THE LAST JEDI’s Vice Admiral Holdo Has Taken Charge of the Resistance

Update, November 19, 2017: Weekly is releasing another The Last Jedi-centric issue on November 20, and they’ve teased a little about what’s ahead, including more information about Vice Admiral Amilyn Holdo. It’s been rumored that she’s an antagonist to Leia and the Resistance, and while that could turn out to be true, it’s more nuanced.

After the events in The Force Awakens, the Resistance’s forces are weakened. I mean, they did kinda lose the whole of the New Republic fleet. So, in the aftermath, Holdo steps up to lead the Resistance, and she’s not as skilled as Leia in that department. That means she’s in conflict with Poe Dameron. We’ve seen in Episode VIII TV spots that Poe is full of fire and ready to go after the First Order–which makes me worried about how he’s going to fight, because that’s the part of fighting that really matters. Maybe Holdo is trying to rein in Poe in ways that he doesn’t like. She might not be a risk-taker. These details make me wonder how much Holdo has changed from the young, somewhat whimsical girl we met in Leia: Princess of Alderaan (yes, Holdo and Leia have a long history together) and what happened to cause that change.

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As much as I enjoyed the recent trailer for The Last Jedi, it was missing one important element: Vice Admiral Amilyn Holdo. Not much information has been released about the lavender-haired character being played by Laura Dern in the next Star Wars movie. We’ve seen a photo of her in Vanity Fair, she appeared for a moment in the Episode VIII featurette released in July, and now, Dern’s dropped by The Ellen DeGeneres Show to share a photo of Holdo surrounded by members of the Resistance.

We learned about the new image via Slashfilm. As Holdo is a high-ranking officer within the Resistance, this is exactly where she should be—especially considering the Resistance has to be in serious trouble after the First Order destroyed the New Republic’s fleet. This shot reminds me of Mon Mothma talking to the Rebel Alliance in Return of the Jedi.

Holdo appears to have every bit of Mon Mothma’s poise and elegance. It doesn’t look like she’s a boots-on-the-ground soldier. Or is she? Based on what we’ve seen of the fancy casino city Canto Bight, Holdo would fit right in. She could easily be part of Finn and Rose’s mission there. Her actions in the past, detailed in the book Leia: Princess of Alderaan, showed us she’s not afraid to sneak herself into the middle of dangerous territory to get answers.

The book also detailed Holdo’s connection to General Leia Organa. Their relationship goes back to when they were both teenagers and part of the Apprentice Legislature at the same time. Amilyn hails from the tranquil planet of Gatalenta, known for its meditative retreats. (Those who call Gatalenta home are often serene and spiritual.) The planet had strong Force and Jedi roots, and in fact, when Luke started studying the history of the Jedi Order on the path that led him to Ahch-To, he started on Gatalenta.

Anyway, Holdo was different from others on her world: she wanted to express herself more and did so by regularly dyeing her hair in various bright hues, wearing bold-colored clothing, decorating her gear with glitter, and generally setting herself apart. She was quirky and often spoke in riddles. Leia called it Holdo-speak.

Amilyn’s behavior in Princess of Alderaan made me think of Luna Lovegood from Harry Potter. And like Luna, Amilyn is there when business gets real. Her friendship with Leia was forged as they were both learning about the existence of the Rebel Alliance and starting to make their own stands against the Empire. I don’t know where Holdo was during the events of the original trilogy, but I hope she brings eccentricity and the kind of loyalty she once displayed to Leia to The Last Jedi.

Do you have any theories about Amilyn Holdo? Do you agree that her hair is lavender and not pink? Take a ship to the comments and sound off.

Images: Lucasfilm/Disney/NBC

Amy Ratcliffe is an Associate Editor for Nerdist. She likes Star Wars a little. Follow her on Twitter.

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