Featured most prominently in Return of the Jedi, with his famous line “It’s a trap!” spawning countless internet memes years later, Admiral Ackbar was among the Original Trilogy favorites who returned to the Star Wars universe in The Force Awakens, albeit in a cameo capacity. Then two years later in The Last Jedi, the military leader from Mon Calamari was killed early on during The First Order’s assault on The Resistance, a creative decision that angered the character’s actor.
However, Ackbar’s legacy lives on through his son, Aftab, and some Star Wars fans are wondering if this character could appear later this year in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. Aftab is being officially introduced next week in Marvel Comics’ Journey to Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker — Allegiance #2 (written by Ethan Sacks and illustrated by Luke Ross), and StarWars.com posted some preview pages cluing readers in on what we can expect from Aftab.
As you’ll recall, the Resistance was nearly wiped out at the end of The Last Jedi, and with Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker taking place one year later, Journey to Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker — Allegiance (as well as the novel Star Wars: Resistance Reborn) is exploring Leia Organa and the other main characters trying to rebuild the organization. The second issue of this comic book series sees Leia, Rey and Rose Tico arriving on Mon Cala to request assistance, only to be met at gunpoint by some of the Mon Calamari and Quarren inhabitants.
Aftab arrives in the nick of time to bail out our heroes, and we then see him talking with Leia Organa about the late Ackbar. You’ll have to pick up Journey to Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker — Allegiance #2 to find out how their conversation ends, but naturally this issue alone doesn’t provide enough evidence that Aftab will appear in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. Plenty of Star Wars characters have been introduced in other media who’ve never gotten any cinematic screen time.
That said, as io9 noticed, one of the cardboard standees that was unveiled for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker during Triple Force Friday was for a Mon Calamari character simply identified as Mon Calamari Resistance General. If you study this cutout and how Aftab is illustrated in Journey to Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker — Allegiance, they look awfully similar to one another.
All of this is still just speculation, but working the available information, it seems like there’s a strong chance that Aftab could serve as the Ackbar family representative in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. Admiral Ackbar might not be that well-known among the casual Star Wars viewers, but he’s definitely popular among the hardcore fans, so it’d be fitting to have his son around for the final chapter of the Skywalker Saga.
If you’ve followed along with the expanded Star Wars mythos, you know that Mon Cala has been through a lot with the Clone Wars and the Galactic Civil War, so one can’t blame some Mon Calamari and Quarren for not wanting to get involved with The Resistance’s conflict with The First Order. But something tells me that Aftab will end up following in his father’s footsteps and aid the main characters in their struggle. If that does indeed happen, it’d be great to see him get a little time to shine during the events of Episode IX.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker arrives on December 20. Don’t forget to look through our 2019 release schedule to learn what other movies are coming out before the year is over.