As if the battle between the Resistance and the First Order didn't have high enough stakes, the latest Star Wars film upped the ante with the deaths of several popular characters. But one in particular rankled some fans for how a fan-favorite met his end.
The reaction prompted a response from editor Bob Ducsay, who recently admitted that maybe they could have given the beloved Admiral Ackbar a more fitting sendoff.
In Star Wars: The Last Jedi, a squad of TIE Fighers led by Kylo Ren attack the remaining Resistance forces, launching missiles at the bridge and killing a majority of their highest ranking officers. General Leia Organa barely survives through a reactionary use of the Force, but it's later confirmed that Ackbar was killed in the surprise attack.
"That was how it was designed," Ducsay said to the Huffington Post, though he added he was now having second thoughts about the death.
"It's interesting that you mentioned it, because I watched the film last night and I thought, hmmm, maybe that's too incidental," Ducsay said. "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."
It's not strange, nearly every artist who returns to their work — no matter how much time has passed — will discover things they would like to change or do differently.
In this instance, it's hard to tell of Ducsay's own personal artistry influenced his desire to do things differently, or the immense fan reaction.
Star Wars fans should keep in mind, however, that many of these characters who become revered among the fandoms are hardly important in the narrative arc. Characters like Boba Fett and Darth Maul are important in service of the plot, but meet unceremonious ends because the movies aren't ostensibly about them.
Ackbar is but the latest, but given how beloved his meme-worthy character became in the decades since Return of the Jedi, it just stings a little bit more.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi is now playing in theaters.