RIP Erik Bauersfeld (1922-2016)


While you may not know Erik Bauersfeld by name, he’s the man behind one of the most memorable moments in Return of the Jedi. As the Rebel Alliance fleet closes in on the second Death Star, Lando realizes the shields are still up and orders all fighters to pull up. The Empire springs their ambush on the rebels, causing a helpless Admiral Ackbar to yell, “It’s a trap!”

Erik Bauersfeld, the voice actor who uttered those iconic and later meme-worthy lines, passed away on Sunday. He was 93 years old.

Bauersfeld’s primary career was in radio, working for the Berkeley-based progressive talk station KPFA. Bauersfeld reprised his role as Admiral Ackbar in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. In addition to voicing Admiral Ackbar, Bauersfeld also voiced Bib Fortuna in Return of the Jedi, Jabba the Hut’s slimy majordomo. His other film voice acting credits include Guillermo del Toro’s Crimson Peak and Stephen Spielberg’s AI: Artificial Intelligence. His videogame voice acting work includes Star Wars: X-Wing and Star Wars Battlefront: Elite Squadron.

Admiral Ackbar was a major part of my childhood–this kooky seafood alien (a mon calamari, no less)–and Ackbar memes were a part of my early twenties in various online communities (most notably Fark). I’m glad that the man responsible for so much delight is receiving recognition for his work and lasting legacy. The Flixist staff sends our condolences to Erik Bauersfeld’s loved ones.

[via THR]

Hubert Vigilla
Brooklyn-based fiction writer, film critic, and long-time editor and contributor for Flixist. A booster of all things passionate and idiosyncratic.