Tim Rose, who was a puppeteer in Return of the Jedi and performed as Admiral Ackbar, Sy Snootles and Salacious Crumb, and who returned in both The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi as Admiral Ackbar once more, only this time actually inside a suit, was recently interviewed by Jamie Stangroom. Jamie’s YouTube Channel is still very unknown, he has very few subscribers and his videos don’t really have that many clicks, but over the time he interviewed quite a few Star Wars actors. Jamie also brought Ahmed Best to the forefront again, when he interviewed the Jar-Jar actor, this made quite a few waves back then when it was revealed just how devasted Ahmed felt at the time. And now Jamie interviewed Tim Rose. In the first half of the interview Tim shares a funny anecdote about filming Return of The Jedi, but then he talks about his experience on set of The Last Jedi and how he felt about being killed off unceremoniously. Spoiler: he was very disappointed. Watch the interview clip and then click through for a discussion!
Now, before you confuse things here: Tim Rose is the one who performed Ackbar on set, while on set Rose also provided all of the dialogue for Ackbar, but Ackbar’s voice you hear in the movies was later added in ADR. But for all intents and purposes Rose performed as Ackbar, similar to David Prowse playing Darth Vader. First as a puppeteer in 1983 and for TFA and TLJ as the man in the suit.
While the anecdote he relays about Return of the Jedi is funny, the story he tells about The Last Jedi is somewhat heartbreaking (please watch the video to learn more). He felt disappointed that Ackbar was killed off unceremoniously and was especially upset that he and his character were used as a joke on set when the crew asked him to say “It’s a wrap” into the camera after the death scene. He had expected the crew to maybe honor him, as one of the heritage characters who has been with Star Wars for over 30 years, but the film crew had other things in mind. That Rose was in tears and needed 30 minutes backstage to calm down shows you how much all of that meant to him and how hurt he was.
I would say the film crew (Rose never says if Johnson actually was on set or if maybe the 2nd unit filmed his scene that day) never really intended for Tim Rose to get hurt, but they very obviously underestimated how much Star Wars, how much a bit part even like Ackbar, can mean to a performer who never made it big, never was in the spotlight and whose name is probably mostly unknown, even though everyone knows Ackbar.
So the next time someone says Ackbar is a joke character, the performer certainly doesn’t feel that way at all. And I agree with him, even though Robot Chicken loved to make fun of Ackbar and his signature line has become a catchphrase, the character was never a joke in the movies and I feel quite a few fans would have loved for Tim Rose to have a little bit more to do in the new movies and to give Ackbar the send off he deserves.
How do you feel about it? Do you think Tim Rose was a bit melodramatic on set or do you understand his feelings and sympathize with him?
Source: Jamie Stangroom’s YouTube channel. His interviews and pieces about Star Wars actors are certainly of interest to any fan!
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