From the MoviesThe commander of the Alliance Fleet, Admiral Ackbar led the Rebel capital ships into the Battle of Endor. A member of the Mon Calamari species, Ackbar and his people manned the distinctive warships supplied to the Rebellion by that aquatic culture.
Ackbar developed the attack strategy for the Battle of Endor, and commanded the Mon Calamari Star Cruiser Home One. The combination of his proven military tactics and General Lando Calrissian's unorthodox maneuvers were enough to secure victory in the Alliance's most important battle.
Beyond the qualifications of his great skills and sterling character, Ackbar was a symbol to the rest of the galaxy: a symbol that the Alliance is fighting for everyone, no matter what their background or origin. The Empire, in contrast, has made discrimination against non-humans a longstanding policy.
From the Expanded UniverseAckbar had long been used to the role of command. On his homeworld of Mon Calamari he represented his native Coral Depths City in the Mon Calamari Council. When the Empire subjugated the watery world, Ackbar was taken prisoner. The Mon Calamari occupation was brutal, with the Empire destroying three Calamarian cities, and transporting their prisoners as slaves aboard unconverted space containers.
The Imperial fleet officer commanding the Mon Calamari operation presented Ackbar as a slave and gift to Grand Moff Tarkin. This humiliation would be a great asset to the Rebellion; Ackbar was an observant slave, and learned much about the Empire and their military operations. He also learned of the Rebellion spreading across the galaxy.
Ackbar uncovered many Imperial projects that were thought to be classified, including the Death Star. During transit to the gargantuan battle station, Tarkin's command shuttle was ambushed by a Rebel elite force sent to assassinate him. Though Tarkin escaped, Ackbar was liberated and fled with the Rebels. Ackbar's knowledge made him indispensable to the growing Alliance.
Ackbar returned to his people, leading them through numerous conflicts with the Empire before formally joining the Alliance. During a rendezvous with Princess Leia Organa shortly before the Battle of Hoth, Ackbar's modified bulk freighter was destroyed by the Empire. He and his crew escaped in lifepods, crash-landing on the nearby world of Daluuj. There, he was rescued by Han Solo, Luke Skywalker and Organa aboard the Millennium Falcon.
When Ackbar achieved the rank of commander in the Alliance forces, he oversaw the Verpine production of the B-wing starfighter, code-named Project Shantipole. Ackbar managed to convince the Verpine to join the Alliance. For the delivery of the Verpine and the B-wings to the Rebellion, Ackbar was promoted to Admiral by Mon Mothma.
Following the defeat of the Empire at Endor, Ackbar maintained a key position in the command hierarchy of the Alliance of Free Planets, and the New Republic that would follow. He was part of the New Republic provisional government's Inner Council. During the many mop-up operations that cut into the Empire's dwindling territories, Ackbar spearheaded numerous missions into Imperial space. He was influential in ferreting out warlords like Zsinj, and in capturing the capital world of Coruscant for the Republic.
The first few years of the New Republic were extremely trying for Ackbar. His niece, Jesmin Ackbar, died in battle as a starfighter pilot. During the Thrawn crisis, Imperial Intelligence agents framed Ackbar for an embezzlement scheme. The resulting scandal effectively took him out of commission when he was needed the most. Following the defeat of the resurrected Emperor, Ackbar's personal starfighter was sabotaged, which caused him to have a terrible accident on the planet of Vortex, where many innocent Vors were killed. This led Ackbar into early retirement, and back to Mon Calamari.
Ackbar would return to the fleet, though he willingly relinquished control to younger admirals and fleet officers while adopting more of an advisory position. As of 25 years after the Battle of Yavin, Ackbar had retired from official duty.
In his later years, as he body began to fail him, Ackbar came out retirement from his home at the Heurkea Floating City on Mon Calamari. It was during the height of the Yuuzhan Vong invasion, when the defenders of the galaxy had faced setback after setback. Ackbar, aided by Winter, returned to the command post for the newly formed Galactic Alliance, formulating strategies that resulted in a major victory against the Yuuzhan Vong which helped turned the tide of the war.
Sadly, Ackbar succumbed to his advanced age, and died of natural causes on the eve of the war's end.
Behind the ScenesAlthough Ackbar was designed for Return of the Jedi, fans were afforded a first glimpse of the Mon Calamari leader in the daily Star Wars newspaper strips by Archie Goodwin and Al Williamson. These have since been reprinted by Dark Horse Comics as Classic Star Wars, and will soon appear as part of the assortment of daily online webstrips available to members of Hyperspace: the Official Star Wars Fan Club.
Admiral Ackbar was realized as a combination half-body puppet and slip-on mask, depending on what was required for a shot. For close-ups with dialog, Ackbar was an extremely detailed puppet controlled by Tim Rose, the same puppeteer that controlled Salacious Crumb.
An early report in the pages of Bantha Tracks, the old Star Wars Fan Club newsletter listed Ackbar as a Mon Calamari from the "water planet Dac."
Keywords: Databank - Episode VI, Databank - Expanded Universe
Filed under: Vault, Character
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