It’s such sad, sad news for ‘Star Wars’ fans. Erik Bauersfeld passed away on April 3 at the age of 93.
Most knew Erik Bauersfeld‘s voice from the 1983 Star Wars movie, Return of the Jedi, as he was both Admiral Ackbar and Bib Fortuna. He returned to the franchise 32 years later to voice Ackbar one last time in The Force Awakens. His most famous line was, of course, “It’s a trap!”
KFPA radio was the first to report the passing — the station that Erik began working at in 1961, and became the Drama and Literature director of for 30 years. The site reported that his longtime friend, Randy Thom was holding his hand at his time of death and friend and poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti was on the phone reading to him.
Following his time at KFPA, he went to work at LucasFilm on a radio project with Randy Thom and was approached by the sound designer to audition for voices. he showed me the picture of Admiral Ackbar, and I did it,” Erik said in a rare sit down interview in 2012. “I saw the face. I knew what he would sound like. And I did it. In one take. Then he said, why don’t you do this thing for Bib Fortuna.” He did that — in half an hour. He also was not even credited for the movies, and didn’t seem to mind!
Ten years after Return of the Jedi, he voiced Ackbar again, this time for the video game, Star Wars: X-Wing. In addition to Star Wars work, he also voiced the gardener in A.I. Artificial Intelligence and multiple characters in Crimson Peak.
Our thoughts go out to his friends and family at this time. Be sure to check out the interview above, to see just a preview of the sweet man he was.