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...