At long last, “Star Wars: the Force Awakens” is almost in theaters, yet fans still can’t get enough information about the newest film in the franchise to keep them satisfied. Luckily, there’s plenty of news still coming from the production of the science fiction hit, including confirmation that original trilogy character Admiral Ackbar (Tim Rose) will indeed be returning to the big screen.
Although it’s been rumored for a while, Rolling Stone has what is considered to be the first official confirmation that the Mon Calamri alien, and rebel leader, will make an appearance alongside fellow returning characters Han Solo (Harrison Ford), Leia (Carrie Fisher) and the ever absent Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill). The outlet named Ackbar in a list of practical effects characters in its profile on director J.J. Abrams.
— Vulture (@vulture) December 3, 2015
For those that aren’t familiar with the character, he made his first appearance in “Star Wars: Return of the Jedi.” His role in the film was to help the rebels coordinate their second attack on the Empire and the Death Star. Obviously Solo’s battle on the planet of Endor and Luke’s iconic lightsaber fight with Darth Vader (voice by James Earl Jones) took center stage, but fans seemed to respond to Ackbar’s well-delivered “it’s a trap” line.
Despite the news seemingly being confirmed by Abrams, this isn’t the first indication that the character would be returning to the franchise. Previously, allegedly leaked images seemed to reveal not only that Ackbar is in the film, but what he’ll look like after all these years outside the limelight. According to MoviePilot, many believe that the first official glimpse of the character was presented to audiences in the latest teaser trailer for the film. Ackbar is believed to be standing at a round table with several characters that led the original resistance against the Empire. While he’s indistinguishable from other aliens in the Mon Calamri race, given the group of people he’s allegedly standing with, many believe the person in the scene is the character returned.
Previously, the man running the animatronic suit that brings Ackbar to life, Tim Rose, hinted to The Australian that he would be in the upcoming film, but wasn’t able to share any details beyond that.
“What I can say about the new movie is that if you were a fan of the original three, you’re going to absolutely love this one to bits,” he said.
“Star Wars: the Force Awakens” hits theaters on Dec. 18, 2015.