One thing about Disney’s new Star Wars that has been often criticised is the treatment of some of the characters from the original trilogy. Whether it be a grumpy, cynical Luke Skywalker, or the killing of loveable rogue Han Solo, fans have found plenty to be upset about.
One fan-favourite character that was completely side-lined is Admiral Ackbar, who sadly did not receive anything close to a memorable moment, and certainly nothing that compares to his infamous “It’s a trap!” scene. Well, things could have been very different if Gary Whitta, the writer behind Rogue One, had gotten his way.
Gary Whitta took to Twitter earlier this week to remind fans that at one point, Admiral Ackbar was all set to appear in the movie, and would have been leading the air assault over Scarif while the Rogue One squadron took care of things on the ground.
“Originally Ackbar led the orbital attack over Scarif but JJ had got to him first so he was replaced with Raddus.”
The reminder came in response to a question from a fan, who asked Whitta whether there was anything he had wanted to include, but couldn’t.
“Was there anything inspired by Return of the Jedi that you wanted to include in Rogue One but couldn’t?”
Sadly, according to Whitta, the reason why he could not give fans the Admiral Ackbar moment they all wanted was because Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker director JJ Abrams had some form of official “dibs” on the character, which stopped Whitta from including the beloved fish-faced leader in any capacity.
Instead, Whitta created an original character of the same race as Ackbar named Admiral Raddus, who piloted his star cruiser during the battle of Scarif. Vader eventually boards the ship and Raddus is killed when it is destroyed. As for Ackbar, he is somewhat unceremoniously killed in a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it moment during The Last Jedi, where he’s abruptly blown up along with several other Resistance leaders. This quick death and complete lack of recognition was something that voice actor Tom Kane did not particularly agree with.
“I’ve been Ackbar for about six years… and I was not really thrilled about how they blew him out the side of the ship. I’m like, ‘Who is this Holdo woman? Nobody knows her, no one’s invested in her – who is she? Why is she saving the fleet?’ If anyone was gonna save the fleet it’d be Ackbar [laughs].”
Whether audiences were really invested in Admiral Ackbar is open to debate, but surely most would agree that he deserved to be treated better than he was considering his meme-inspired popularity. This comes to us from Gary Whitta’s Official Twitter.