There’s something comforting about him. Weirdly huggable in his slimy-Muppet way, described by Oregonian critic and good guy Shawn Levy as “a lobster with the voice of Winston Churchill,” best known for doing a tough job with bad information and faced with overwhelming odds at the Battle of Endor -- wouldn’t you have been surprised into yelling “It’s a trap!”? -- especially when it turns out the PLANET-DESTROYING WEAPON your fleet is buzzing is actually working and able to pick off entire spaceships in single shots. Try doing what he did without embarrassing or soiling yourself.
(I considered this entry being a therapy session for Ackbar where he laments mainly being known for that line, when come on he helped stop a fleet, but decided I didn‘t want to try to pull that off. And maybe someone else playing therealljidol has done that…)
Back in high school, in a barely-started attempt at writing fanfic, I wrote a post-Jedi scene on a ship sent to find and deal with pockets of Imperial holdouts. (This was before Timothy Zahn’s Star Wars: Heir to the Empire had been published, so I was far from the only one to realize that Imperial forces would still have to be reckoned with even after the Death Star and the bulk of the fleet had been destroyed.) Ackbar was command staff on the vessel. I had him listen to an underling rattle off coordinates that sounded like Dan Aykroyd reciting regulation numbers in Dragnet. I didn’t know about writing good dialogue yet. I wrote only that one scene, though I managed other writing. (Like this. Reading that is not a requirement for this entry, but I hope you like it if you do.)
The Star Wars expanded universe, I’m glad and relieved to find out, gave Ackbar much more to do, both before and after Jedi. There was more to him than what we saw, and that’s part of the genius of Star Wars: how deftly it implies the possible histories of the creatures and places appearing within it, and how all sorts of writers and fans have been allowed to imagine those further details. This is (bad analogy alert) far from being a trap! THERE IS NO TRAP FOR IMAGINATION. (There. Bad analogy and attempts at profundity ended.)
This has been a tribute to Admiral Ackbar. Hug your Mon Calamari today.
This has been an entry for Week 3 of therealljidol.