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The original Star Wars trilogy has probably been viewed billions of times at this point. Nearly every line of dialogue has likely been memorized by somebody, somewhere. However, a handful of the lines have taken on a life of their own. One of those lines was spoken by Erik Bauersfeld, and you know it well, even if you didn’t know his name. Bauersfeld was the voice of Admiral Ackbar in Star Wars: The Return of the Jedi. Unfortunately, the Star Wars family lost the admiral earlier this week as Erik Bauersfeld has passed away at the age of 93.
According to USA Today, Erik Bauersfeld died of natural causes in his home in Berkeley, CA. While Bauersfeld was an accomplished radio producer and voice actor, he will be remembered forever for his one role of the Rebel Alliance’s Admiral Ackbar. Most notably, he’ll be remember for the words "It’s a trap." While fans may have enjoyed that particular delivery for years, with the advent of the internet "It’s a trap" has taken on a life of its own. It’s become one an incredibly popular internet meme. Apparently Bauerfeld only became aware of the popularity of his character, and his line, much later.
Part of the reason the line is so memorable is because of Erik Bauersfeld unique voice when he delivers it. According to the actor, he received no direction on how to deliver his lines. The voice actor says that upon seeing Admiral Ackbar for the first time, he simply knew what the character needed to sound like. Admiral Ackbar wasn’t the only Star Wars character that Bauersfeld provided a voice for. He also created the voice for Jabba the Hutt’s personal assistant Bib Fortuna. Though, as Fortuna spoke an alien language, it was probably harder to come up with memorable lines.
Erik Bauersfeld returned the role that made him famous for a cameo in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. It’s unknown whether there were any plans for the character in future installments, or what changes they’ll need to make if there were. Still, we’ll always have Jedi.
Admiral Ackbar was a small supporting player in the greater Star Wars saga, but as fans have spent so much time with him over the years, he probably feels like more. So next time you find yourself quoting your favorite line from Star Wars: The Return of the Jedi take an extra moment to remember the man who said it. He will be missed.