Holdo Joins The Rebellion
Leia has just joined the Rebel Alliance in Princess of Alderaan, and because of its covert nature, she has to keep the operation a secret from everyone – including most of her friends. That proves to be a tad difficult when Leia is partnered up with Amilyn on a pathfinding expedition on Pamarthe. There, the two are intrigued when they hear a call for a senatorial charter to Chandrila (home of Mon Mothma, Senator Winmey Lenz, and one of their pathfinding classmates). Making their way through the spaceport, they’re alarmed when they see Lenz (a member of the Rebellion) speaking with an unnamed Imperial about a shipment for a key project. As Leia tries to figure out a way to discover what’s happening in the moments before Lenz leaves, Holdo makes the shocking move of stowing away aboard his ship. While en route to the planet Ocahont, Leia informs Holdo of the Alliance’s existence.
Ocahont, it turns out, is the site of an Alliance outpost where Mon Mothma is in charge. Leia and Amilyn inform the Rebellion leader about what they saw. Lenz is attempting to play both sides of the impending conflict, making allies with the Empire and Rebels so he can choose one over the other depending on who has the upper hand. Mothma makes the decision to slowly phase Lenz out of the Alliance so he cannot be a threat to the group. Leia gets reprimanded for putting herself in such danger when she returns home to Alderaan, but she still brought the Rebellion valuable intel that could help stabilize the group moving forward.
A running theme in Princess of Alderaan is Bail Organa’s reluctance to let Leia become a fully-fledged member of the uprising. That all changes at the very end of the book. After Leia realizes Grand Moff Tarkin is aware of the Rebellion’s growing fleet at Praucis Major, Mon Mothma and Breha send Leia off to warn the rebels stationed there. Unable to find a ship for herself, Leia hitches a ride with Holdo, who had hired a ship for travel. The two make their way to Praucis, and Bail leads the evacuation efforts, saving their vessels in the process. It’s at this point Amilyn becomes fully aware of the extent of the push back against Palpatine and it’s clear she’s someone Leia can trust. Holdo even uses intuition on the return trip to Alderaan, where her astrology knowledge came in handy finding a unsuspicious route home.
Of course, Holdo is nowhere to be seen in the original trilogy, but that doesn’t mean she wasn’t a participant in the Galactic Civil War. As demonstrated in non-movie canon materials like the TV show Rebels and other books, the Alliance was much larger than just what was shown in those first three films. After all, Mon Mothma shows up in Rogue One and isn’t seen onscreen chronologically until Return of the Jedi. Holdo was most likely involved in some capacity, helping the cause in any number of ways offscreen before the Empire’s downfall.
Given the content of Princess of Alderaan, it will be interesting to see the Leia/Holdo dynamic unfold in The Last Jedi. It’s difficult to gauge anything at this juncture, since the roles for both are largely mysterious. If they’re both affiliated with the Resistance, they most likely are still friends – but anything could have happened in the years between Return of the Jedi and Episode VIII. With speculation implying Amilyn has an antagonistic relationship with Poe Dameron (Leia’s surrogate son), perhaps the two don’t see eye-to-eye anymore. Whatever happens, knowing Holdo’s backstory and her history with the Princess will surely add dimensions for die-hard fans.
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