Admiral Ackbar was all set for 'Rogue One', but J.J. Abrams pinched him for 'The Force Awakens'

Ben Arnold
Admiral Ackbar (Disney/Lucasfilm)

Although Fleet Admiral Gial Ackbar's fate ultimately sealed in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, he might have had another pivotal Star Wars battle scene, but for J.J. Abrams.

According to Gary Whitta, of the writers of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, they had eyed him for a comeback in their prequel movie.

Read more: Mandalorian characters could cross into Star Wars movies

But in a tweet to a fan, he's revealed that Abrams bagsied using the amphibious mon calamari war hero for Star Wars: The Force Awakens first.

Admiral Raddus in Rogue One (Disney/Lucasfilm)

This meant that instead, Rogue One had to go with the equally gruff, but not quite as iconic Admiral Raddus instead.

Whitta goes on to say: “I think they didn’t want to over-use him and instead introduce new characters.”

Tragically, Raddus perishes during the Battle of Scarif in the prequel movie, which told the story of the rebel spies who stole the plans for the Death Star, allowing the alliance to destroy it at the end of Star Wars: A New Hope (mind you, Ackbar couldn’t have died in Rogue One, as he is pivotal in Return of the Jedi).

Read more: Update on the Willow series for Disney+

Raddus’s death does not go unhonoured, however, with General Leia Organa's star cruiser being named the Raddus as a mark of respect.

Ackbar in Return of the Jedi (Fox/Lucasfilm)

Fan fave Ackbar, best known for his Return of the Jedi catchphrase 'It's a trap!' during the Battle of Endor, did go on to appear in Abrams' Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

And he finally perished in battle in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, but his unceremonious end got some Star Wars fans pretty angry at the time.

Nate Jones, writing on New York magazine's culture website Vulture, called the manner of his death “disrespectful and unfathomably rude”.