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Star Wars: The Force Awakens Is Definitely Bringing Back This Major, Fan-Fave Character

Could this be… a trap? J.J. Abrams brought the "Big Three" back for his Star Wars: The Force Awakens, finding room for Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford. But now we are hearing of another Original Trilogy icon who’s expected to return. That’s right, Admiral Ackbar will have a role in the first Star Wars movie in years.

Tim Rose originally portrayed Ackbar in Star Wars: Return of the Jedi. He was speaking with The Australian about the upcoming The Force Awakens, and revealed that he will have a role in Abrams’ sequel. However, when asked about details, he admitted – as you might expect – that he couldn’t say anything… and that basically pisses him off. Rose vented:

I'm very frustrated by that. Out of the need to be secret, we're not actually able to get everything we need to do our jobs as well as we could. And as someone who has been doing it for 35 years, I find it very frustrating. … 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.

Recent comments made by Star Wars overlord Kathleen Kennedy solidify the fact that The Force Awakens directly connects to Return of the Jedi, so bringing Admiral Ackbar (or whatever his new rank will be by then) back into the fold makes sense. And he absolutely became a prominent figure in Star Wars lore in the Extended Universe appearing in comic books and video games that surfaced after Jedi. Naturally, he also popped up in numerous memes, and this hysterical talk show skit:

Star Wars: The Force Awakens will try to balance the nostalgic with the groundbreaking, leaning on characters like Han Solo and Princess Leia while also introducing new, heroic characters in Rey (Daisy Ridley), Finn (John Boyega) and Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac). The story brings back familiar faces in Chewbacca, R2-D2 and C-3PO, and now Ackbar. In the same interview, Tim Rose explains how you couldn’t just plug any old actor into the Ackbar suit, because he’s a true puppeteer who brings personality to the part. He says:

I'd like to think I gave Ackbar something special, which you can tell. I think you can. I can tell when I see my friends who do specialized and full body suit work no matter what character they go into; I can tell you exactly who it is because I know their movements so well.

Look for Admiral Ackbar back on the big screen when Star Wars: The Force Awakens opens on December 18.

Sean O'Connell
Sean O'Connell

Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. He's frequently found on Twitter at @Sean_OConnell. ReelBlend cohost. A movie junkie who's Infatuated with comic-book films. Helped get the Snyder Cut released, then wrote a book about it.