There are a lot of elements about The Last Jedi that fans were not happy with, and one of them was the death of Legacy character Admiral Ackbar. TLJ editor Bob Ducsay, said that he's had second thoughts about the way Ackbar ended up, and wishes that they did something else.
Talking to the Huffington Post, he reveals:
"It's interesting that you mentioned it, because I watched the film last night and I thought, hmmm, maybe that's too incidental. It's a very funny thing about that because what happens… I don't typically watch movies that I work on much afterwards, because you're so familiar with it. But this movie I've seen now a couple times with an audience. And it occurred to me last night that what does happen when I watch movies… is I generally find things that are like, hmmm, I wonder if I should do that differently. Which is some really horrible form of personal criticism because there's really nothing to be done. That's how it was designed. That's how it was intended. But it is slightly incidental, isn't it?"
Ackbar's death in the movie was necessary in order give Poe Dameron a commanding officer who he didn't trust in the form of Admiral Holdo. Though a lot of fans wished that Ackbar had gone out differently, I can't pinpoint a clever way to have him go out like a hero and at the same time not mess with the intended plot. By the end, the Rebel Alliance had to be dwindled down to a handful of soldiers, and it would make sense for Ackbar to have bit the dust.
Personally, though I embrace Ackbar like any Star Wars fan does, he's really just a meme that's come out of Return of the Jedi. You can fill the character up with lore and backstory with the expanded universe, but in the movies, he's just the one calamari guy that says, "IT'S A TRAP!"
Catch Ackbar and his last moments in Star Wars: The Last Jedi still in theaters.