Star Wars: The Last Jedi: Admiral Holdo is the hero that Poe needed


It took a strong woman such as Admiral Holdo to teach Poe Dameron a lesson or two in Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

Despite not initially being intended as a central character in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Poe Dameron has become a fan favorite. Maybe it’s because he reminds us of that loveable, scruffy Nerf herder Han Solo, or perhaps it’s because Oscar Isaac’s jaw is strong and sharp enough to slice a loaf of bread. Regardless, he’s become beloved installation in the new trilogy.

So, given the favoritism he’s received from both the fans and, as we see in the film, Leia, I think we all (Poe included) expected Poe to take over when Leia was injured in The Last Jedi. However, the flag was, thankfully, passed to Admiral Holdo.

The truth is, despite his likeability, Poe was not in any way ready to lead. Vice Admiral Amilyn Holdo assesses his character well in their opening interaction when she accuses him of being a cocky flyboy with an aggrandized sense of self. Poe’s actions in the opening battle were reckless and damaging. His immaturity leads to the deaths of many, many resistance heroes.

Poe’s first interaction with Holdo is disrespectful and patronizing (the mansplaining was just…ugh). She handles him with intelligence and poise as she deftly puts him in his place, asserting herself as the new leader of the Resistance in Leia’s absence. He trusts Leia, and he should trust the person she chose to stand in her place. However, Poe’s magnified view of his own abilities gets in the way of wisdom. At every step, Poe fights Holdo and attempts to thwart her designs without ever making an attempt to understand them.

Photo Credit: Lucasfilm

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Once again in her final scene with Leia and an unconscious Poe, Holdo displays hallmarks of good leadership. Despite his bullheaded blundering, she sees Poe’s heart and potential. An important part of being a leader is seeing potential in those you lead and striving to bring the best out of them.

Her tough censures on Poe served as a means of helping him grow up. It’s mentors and leaders like Leia and Holdo that see past stubborn children and strive to develop leaders out of them.

The true weight of Holdo’s influence is obvious when, in a moment of great peril and tough decision making, Poe repeats the line she delivered earlier in the film “We will be the spark that lights the fire that burns down the first order.”

Amilyn Holdo was a key figure in helping to develop Poe and he would not be the wise and careful leader he is at the end of the film without her.

Next: TLJ deleted scenes revealed

Star Wars: The Last Jedi is still playing in select theatres worldwide, with the Blu-ray release less than a month away.