We now live in a word with eight — count ‘em, eight — Star Wars movies, and I for one am feeling the bounty this holiday season. And that’s despite all the sadness and disappointment that came along with The Last Jedi. And honestly, of all the characters, old and new, that we were worried for going into The Last Jedi, the most heartbreaking and awesome moment went to a character none of us had ever seen before, with Vice Admiral Holdo’s final scene in The Last Jedi.
Warning: Here there be spoilers for The Last Jedi. Read at your own risk.
So I’ll be honest, when we were introduced to Vice Admiral Holdo (and her fabulous monochromatic look), I was not into it. Who is this lady who thinks she can step into General Leia Organa’s snarky rebellious shoes, I thought. I don’t care who she’s played by. I didn’t understand what her plan was, and honestly I didn’t really care. I was solidly Team Poe on this one.
And oh, I was wrong. With the First Order in hot pursuit, Holdo intended to sneak the entirety of the remaining Resistance off the main ship in small transports that the First Order would overlook. The unmentioned part of the plan? It was a suicide mission for one person who had to stay behind and pilot the ship. But when the plan went wrong and the First Order started shooting down the transports, that’s when Holdo really earned her place in the Star Wars canon. She turned the Resistance ship around, powered up the hyperdrive, and hit light speed — killing herself and tearing right through the First Order’s flagship Star Destroyer. She cut the sucker in half.
When the sound cut out and fans saw that bright line suddenly appear across the center of the ship, everyone in my theater audibly gasped. It was silent, it was deadly, and it was possibly the coolest moment we've seen in a Star Wars movie since the (first) Death Star exploded, way back in A New Hope. And it was definitely, definitely the most legitimately chilling thing we've seen in a Star Wars movie.
Too soon, my friend.
Besides just the sheer awesome factor of cutting a Star Destroyer in half, Holdo was another strong woman in power, whose relationship with another strong woman (Leia) is one of trust and friendship, and who doesn't really care whether Poe approves of her or not because she knows she's making the right choice for the people she's leading. It was also tragic, because with her death, we know we're not going to get more of her in Episode IX.
If you're a Holdo fan after The Last Jedi, though, there are other opportunities to see her. Holdo and her backstory are featured in the Star Wars young adult book Leia, Princess of Alderaan, which describes the friendship between a young Amilyn Holdo and a teenage Princess Leia Organa. Not to spoil it or anything, but it's two teenage girls on an adventure, being friends. And then eventually growing up to become a vice admiral and a general, respectively, who lead the fight against despotic facist powers in the most influential sci-fi universe of the 20th/21st century. You know, like friends do.
But sadly, these little glimpses are all we're going to get. So if you have super mixed feelings about Holdo — loving her for being awesome, being thrilled at that amazing scene of a Star Destroyer cut in half, mourning the fact that we're not getting more of her — I feel you. We'll just have to hope for someone just new and just as awesome in Episode IX.