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The 30 Greatest Star Wars Characters
From Admiral Ackbar to... Yoda - we count down Lucas' best creations

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27. ADMIRAL ACKBAR

Admiral Ackbar

There are three little reasons why we love Admiral Ackbar. Three little reasons why we're quite prepared to ignore the fact that the leader of the Rebel Alliance's Endor attack fleet looks like the offspring of a fish and a turd (with the astoundingly inventive species name of Mon Calamari - tastes great with lemon juice), and overlook his initial cowardice during the Battle Of Endor. And those three little reasons are: "It's a trap!"

Those three words are barked by Ackbar - aka puppeteer Timothy J. Rose - as the fleet comes out of hyperspace towards the end of Return Of The Jedi, only to find they've been sold a pup. And it's those three words, more than anything else about the character, that have made him oddly iconic.

They've been endlessly referenced, not only in the Empire office where you can't mention Ackbar without having them yelled back at you, but also on websites such as Something Awful, YouTube and YTMND, where they've been immortalised in countless avatars, sound files and augmented and amended video clips.

Indeed, Ackbar is further proof that, despite its maligned reputation, Return Of The Jedi features the best and most inventive supporting cast in the saga. From Jabba lackey Bib Fortuna to mumbling Millennium Falcon co-pilot Nien Nunb, to Mon Mothma, banging on about those bloody Bothan spies, no other Star Wars film has as rich a background tapestry.

And at the forefront of that is our dear Admiral, blurting orders to the rest of the Fleet, zipping around in his neat rotating chair, and ultimately implementing a crazy-mo'fo' battle manoeuvre that saves the day, by attacking the Imperial Star Destroyers head-on. Curiously, at the end of the Battle, with the Rebel forces victorious, Ackbar slumps into his retro La-Z-boy, head bowed and looking somewhat disconsolate when he should be punching the air and raising the roof.

Some Star Wars scholars take this as proof that Ackbar is a pacifist at heart and that, even in the moment of ultimate triumph, with freedom restored to the galaxy, he mourns for the loss of innocent (and Ewok) life. There's a simpler explanation, though - Ackbar is celebrating, but the make-up of his fishy head (both as a species and as a prosthetic applicance) doesn't allow him to smile.

Interestingly, this problem could have been avoided if plans had proceeded to instead make Ackbar a blue humanoid. On second thoughts, though, it's really rather cool that the leader of the Rebel Forces is a fish/turd hybrid. After all, if nothing else, it shows that the Alliance is an equal opportunity employer...

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Your Comments

1 RE: I Agree
To paraphrase Palpatine, likeable is a point of view. More

Posted by Litshttam on Wednesday July 9, 2014, 20:47

2 I don't agree.
'George Lucas's 30 worst creations'...? Nah, it's just going to be slagging him off, for the sake of it... AGAIN! Its really good to see more appreciation (and fairness) in articles towards George. Just check out 'The Guardian online', they take every opportunity to slag Star Wars off, including loads of unqualified opinions and non-truths. The film critic even started a recent post saying 'Star Wars isn't known for its creativity...' - its farcical. As a character from another space franchise said "...its easier to destroy than create". More

Posted by Funk_Knight on Thursday July 3, 2014, 10:17

3 I don't agree.
'George Lucas's 30 worst creations'...? Nah, it's just going to be slagging him off, for the sake of it... AGAIN! Its really good to see more appreciation (and fairness) in articles towards George. Just check out 'The Guardian online', they take every opportunity to slag Star Wars off, including loads of unqualified opinions and non-truths. The film critic even started a recent post saying 'Star Wars isn't known for its creativity...' - its farcical. As a character from another space franchise said "...its easier to destroy than create". More

Posted by Funk_Knight on Thursday July 3, 2014, 10:17

4 I Agree
A WORST Star Wars Characters list will be more interesting. Jar Jar obviously would be No. 1. Though I also agree he had a good character arc (But that doesn't make him likable) More

Posted by Darren47 on Wednesday July 2, 2014, 23:50

5 RE: Binks' Arc Is Actually One Of The Best In The Saga
Or Boris Johnson. Or Bush Jr. Take your pick, really. More

Posted by Litshttam on Wednesday July 2, 2014, 22:04

6 RE: Binks' Arc Is Actually One Of The Best In The Saga
L: Litshttam Jar Jar Binks starts off as mythic-archetype - the fool / jester the hero meets by the roadside - and becomes a commentary on the nepotism in politics; his befriending of Padmé Amidala in The Phantom Menace leads to his appointment as Gungan-representative in the senate by Attack Of The Clones. The unfit-for-purpose-but-sincere plonker inadvertently starts the Clone Wars, too, falling for the Hegelian-machinations of Palpatine hook, line and sinker. Sure, Yoda he ain't, but I like him. o, Jar Jar Binks is... Tony Blair? (How wude.) More

Posted by chris kilby on Wednesday July 2, 2014, 12:45

7 RE: Predictable...
L: GrizBe I'd much rather see the 30 worst / dumbest Star Wars characters. We all know Jar Jar would top that, but it'd be more fun then this. ax Rebo? Droopy McCool? More

Posted by chris kilby on Wednesday July 2, 2014, 12:44

8 30 Greatest Characters?
Loads of these were generic 'Stormtrooper', 'Scout Trooper', 'Jawa' etc, not actual characters. Also, Anakin/ Darth Vader, whether you like it or not, is the same dude! Also Ben and Obi-Wan. I've seen several top Star Wars character lists, this is the worst attempt I've seen. More

Posted by AyannaNyx on Wednesday July 2, 2014, 01:26

9 Binks' Arc Is Actually One Of The Best In The Saga
Jar Jar Binks starts off as mythic-archetype - the fool / jester the hero meets by the roadside - and becomes a commentary on the nepotism in politics; his befriending of Padmé Amidala in The Phantom Menace leads to his appointment as Gungan-representative in the senate by Attack Of The Clones. The unfit-for-purpose-but-sincere plonker inadvertently starts the Clone Wars, too, falling for the Hegelian-machinations of Palpatine hook, line and sinker. Sure, Yoda he ain't, but I like him. More

Posted by Litshttam on Tuesday July 1, 2014, 13:38

10 Predictable...
I'd much rather see the 30 worst / dumbest Star Wars characters. We all know Jar Jar would top that, but it'd be more fun then this. More

Posted by GrizBe on Tuesday July 1, 2014, 11:13


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