Fresh details about Star Wars: The Last Jedi’s Vice Admiral Amilyn Holdo, including her tenuous relationship with Poe Dameron, have been revealed. The character is one of three main new ones writer/director Rian Johnson is introducing in his film (played by Jurassic Park star Laura Dern) and is arguably the most mysterious. Whereas Resistance mechanic Rose Tico and hacker/codebreaker DJ have received their share of the spotlight, particularly in the merchandising, Holdo is someone who’s been kept under wraps. That said, she was a supporting character in September’s Leia: Princess of Alderaan novel and has appeared in a couple of still images.
With official information hard to come by, fans have had to scour the rumor mill any nuggets they could find, but now the truth is starting to come out. One of the earliest Last Jedi reports suggested Holdo would be a rival of Poe Dameron, with the two clashing heads over the best course of action in the fight against the First Order. As it turns out, that speculation was spot on, and the hotshot pilot doesn’t see eye-to-eye with his new boss.
As part of EW‘s continuing coverage on Star Wars 8, they did a deep dive into Holdo’s role in the story. It has already been confirmed she’s a member of the Resistance, but that does not mean she has the same mindset as Leia and Poe. A crucial aspect of her character is not knowing whether or not her methodology is right, with the audience being forced to determine which side they’re on. Oscar Isaac described the dynamic:
“Even if something seems like it’s not the most heroic thing to do in the moment, thinking about the bigger picture is sometimes more important. That’s something he’s trying to wrap his mind around, but at the same time, with the Resistance being in such a precarious situation, he wants to do the right thing, and doesn’t want to just wait and let things happen. He doesn’t necessarily agree with the way Holdo sees the role of the Resistance in this particular moment.”
In The Last Jedi, part of Poe’s arc is learning to become more of a leadership figure for the Resistance, toning down his maverick-like sensibilities and maturing. Dameron is anxious to hop in his X-wing and blow stuff up, but that isn’t always the best course of action. Holdo is skilled in strategizing and can see the larger picture, which enables her to “sacrifice for the good of the whole.” These tools sound valuable in a conflict that sees the Resistance woefully overmatched against the well-resourced Resistance. Leia and Poe are definitely cut from the same take-charge cloth, so it will be fascinating to see how their relationship with Holdo develops over the course of the film. This is a new idea for the Star Wars movies to explore. In the original trilogy, the Rebels were all united in their approach, but the Resistance has some differing opinions.
The big question about Holdo is if she can be trusted, which is one of the reasons why Lucasfilm has been holding her back. Viewers are supposed to be on their toes during her scenes, so many will be curious to see if she is a traitor or simply a hero with a contrasting outlook. This is a smart strategy on the studio’s part, as it places moviegoers right in the shoes of Poe, a character we already know and love. Movies create a sense of emotional engagement by allowing fans to live vicariously through the protagonists, so we should learn all the secrets about Holdo as Poe does.
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