Admiral Akbar during The Return of the Jedi

While it was released back in December, fans have not stopped discussing and dissecting every frame from Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. The first standalone film of the franchise delivered in a big way, bridging the gap between the prequel trilogy and A New Hope while making oodles of money for Disney. And part of what made the film so exciting for fans were the connections and cameos of classic characters (say that ten times fast). And while we were delighted to see the likes of Mon Mothma and Grand Moff Tarkin, it turns out another fan favorite almost had a role, before J.J. Abrams' The Force Awakens stole him away.

Rogue One screenwriter Gary Whitta recently spoke to EW about all of the material that was left on the cutting room floor. And among this list was a small role for none other than Admiral Ackbar himself.

I always loved Admiral Ackbar. I wanted to have him in there, but J.J. Abrams got to him first. We didn't want to use him again after The Force Awakens. So Ackbar became Admiral Raddus. You will see those little evolutions.

Well, now I'm bummed. We almost got the most meme worthy character in Star Wars lore as a role in Rogue One, but The Force Awakens cannibalized the character. I guess your really can have too much of a good thing.

Admiral Ackbar has always had a special place in Star Wars fans' hearts. The character came onto the scene in a major way during The Return of the Jedi. During the Battle of Endor, Ackbar commanded the fleet of Rebel soldiers from within his ship. During said battle, Ackbar quickly realizes that their space battle was indeed a trap by The Empire, leading to the most viral moment of Star Wars history.

The "It's a trap!" line has since cemented itself into pop culture, inspiring an endless supply of memes from nerd culture enthusiasts and Star Wars fans alike.

And those fans were delighted to see that Admiral Ackbar had a small role in The Force Awakens. Given only a few lines of dialogue, it was delightful to see the character once again fighting for the light side of the force, alongside General Leia.

But that cameo prevented him from making an appearance in Rogue One. Obviously we don't know how large that role would have been, although smart money says it would have been a quick easter egg for the fans. So while it would have been fun to see him on the big screen again, it's probably better to save Ackbar for the main installments.

Ackbar will likely return for a small role in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, which is set to hit theaters December 15, 2017. Be sure to check out full 2017 release schedule and plan your year of movies!

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