STAR WARS actors love the franchise and their characters as much as the fans do. In a new interview, an iconic star reveals he refused to shoot one of the most famous moments in the entire franchise unless it was taken more seriously.
There have been notorious cases of Star Wars moments that were supposed to be taken seriously provoking laughter and affectionate mockery from fans. Poor old Hayden Christensen’s Anakin will forever be tarred with his hatred of sand, while Jar Jar Binks was supposed to be amusing but ended up universally loathed. However, one Star wars icon has revealed that he did not agree with the jolly tone the director wanted for one of the most famous sequences in the entire franchise. Acor and puppeteer Tim Rose brought Admiral Ackbar to life. He’s happy to have coined a major catchphrase (“It’s a trap”) but he was upset with the way he was asked to react to the destruction of the Death Star.
Rose told online Star wars commentator Jamie Stangroom: “Ackbar’s last moment in Return of the Jedi, we’d won the battle against the Death Star. The director Richard Marquand came round and said, ‘I want you all to stand up and dance around and celebrate because we’ve won the battle.’
“I was at the stage where I came within 200 numbers of being drafted for Vietnam. So I had very strong views about war at the time. While I think it’s something to be proud of but not something to celebrate. There’s a big difference.”
If you watch that scene again, notice how Ackbar’s reaction is utterly at odds with everyone else. Rose makes a powerful case for what he did, although the director was furious. Rose adds; “So in Akbar’s last scene they put the camera on him… I thought about our people who died, their people who died and the weight of it sunk me down in the chair.
“And he (the director) got really angry and he said, ‘Right, we’re gonna do this again and this time you get up and dance around.’
“I said, ‘If you want Akbar to dance around, you can put somebody else in the suit. You got my performance.’ And they left it in.”
Rose also makes a passionate and powerful argument for the unique skills of puppeteers.
He says; “People think because its a puppet or a body suit they can put anyone in it. They quickly discover it becomes a whole different character. They become part of us and we become part of them.”
Image courtesy: DISNEY