It’s often considered an honour to have your likeness immortalised, whether it’s on a painting, in the pages of a biography, or even on film. However, I’m not sure how the great Winston Churchill, former prime minister of the UK, would feel about being turned into a Star Wars squid alien. Well, tough luck — he’s one now!
The latest Rogue One featurette includes a shot of Diego Luna’s Captain Cassian Andor chilling with a black-hued Mon Calamari named Admiral Raddus. He’s one of several Mon Calamari who shows up in this flick, as their species is a key member of the Alliance to destroy the Republic. We had a lot of fun making fun of his hilariously grumpy face when we saw the action figure earlier this year.
It turns out his features aren’t just a sign that the admiral’s a not-so-secret curmudgeon. He was designed to look and act like Winston Churchill.
“We always tried to find a real world example of who these creatures may be, and in this case we used Churchill,” Neal Scanlan, creature effects supervisor, told EW. “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.”
It makes sense that Star Wars would want a Churchill-like figure as part of the Rebellion. As prime minister during World War II, Churchill rallied the British resistance against the Nazis, turning the tide from near-defeat to a “V For Victory.” The Rebellion definitely needs someone like that. Still, it’s weird that his latest tribute is an alien whose species is most known for declaring when things are and are not traps.
Not much is known about Admiral Raddus at this point, other than the fact that he has a grumpy face, and (as indicated by his skin colour) he’s from the colder, polar regions of his home planet, Mon Cala. However, there are rumours he’s a distant cousin of Admiral Ackbar, whose own appearance hasn’t been confirmed in the film.