Tim Rose reflects on his time as Admiral Ackbar in ‘The Last Jedi.’

Tim Rose started working at Jim Hensons after making a living performing with puppets at fairgrounds and parks throughout the north east of America. Amazingly he happens to be one of the forerunners of what we now know as animatronics. It was whilst working with Jim Henson on projects such as Sesame Street, The Muppets and The Dark Crystal (hello childhood nostalgia!) that Tim Rose ended up a part of Star Wars history. Rose was, in effect, ‘loaned’ to Lucasfilm from Hensons, with both George Lucas and Jim Henson admiring each others work. Consequently he became the man behind the puppets of Sy Snootles, Salacious Crumb and Admiral Ackbar.

Image courtesy of The Fenland Citizen.

Ackbar: “All Craft prepare to jump to hyperspace on my mark!”

Admiral Ackbar is perhaps one of Star Wars most iconic characters. First seen in Return of the Jedi uttering the infamous words “It’s a trap” to the Rebellion, he appears briefly in The Force Awakens and filmed his final scenes for The Last Jedi. (Interestingly he also played the Mon Calamari Shollan in Rogue One.) He only appears briefly throughout the saga but became one of those obscure characters that goes on to become well-loved throughout the fandom.  As one of the most popular characters, his death came as an unwelcome surprise to many. Including Tim Rose himself;

Image courtesy of Star Wars News Net.

“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.”

Tim Rose

“The shield is down! Commence attack on the Death Star’s main reactor.”

In addition, the Express states that he then goes on to talk about the emotional day they shot his final scenes;

“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!’”

Tim Rose

“May the Force be with us.”

Image courtesy of Disney and Lucasfilm

Many it would seem were not happy with Admiral Ackbars death. For a character so beloved by fans of the franchise, was such an uneventful death worthy of his character? This is after all, the Mon Calamari who came out of retirement to help General Leia to lead the newly formed resistance. Meanwhile it turns out that much of the footage shot for Ackbars death was left on the cutting room floor. Tim Rose went on to explain how the filming turned out to be rather risky…

 “We filmed it all. Even in this day of CGI, we finished our dialogue and then they brought in stuntmen in flame-proof costumes. My death scene was so dangerous, everybody had to leave the set. They blew the three stunt guys right across the set. They get sucked out into the void of space so the explosion happened so they were blown towards camera and then they were on snatch lines so they got sucked to the top of the stage. It was totally spectacular… having seen it for reason I suspect they looked at it and thought, ‘Oh my God, what have we done.'”

Tim Rose

The Ackbar Legacy

Originally voiced by Erik Bauersfeld (who passed away in 2016,) Tom Kane took over the voice for The Last Jedi. Likewise, Tom Kane was also dismayed at the way in which the rebel leader died.

I was not really thrilled with how they blew him out the side of the ship”.

Tom Kane talking on ‘That Star Wars Show Live!’
Image courtesy of Lucasfilm and Disney.

Do you think Admiral Ackbars death was a fitting end for such a character? He definitely did not seem to go out in a blaze of glory befitting his character. However, as we know, Star Wars is an ever changing universe and characters come and go all the time. Hopefully, Admiral Ackbar and Tim Rose will be remembered for what the character bought to the rebellion and the resistance, rather then his untimely end.

I wonder what December and The Rise of Skywalker will bring to other beloved characters of the franchise?

Source: The Express