Turns out Vice Admirial Holdo is good for more than just smashing into First Order ships at hyperspeed. What, too soon? Seriously, though, Laura Dern's character in Star Wars: The Last Jedi is a lot more important than you might realize, the 51-year-old actress revealed during a chat with Entertainment Weekly. Unbeknownst to any of us, Holdo was actually connected to the Force and it's not just some theory-turned-retcon, but something that Dern and writer-director Rian Johnson wanted to make a deeper part of her being.
“There’s something about her that longs to protect [the Force], and holds that with great care,” said Dern. “There’s a sort of a light on and a wisdom that she speaks about in the film, and speaks to Oscar Isaac’s character briefly about it.”
Holdo takes over as leader of the Resistance when Leia (Carrie Fisher) is briefly blasted into space and falls into a coma. Her leadership gets on the nerves of Poe Dameron (Oscaar Isaac), who, under Holdo's nose, first sends Finn (John Boyega) and Rose Tico (Kelly Marie Tran), and BB-8 on a mission to Canto Bight to find the Master Codebreaker in the hopes that he can help them shut off the First Order's hyperspace tracking device. Poe then leads a mutiny against the purple-haired leader, but Leia wakes up and stuns him as the Resistance escapes to Crait. Holdo remains behind to smash into the First Order vessel in a now-iconic sequence devoid of any sound.
This daring move (aptly nicknamed the "Holdo Maneuver") has come to define Dern's role in the film, but we should have guessed that she was so much more, given her history with General Organa, who is herself, a Force-sensitive individual. As revealed by the Last Jedi's Visual Dictionary, she hails from the planet of Gatalenta. Known for their independent spirit, Gatalentans are revered for their poetry and compassion.
The fancy-free outlook explains Holdo's unique hair color and her lack of a Resistance uniform, but it's her compassion that legitimizes her connection to the Force, which runs through all living things.
“Yeah, her primary goal was to protect the light, to protect the Force, and to keep the revolutionaries alive,” Dern continued. “And I think the film speaks so beautifully to that with this last image of the next generation of the Resistance, you know?”