One of the Star Wars universe’s most beloved minor characters is Admiral Ackbar, the squid-y military commander featured in Return of the Jedi (and The Force Awakens). While Ackbar won’t be in the upcoming prequel Rogue One, another of his kind will be — and as the production team has revealed, his look and attitude have been inspired by one of history’s great leaders.
In a new feature at EW.com, it’s revealed that Admiral Raddus, the Ackbar-ish character briefly seen in a new behind-the-scenes Rogue One featurette (watch it below), has been modeled after Britain’s World War II-era Prime Minister Winston Churchill. Neal Scanlan, creature effects supervisor for the Star Wars franchise, tells EW that “We always tried to find a real world example of who these creatures may be, and in this case we used Churchill. Admiral Raddus is a very strong figure. We would use [Churchill] not only as visual reference for his physical features, but also when it came to performing him and expressing him through the actor.”
‘Rogue One: A Star Wars Story’: Watch a featurette:
Raddus — one of the “Mon Calamari” aliens — was first seen at New York Comic Con, courtesy of his action figure. While few other details about the emergent extraterrestrial rebel are yet known, it seems he’ll be prominently featured in at least a few scenes throughout Rogue One. And he won’t be the only character modeled after a real-world counterpart, according to Scanlan: Background players (who may or may not make the final cut) have been based on Bela Lugosi, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Ernest Borgnine, Lee Van Cleef, Peter Lorre, and others.
Read more about Admiral Raddus at EW.com; Rogue One: A Star Wars Story lands in theaters on Dec. 16.
‘Rogue One: A Star Wars Story’: Watch a trailer: