30 ABY, Dac
5'10" (1.80 m)
- "Without Admiral Ackbar and his people, we would all be the Emperor's slaves."
- ―Mon Mothma
Gial Ackbar was a male Mon Calamari who became the foremost military commander of the Alliance to Restore the Republic and its successor government the New Republic. During the early Galactic Civil War, he was was in charge of the Mon Calamari Guard and fought in the Battle of Mon Calamari (20 BBY).
Born in Coral Depths City on the water world of Dac in 35 BBY, Gial Ackbar was raised in a prominent merchant clan in Foamwater City where he grew interested in science and the sea. Ackbar was selected as Coral City's representative on the Calamarian Council after finishing school, and became a proponent of Mon Calamari space exploration.
The Dark TimesEdit
Tarkin's slave and liberationEdit
- "I am with you!"
- ―Gial Ackbar
In 3934, Ackbar was chosen as the Calamarian Council's leader. About two years later, the people of Dac and the Galactic Empire had their first contact with one another. Ackbar and the Mon Calamari tried in vain to negotiate a peaceful free trade solution, but instead his world was occupied by the Imperials, and the Mon Calamari and Quarren were forced into slavery. Ackbar went underground and quickly became a leader of the resistance movement and succeeded in temporarily freeing his homeworld, but in the end, the resistance could not withstand the Empire's counterattack, the planet fell and Ackbar was captured. The Imperial fleet officer commanding the operation was so impressed by the Mon Calamari resistance that he decided to take Ackbar as a slave and later presented him as a gift to Grand Moff Wilhuff Tarkin. Ackbar spent his enslavement as Tarkin's valet translating for him while quietly learning from Tarkin and his staff, acquiring a deep knowledge of Imperial doctrine, as well as knowledge of secret projects like the first Death Star. Tarkin held a great deal of respect for Ackbar, but failed to realize that his valet had made contact with the Alliance to Restore the Republic, feeding them a great deal of information about the Death Star project.
When word that Tarkin would be traveling with Bevel Lemelisk to the first Death Star reached the Rebel Alliance, they launched an operation to capture the pair. The Alliance struck Tarkin's shuttle en route to the Nebulon-B frigate Vehemence in the Eriadu system, but their Y-wings were only able to disable a shuttle carrying Ackbar before an Imperial-class Star Destroyer arrived to rescue the Grand Moff. The rescue of Ackbar and his knowledge of the Death Star overshadowed the Alliance's failure at Eriadu, and he was named a commander in the fledgling Alliance Fleet, a single battle line of warships under General Jan Dodonna's overall command.
The Mon Calamari join the RebellionEdit
Six months after the Battle of Yavin, Ackbar returned to Dac aboard his modified bulk freighter to meet with the Mon Calamari Council and convince them to back the Rebellion. On their return from Dac, however, they suffered an Imperial attack and crash-landed on the muddy planet Daluuj. Ackbar and his crew were soon rescued by Han Solo, Leia Organa, and Luke Skywalker, fellow members of the Rebellion with whom he would later collaborate. After the Calamarian Council was rescued by the crew of the Millennium Falcon, they backed Ackbar's proposal to formally join the Alliance in 0 ABY. As the Imperial Starfleet blockaded the Massassi Base, Ackbar led the Mon Calamari fleet in a feint at the Vallusk Cluster, creating the distraction needed by the Rebels at Massassi Station to run the blockade and evacuate the Yavin system.
Ackbar knew that the only solution to the Empire's new convoy defense plan was to either use equally powerful starships, which the Alliance could not afford to waste, or to create a starfighter especially for this purpose. Alliance High Command agreed, and placed Ackbar in charge of Project Shantipole. Ackbar went to the Roche system and enlisted the aid of the Verpine colonies of Slayn & Korpil. Working under Ackbar's direction, Slayn & Korpil produced the first prototypes of the B-wing starfighter in the Roche asteroid field. They were delivered to the Alliance despite Imperial interference. Imperial District Commander Bane Nothos was aware of the project, and decided to allow development to proceed so he could capture the fighters for the Empire. A squadron of these prototypes was quickly put into service and christened Dagger Squadron.
Not long after the full entry of Dac into the Alliance, Mon Mothma, noticing the skills of Ackbar, named him Supreme Commander of the Rebel Fleet and head of all Rebellion military operations. Ackbar, leading the Alliance Fleet from his flagship, the Independence, became known as the "Father of the Alliance Navy" as he organized and trained the ragtag group of ships and crews into a fighting force capable of facing the Empire. Ackbar shared with Mon Mothma an unease towards the Alliance's excessive reliance on raids by the Special Forces and Starfighter Corps, while at the same time rejecting the insistence of traditional strategists in the Alliance that the Rebellion should seek to seize territory.
