Vice-Admiral Holdo

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Vice-Admiral Holdo
Star Wars character
Amilyn Holdo-Last Jedi.png
Laura Dern as Vice-Admiral Holdo
First appearanceLeia, Princess of Alderaan (2017)
Last appearanceThe Last Jedi (2017)
Created by
Portrayed byLaura Dern
In-universe information
Full nameAmilyn Holdo
TitleVice-Admiral
Occupation
  • Apprentice legislator (Leia, Princess of Alderaan)
  • Supreme commander of the Resistance (The Last Jedi)
Affiliation
HomeworldGatalenta

Vice-Admiral Amilyn Holdo is a fictional character in the Star Wars franchise. She is introduced in the 2017 Claudia Gray novel Star Wars: Leia, Princess of Alderaan as the childhood best friend of Princess Leia Organa. Holdo and Leia first meet as teenagers when they are both enrolled in Coruscant's Apprentice Legislature, with Holdo subsequently becoming an important member of the Rebel Alliance. Holdo reappears in the 2017 film Star Wars: The Last Jedi, in which she is portrayed by Laura Dern as a member of Organa's Resistance, as well as a number of Star Wars comics. Claudia Gray's version of the character has received high acclaim from critics and fans alike, with many comparing her to the character of Luna Lovegood from the Harry Potter series. Rian Johnson's version in The Last Jedi has been generally well-received, particularly praising Laura Dern's performance as an older Holdo; however, some have criticized her characterization for being too different from her younger book counterpart.

Character[edit]

In Claudia Gray's novel and comic stories, Amilyn Holdo is depicted as an eccentric yet highly intelligent and competent member of the Rebel Alliance who is often underestimated because of her quirks. She is knowledgeable of the esoteric and spiritual practices of her home planet Gatalenta, such as astrology and skyfaring (a type of meditation),[1] and often speaks in riddles and strange metaphors. (Leia refers to her distinctive speech patterns as "Holdo speak".)[2] In terms of appearance, Holdo dyes her hair exotic colors, habitually going barefoot,[3][4] and often dressing in flamboyant clothing.[5] Gray said:

She's somebody who's a bit off-kilter, who sees the world through a prism most others don't understand. At first Leia thinks she's pleasant but weird, but as time goes on, it becomes apparent that there's much more to Holdo than you might guess when you first met her. We don't really have a lot of true oddballs in Star Wars, so it was fun to introduce one![6]

The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson described the character to actress Laura Dern as "someone who is so steadfast that you don't know what side they're on because they don't need the rest of the world to know their plans."[7] Initially, the movie version of Holdo was intended to be very close to her description in the book, described by Johnson as "hippy-dippy";[8] Dern also compared Holdo to a hippie.[9] However, the director thought that Dern's portrayal was "too spacy", so her character's eccentricities were significantly toned down in the final version of the script.[8]

In a 2018 interview, Dern revealed that Holdo is Force-sensitive.[9]

Appearances[edit]

Leia, Princess of Alderaan[edit]

Holdo makes her first appearance as a teenage student of the Apprentice Legislature who befriends Leia during a Pathfinding class. Subsequently, she learns about Leia's involvement in the Rebel Alliance, and aids her in her missions. Most notably, Holdo helps Organa safely navigate to the Paucris system to warn the rebels about an impending attack by the Empire.[10]

Comic series[edit]

Holdo appears in a number of Star Wars comic stories. The Star Wars Adventures 25 story "The Right Wrong Turn" revisits Holdo and Organa's teenage friendship, with Amilyn asking Leia to teach her to drive a speeder as a pretext for visiting the dangerous lower levels of Coruscant.[11] In Age of Resistance Special 1 story "The Bridge", she assumes command of a Rebel Alliance starship after the captain is killed by an attacking Imperial warship, and saves the crew by making her "Holdo maneuver".[12] In Star Wars: Age of Resistance – Poe Dameron #1, Holdo runs a Resistance spy operation to steal the head of a protocol droid belonging to the New Republic. She is confronted by Poe Dameron, who is at that time a New Republic pilot, but her identity as the thief is never revealed to him, which is why he does not recognize her in The Last Jedi.[13]

The Last Jedi[edit]

