With his distinctive salmon-colored skin, high-domed head and large fish-like eyes, Gial was realized in Return of the Jedi through the use of a half-body puppet and slip-on mask, depending on the camera angles used. He was portrayed in the film by puppeteer Timothy M. Rose, who asked to play the part after he was impressed with a sculpt of the puppet. Gial was voiced by Erik Bauersfeld, who made up the voice he believed matched the character after looking at a photo of Ackbar.
The Gial character has been received positively by critics and fans. The line "It's a trap!", which he says during a scene in Return of the Jedi, was one of the most popular lines from the Star Wars films and became a popular Internet meme.
Gial Ackbar was once the captain of the guard for the Mon Calamari kings Yos Kolina and Lee-Char, and fought alongside Anakin Skywalker, Ahsoka Tano, Padme Amidala, Captain Rex, and Jar Jar Binks during the Battle of Mon Cala during the Clone Wars. After, during the advent of the Galactic Civil War, Ackbar became one of the greatest leaders and tacticians of the war, and was instrumental in a successful attack on the Second Death Star that resulted in the destruction of Palpatine and a vast majority of his loyalists. Perhaps his greatest accomplishment during this battle was his orchestration of the destruction of the Super Star Destroyer Executor, causing the starship to crash into the Death Star. Ackbar would later retire to Mon Cala with the rise of the New Republic, but was called back into service by his old friend Leia Organa, who realized that the First Order was a greater threat than had been realized by the New Republic.
Gial is very loyal and faithful to his cause. He is also intelligent, as he is highly strategic and tactical. He attributes a lot of wisdom, one of the qualities that makes him a good leader. He is also very brave.
Powers and Abilities
- Aquatic: Like many of his kind, Gial can breathe underwater.
- Expert Swimmer: Gial is an extremely skilled swimmer.
- Expert Marksman: As the former captain of the Cal Knights, Gial is extremely skilled in utitlizing blaster rifles.
- High-Level Intellect/Expert Tactician/Leader: Gial is highly intelligent. As the former captain of the Cal Knights, Gial is an extremely skilled tactician and a capable leader.
Ackbar meets with the Resistance to discuss Starkiller Base. When the Death Star's size is compared to that of Starkiller Base, Ackbar is stunned and asks how it is possible to power such an enormous weapon. Poe Dameron speculates it requires a thermal oscillator which turns out to be true. The base is later attacked.
Ackbar aids the rest of the Resistance in evacuating their base. He orders the ships to jump to hyperspace and escape the First Order. The First Order fleet pursues the Resistance and initiates an attack on the bridge of their main cruiser, causing all occupants, including Ackbar, to be blown out into space and killed, leaving General Leia Organa as the sole survivor.