Tim Rose is the puppeteer and actor who brought Admiral Ackbar to life in the Star Wars movies, including Return fo the Jedi, The Force Awakens, and The Last Jedi. He also played Jabba the Hutt’s mischievous pet Salacious Crumb in Return of the Jedi. Speaking to YouTuber Jamie Stangroom, Rose remembers that his Star Wars career was almost cut short after a tense interaction with star Harrison Ford.
It happened on the day that they filmed the scene in which Leia (Carri Fisher) free Han Solo (Ford) from imprisonment in carbonite in Jabba’s palace on Tatooine. Rose recalls that he and the other puppeteers and costumed characters had already been on set and in costume for four hours before the first take rolled. After unfreezing Solo from his carbonite prison, Leia kisses him. When the curtains pulled back to reveal Jabba and his cronies, the characters began shouting “We saw you kissing!” over and over. This concerned Ford.
"Harrison went over to the director and said 'Are these puppet characters going to laugh over my line? Because I don't want to have to come back and do ADR (Automated Dialog Replacement)'," Rose says.
Director Richard Marquand instructed the actors to pantomime their cheers the next time around. After the second take, Marquand sat next to Salacious Crumb and asked what he thought of the take. Rose, as Salacious, replied "Eh, this Harrison guy... is he gonna talk over our laugh? 'cause it's really putting me off."
Rose didn’t realize that his microphone was still live and Ford heard the comment. "The crew found it funny. But Harrison didn't," Rose said.
Ford refused to return to the set until whoever made that comment was fired. Luckily for Rose, he only ever appeared in costume or as a puppet. They were able to tell Ford that he had been fired while Rose continued to work, telling everyone he talked to that he was “the new guy.”
Rose realizes this story paints Ford in an unflattering light and clarifies, “I'm at great pains to say Harrison Ford is a great guy, I just happened to misread the sense of humor and do the wrong thing at the wrong time."1comments
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Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker opens in theaters on December 20th. Other upcoming Star Wars projects include a new film trilogy from Game of Thrones creators DB Weiss and David Benioff launching in 2022 and The Mandalorian TV series on Disney+.