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Erik Bauersfeld dead: Voice of Admiral Ackbar in Star Wars dies at 93

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Peter Hartlaub via YouTube

Erik Bauersfeld, the voice actor and radio dramatist who voiced the bug-eyed military leader Admiral Ackbar in Return of the Jedi and Star Wars: The Force Awakens, died April 3 at his home in Berkeley, California, from natural causes. He was 93.

His manager Derek Maki confirmed the news to EW.

Though Ackbar had limited screen time in Jedi, the crustaceous character became a fan favorite in the Star Wars universe for memorably exclaiming “It’s a trap!” during a crucial Rebel attack on the second Death Star. Bauersfeld also voiced Jabba the Hutt’s henchman Bib Fortuna in Jedi and reprised his Ackbar role in The Force Awakens last year.

He served as the drama and literature director at the Bay Area radio station KPFA for three decades, and his other film credits included A.I. Artificial Intelligence and Crimson Peak.

Bauersfeld was flattered and a bit bemused by his Star Wars fame, according to a 2011 profile in the San Francisco Chronicle. Though he hadn’t even seen the original Star Wars film, he politely responded to each of his fan letters.

Asked how he came up with Ackbar’s voice, Bauersfeld said he was shown a picture of the character but given no direction. “I saw the face and I knew what he must sound like, and I did it,” he said.

Watch a video interview with Bauersfeld above.

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