Tim Rose, the puppeteer behind Admiral Ackbar, has opened up about the disappointing way his legendary Star Wars character was treated in The Force Awakens but particularly his death in The Last Jedi.
Speaking on the Jamie Stangroom YouTube channel, Rose, who debuted as the military commander of the Rebel Alliance in 1983’s Return Of The Jedi, candidly admitted, “After The Force Awakens, for whatever reason, length of picture, whatever, it all got cut out.”
“So after waiting 30 years to reprise Ackbar I was a little disappointed with Ackbar's role in that picture. So in The Last Jedi, I was quite looking forward to maybe them giving him something more juicy.”
“We were only given the script on the day when we were shooting that piece of script, so each day I would come to work going, ‘Is today the day when Ackbar gets something a bit more involving?’ And I looked at my script and I went, ‘Oh, Ackbar's going out of the window. Well, that's that then!’”
But after shooting his death sequence, which saw Ackbar killed alongside the other Resistance Leaders when the First Order suddenly attacked them, Rose found himself even more offended by an untimely and brazen request from The Last Jedi’s crew.
“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, they gave me a Millennium Falcon sign that had the day and the date on it, the scene number, and they said, ‘Can you look at camera and say "It's a wrap?" Because that would be really funny.’”
“I was actually in tears in the suit because I thought - after everything, after hoping there’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.’ They just thought ‘Wouldn’t it be funny?’ And that was the sum total of my life as Ackbar.”
But while Ackbar had no dialogue in The Last Jedi, at least the comic book adaptation of the film revealed that his final words were, “Torpedoes inbound! It’s been an honor serving with you all.”