By The Last Jedi, Holdo is the Vice-Admiral of the Resistance who temporarily assumes the position of the Supreme Commander while General Leia is in a coma after an attack by the First Order. There is distrust and tension between Holdo and her subordinate Poe Dameron (since his reckless actions led to heavy casualties in the Resistance fleet), which eventually culminates in Dameron starting a mutiny against Holdo. After Leia recovers from her injuries and suppresses the mutiny, Holdo has the remaining Resistance members (including Leia) evacuate to the planet Crait via transports while she stays on Leia's flagship, the Raddus. When the First Order begins firing on the fleeing transports, Holdo jumps to hyperspace through Supreme Leader Snoke's flagship, the Supremacy, to defeat the First Order fleet in a suicide attack, which, by the time of The Rise of Skywalker, has been dubbed as the "Holdo maneuver".[12][14]

Reception[edit]

The book version of Holdo received critical acclaim, and readers compared her to Luna Lovegood from the Harry Potter series.[2][15] Her character was analyzed from a feminist perspective, with Valerie Estelle Frankel noting that Holdo possesses "a very different nonlinear [feminine] type of strength".[8]

In regards to the movie version of Holdo, Arkady Martine wrote that "women who look like Holdo — femme fatales, even in their middle age, women who… like frivolous things, jewels and bright hair and makeup even in the darkest moments — we are primed to read women like that as women who will betray", and that this "old trope" is eventually subverted when Holdo turns out to be a skilled strategist with "impeccable military credentials" who sacrifices herself for the Resistance.[16] Caitlyn Busch described Dern's character as "a stern, beautiful female character who audiences have never seen before; she swoops in, takes control of the situation, and shames a favorite male character like he’s an insolent child".[17] However, critics also noted that the movie depiction of Holdo appears very dissimilar from the quirky book character created by Claudia Gray, and basically seems "like a different person".[15]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Agar, Chris (September 19, 2017). "Star Wars: Amilyn Holdo's Backstory Explained". Screenrant. Retrieved May 4, 2020.
  2. ^ a b Ratcliffe, Amy (September 6, 2017). "THE LAST JEDI Connections in the New Young Leia Novel". Nerdist. Retrieved May 4, 2020.
  3. ^ Age of Resistance Special 1
  4. ^ Sondheimer, S. W. (February 22, 2021). "B-List Bonanza: Amilyn Holdo". Book Riot. Retrieved February 27, 2021.
  5. ^ Ratcliffe, Amy (2019). Star Wars: Women of the Galaxy. Chronicle Books. ISBN 1-4521-6679-X.
  6. ^ Floyd, James (September 27, 2017). "Breaking: Star Wars: Episode IX Cast Officially Announced!". Starwars.com. Retrieved May 4, 2020.
  7. ^ LaVorgna, Bria (2019). Star Wars: Age of Resistance – Heroes. New York: Marvel Comics. p. 131. ISBN 978-1-302-51710-6.
  8. ^ a b c Frankel, Valerie Estelle (2018). Star Wars meets the Eras of Feminism: Weighing All the Galaxy’s Women Great and Small. Rowman & Littlefield. ISBN 1-4985-8387-3.
  9. ^ a b Agar, Chris (July 27, 2018). "Star Wars: Admiral Holdo Is A Force-Sensitive Character". Screenrant. Retrieved July 27, 2018.
  10. ^ Wilkins, Jonathan (2017). Star Wars: The Last Jedi: The Official Collector's Edition. Titan Comics. ISBN 1-7858-6773-3.
  11. ^ Collinson, Gary (September 10, 2019). "Comic Book Preview – Star Wars Adventures #25". Flickering Myth. Retrieved May 4, 2020.
  12. ^ a b Dyce, Andrew (August 1, 2019). "Star Wars Explains The Origin of Last Jedi's 'Holdo Maneuver'". Screenrant. Retrieved May 4, 2020.
  13. ^ Arvedon, Jon (August 30, 2019). "Star Wars Reveals Poe Dameron Met Amilyn Holdo BEFORE The Last Jedi". CBR. Retrieved May 4, 2020.
  14. ^ Lindbergh, Ben (2017-12-20). "Is Vice Admiral Holdo's Maneuver a Threat to 'Star Wars' Lore?". The Ringer.
  15. ^ a b Stone, Alexandra (April 28, 2020). "10 Strange Things Star Wars Novels Made Canon". Screenrant. Retrieved May 4, 2020.
  16. ^ Martine, Arkady (December 21, 2017). "Star Wars' Vice-Admiral Holdo and Our Expectations for Female Military Power". Tor.com. Retrieved May 4, 2020.
  17. ^ Busch, Caitlyn (December 16, 2017). "Women's Stories Are More Prominent Than Ever in 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi". Inverse. Retrieved May 4, 2020.

External links[edit]