Erik Bauersfeld, Voice of Admiral Ackbar, Dies at 93
His will be a voice long remembered. Erik Bauersfeld, recognizable to Star Wars fans the world over as the memetic voice of Admiral Ackbar, has passed away at his home in Berkeley, California Sunday morning.
Bauersfeld was mainly a radio drama producer throughout his career. But as fate would have it, he’s remembered most for his vocal performance given to the Mon Calimarian Rebel Alliance Admiral Ackbar. He commanded the fleet in its attack against the second Death Star during the climactic battle in Return of the Jedi. When the Empire’s conniving scheme to lure the Rebels into a losing battle became clear, something about Ackbar’s line made it one of the greatest memetic successes of any geeky movie line ever.
“It’s a trap!”
Star Wars: The Force Awakens, being such the original trilogy love letter that it was, naturally got Erik Bauersfeld back to once again lend his voice to Ackbar.
Bauersfeld also happened to voice the Twi’lek adviser to Jabba the Hutt, Bib Fortuna in Return of the Jedi. Some of his other voice performance work included roles in Guillermo Del Toro’s film Crimson Peak and Steven Spielberg’s 2001 film A.I. Artificial Intelligence.
“The voice work I did in movies was accidental,” wrote Bauersfeld on the website for his non-profit, Bay Area Radio Drama. “I was working with Randy Thom on radio dramas at his technical quarters at Lucasfilm. One day Ben Burtt, sound designer for Star Wars, came by and asked if I would audition for a voice in the movie.”
Rest in peace, sir. Your work will be fondly remembered for years to come.