Ackbar and Mothma drafted a new "fleet-first" strategy for the Rebellion. The traditionalists in the Alliance hailed Ackbar's reorganization of the fleet into a single armada powerful enough to challenge any battle squadron of the Imperial Navy, but Ackbar looked at the fleet beyond its tactical role: his strategic thinking was cautious, conservative, and perfectly suited for the Alliance's guerilla operations. He saw capital ships as the decisive force of space warfare, which, like the mighty ocean predators of his homeworld, would hide in the deeps and strike when the enemy showed weakness. The Alliance Fleet would roam the galaxy, holding back from combat and building up its strength, becoming an ever-greater psychological threat to the New Order and undermining its authority merely by continuing to exist.
The main subdivision of the Alliance Fleet for both raids and fleet maneuvers under Ackbar's reorganization became the battle line, a group of two or more cruisers with a subordinate close support line of escorts and a picket line of starfighters. Never more than 25 percent of the Fleet was detached for raiding at any one time. In terms of tactics, Ackbar became known for his audacious, close-range assaults that were codified in Alliance and New Republic tactics as the "Ackbar Slash." While the Supreme Commander of the Alliance Fleet, Ackbar loathed the aspects of the Alliance he could not change. He detested the Alliance's reliance on privateers for commerce raiding and smugglers for supplies, seeing both as little more than criminals. He also chafed against Alliance High Command's practice of detaching subdivisions of the Fleet on an ad hoc basis and handing command of them to an Allied Command or Sector Force.
The Coruscant campaignEdit
- "It's a trap!"
- ―Gial Ackbar
After gaining knowledge that the Empire appeared to have started to spread it's Starfleet away from Coruscant in an extra effort to find the Alliance, pressure was placed on Ackbar to find a way to take the Imperial capital in order to turn the tide of the war. In 4 ABY, Ackbar informed the Council that a direct assault on the planet would seriously deplete the strength of the fleet and the only other viable option, a blockade, would take too long and cause much suffering on the surface of the planet. Although Ackbar and Borsk Fey'lya had clashed before over strategy and Fey'lya's perceived rivalry for political power, they jointly developed a plan to insert Red Hand Squad onto the forest moon of Endor to gather intelligence. However, Fey'lya inserted a controversial piece of his own into the plan. He freed Black Sun members such as Zekka Thyne from Kessel and planted them on Coruscant to sow chaos, over Ackbar's strident objections. Ackbar sent a message to the squad on Endor instructing them to attempt to bring down the planetary shields protecting the moon, the planet and the two unfinished Death Stars. The Alliance then sent a second unit to make sure the shield generator was destroyed.
Ackbar commanded the Alliance Fleet personally at the Battle in Coruscant space. When it was discovered that his fleet had been led into a trap, Ackbar planned to retreat, lacking a contingency plan. His caution was due to the belief that the loss of the Rebel fleet would sound the death knell of the Alliance. Already hit hard after the loss of their main base on Hoth, the fleet was the last major Rebel asset. However, Ackbar opted to take the advice of Lando Calrissian and engage the Imperial fleet at close range. As Calrissian helped coordinate the fighters, Ackbar's large capital warships began a deadly point blank range fight with the Imperial fleet.
When the shields were finally brought down, Ackbar's forces moved in to capture Coruscant and also began bombarding both of the Death Star's surface while still fighting Admiral Firmus Piett's fleet. Several Star Destroyers fell to Rebel attack, though it was the loss of the flagship Executor that turned the tides of the battle in space to the Alliance. Ackbar ordered a concentrated hail of fire on the Executor, crashing its shields and making it vulnerable to a kamikaze run by an RZ-1 A-wing interceptor, piloted by Arvel Crynyd. Shortly after Lando Calrissian and Wedge Antilles destroyed both the Death Star II and III's main reactor, Ackbar ordered for the Alliance Fleet to steer clear of the doomed battle stations. The Empire's forces on the capital world were overcome and surprisingly easily defeated. As many Imperials attempted to flee the system, Ackbar continued to direct his forces against the remains of the Imperial fleet. They successfully captured several Star Destroyers. Ackbar made use of his refined version of the Kenobi Offensive, which further aided the Alliance to victory. In the aftermath of the battles, Ackbar took part in celebrations for their great victory.