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This question contains SPOILERS for The Last Jedi.

In the first act of The Last Jedi, the Resistance successfully evacuates their base on D'Qar and jumps to hyperspace to flee the First Order. Shortly after exiting hyperspace, however, they again encounter the First Order, and a brief space battle ensues. This results in the bridge of the Raddus being hit by TIE fighters and everyone on the bridge at the time being blown out into space, with only Leia surviving. Among those who didn't survive this attack was Admiral Ackbar.

This has been a notable controversial aspect of the film, but I'm curious if any explanation exists online pertaining to this event.

On April 3rd, 2016, Erik Bauersfeld (the voice actor for Admiral Ackbar) passed away. Prior to this, he reprised the character one last time in The Force Awakens. While Tim Rose reprised the character in the physical, onscreen form in The Last Jedi, he was voiced by Tom Kane this time. I haven't been able to determine much of anything about the timeline when it came to filming The Last Jedi (such as how much had been filmed by the time Bauersfeld died, or if any major changes were made as a result). Is there anything to confirm whether or not Bauersfeld's death was a factor in deciding the fate of Admiral Ackbar? Or was that coincidental?

  • I don't think it's a spoiler to mention Adm. Ackbar in the title. – ThePopMachine Feb 1 '18 at 18:40
  • @ThePopMachine I didn't want to take any chances. I know several people who still haven't seen The Last Jedi. – Spar10 Leonidas Feb 2 '18 at 3:26
  • I don't see how asking if Adm Ackbar's role in TLJ was affected by real life events pertaining to the actor implies anything about whether the character died or not. It should be pretty safe. – ThePopMachine Feb 2 '18 at 17:32
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Unknown, but chances are "no" based on circumstantial evidence:

  • As you noted, they already had a new actor voice-acting in TLJ, so the new actor could have acted in Episode IX as well

  • They didn't even adjust the plot of Episode VIII to reflect Carrie Fisher's passing (though everyone and their pet Porg noted how it would have been the best filmmaking idea ever to have her die in the same scene as Ackbar). As such, there's little chance they would adjust the plot for less iconic actor.

  • As of right now, there is no evidence that this plot choice was affected by actors off-screen passing, at least based on my research.

    • The only interview on the topic (editor Bob Ducsay) did NOT mention this as a factor at all, and was more about the "incidental" way he was killed off as opposed to some heroic death like in EU.
  • However, the interview stressed that it was “That’s how it was designed,” he concluded. “That’s how it was intended. ..."

    This matches up to overall "The Last Jedi" philosophy that "let the past die" and explains Ackbar's death far more than out of universe timing.

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