Many Star Wars fans thought that by not having a proper death scene in The Last Jedi or the missed opportunity of having him take over as leader of the Resistance fleet when Leia was injured, Ackbar really did get the short end of the stick in the film. It turns out the man behind the suit, Tim Rose felt that way too.
In a video chat interview with Jamie Stangroom, he recalled his final day on set as Ackbar in the Rian Johnson film.
"We finished all of our bits and they asked me to come down to camera. And I thought, ‘Oh well, maybe they're going to say thank you for being one of the heritage characters and giving 30 years and all that.' But what they did was, they gave me a Millennium Falcon sign that had the day and the date on it, the scene number, and they said, ‘Can you look at camera and say "It's a wrap?" Because that would be really funny.'
Rose admitted that he was actually "in tears in the suit" as he did the request because it was far from the sendoff he expected for a person who brought such an iconic Star Wars character to life. He said that he stayed in the back of the set and was not able to come out for half an hour as he processed it all.
"After everything, after hoping there'd be something, after knowing there wasn't going to be anything else, Ackbar's final moment before he went in to the box was a big joke about ‘It's a wrap.' They just thought ‘Wouldn't it be funny?' And that was the sum total of my life as Ackbar."
Rose said that Ackbar became a part of him and that a little bit of themselves goes into the creation and evolution of these characters. He said that when you put someone else in the suit, which they did for Ackbar, "it becomes a whole different character."
It looks like Rose loved playing Ackbar. Even though the Star Wars character was only a secondary character, much like Boba Fett, they became a sensation, especially with the emergence of the internet.