Star Wars’ Vice-Admiral Holdo and Our Expectations for Female Military Power

By Arkady Martine

A vast and detailed selection of spoilers follow—if you haven’t seen The Last Jedi, go see it and come back to this one afterward.

The first time we see Vice-Admiral Holdo in The Last Jedi, we see her through the eyes of Poe Dameron: hotshot flyboy, recently slapped down twice in the Resistance’s scramble to evacuate their compromised base. The first blow to Poe’s ego and stability is his demotion from Commander to Captain by General Leia Organa herself, a suitable reprimand for spearheading the devastatingly costly bombing run which provides the film with its opening set-piece. No sooner has Poe processed this—if indeed he has processed it—than he’s knocked further off balance by the loss of all of the Resistance high command save Leia, who is comatose and out of commission. In this state—stripped of his expected personal authority, with the usual structures of command which he relies on decimated—he looks at the new leader of the remaining Resistance fleet and says incredulously to another pilot: “That’s Admiral Holdo? Battle of Chyron Belt Admiral Holdo? …not what I was expecting.”

Read the full article at Tor.com.

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