments as Ackbar on a Star Wars set were reduced to riffing on an old punchline, and Rose was hoping for something with a little more gravitas and poignancy. Of course, the primary reason why Ackbar became a beloved favorite is that meme-worthy "It's a trap!" line that fans latched on to, so that will always be part of the Ackbar legacy. It should be noted, however, that Stangroom said the anecdote was told "in a very warm way" and he didn't "sense any real bitterness."
Now, both actors who helped bring Ackbar to life have voiced their displeasure with the character's untimely death. Earlier this year, voice actor Tom Kane revealed he wasn't happy with the way Ackbar was killed off, and further criticized The Last Jedi for having new character Vice Admiral Holdo save the Resistance fleet with a daring self-sacrificial gesture. Many, including Kane, felt it should have been Ackbar who got the heroic death since he was one of the original trilogy characters fans had a connection with. It's sad that Ackbar's time in the Star Wars saga is over, but he will never be forgotten.
Source: Jamie Stangroom
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019