Admiral “It’s a Trap!” Ackbar may not be the biggest name in ‘Star Wars’, but he is still a fan favorite and one of the few holdovers from the original trilogy, having first appeared in 1983’s ‘Return of the Jedi’, to appear in the new films. But the actor that provides his voice, Tom Kane, felt that his death in ‘The Last Jedi’ was unceremonious and that he should have been given the hero’s death that was instead given to a newly-created character, Vice Admiral Amilyn Holdo, played by Laura Dern.
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At an appearance at Star Wars Celebration in Chicago, Kane stated:
“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].”
In the film, Ackbar is killed, and Leia also nearly dies after their ship is blasted and they get sucked into space. Leia survives by using The Force to draw her back inside. Ackbar… doesn’t. Instead, with him dead and Leia incapacitated, Holdo assumed control and had a memorable conflict with Poe. Then at the end, she sacrifices her life when she rams the Raddus into the Supremacy at lightspeed.
While the conflict with Poe may not have been possible with Ackbar calling the shots, longtime fans would have at least gotten a noble death from this classic supporting character.
At least in the Marvel Comics adaptation, written by Gary Whitta, Ackbar was given memorable final words: “It’s been an honor serving with you all.”
The film’s editor, Bob Ducsay agrees with Kane’s sentiment. In an interview last January, he admitted:
“It’s interesting that you mentioned it, because I watched the film last night and I thought, hmmm, maybe that’s too incidental. It’s a very funny thing about that because what happens … I don’t typically watch movies that I work on much afterwards, because you’re so familiar with it. But this movie I’ve seen now a couple times with an audience… That’s how [Ackbar’s death] was designed. That’s how it was intended. But it is slightly incidental, isn’t it?”
That’s just one thing that ‘The Last Jedi’ had working against it. It perhaps shouldn’t be so surprising that it was the most divisive ‘Star Wars’ movie yet.
Neither Ackbar nor Holdo will be back in ‘Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker’ which rises in theaters on December 20.