While many Star Wars fans had their fair share of issues with the storyline of The Last Jedi, one of those criticisms was totally unfounded as it makes complete sense given the history of the characters involved–and now, that history has been revealed, and explains explicitly why Leia trusted Holdo (not Poe) in the film.
Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi features a number of storylines happening simultaneously for each separate main character. Rey is training with Luke Skywalker to master the ways of the Force before facing off against/teaming up with Kylo Ren and witnessing the death of Snoke. Meanwhile, the Resistance is on the verge of total annihilation by the hand of the First Order as their fleet is surrounded by much more powerful ships while they are also experiencing a fuel shortage. During this part of the story, Poe Dameron wants to launch an assault against the First Order while Vice-Admiral Holdo wants to hold their ground. Obviously, fans are more inclined to side with Poe as his solution involves the most Star Wars-esque mix of heroic action and fun adventure, which put Holdo in a less-than-deserved negative light. The critique here is that Leia should have put Poe in charge of the situation given his confidence, planning, and skill in challenging the First Order since Holdo didn’t seem to do much of anything. However, one past mission lays out exactly why fans were incorrect in this line of thinking, and why Holdo was the perfect person for the job.
In Star Wars #30 by Charles Soule and Andrés Genolet, readers are taken back to an era of Star Wars set between the events of Episode V and VI where Luke, Leia, Chewbacca, Lando, and Holdo are searching the cosmos for something that was believed to be a myth. At this point, the Rebellion is in serious trouble as fuel supplies are running low, so Holdo comes up with a plan to investigate an unexplored region of the galaxy in search of a vessel that was lost hundreds of years ago that contained a plethora of fuel. While the team ended up in something akin to a pocket dimension known as No-Space, they were successful in tracking down the fuel-filled transport vessel, and the fact that the series didn’t end with this mission confirms that the heroes make it out of this alive, which implies that, all-in-all, the plan was a success.
While these two situations where Holdo took the reins don’t have too much in common, there is one glaring similarity that connects them: both have to do with fuel crises. The situation in The Last Jedi involved the Resistance not having enough fuel to escape the First Order, which required Holdo to think outside the box in order to attain an unexpected victory (just as Leia knew she would). In Star Wars #30, Holdo is faced with a similar situation–albeit much less pressing–as the Rebellion won’t survive much longer without fuel, and Holdo needs to think outside the box to replenish their supplies.
This earlier mission proved to Leia that Holdo is a smart and trustworthy leader who may seem less appealing compared to a more flashy option (like Poe) but is, in fact, the best person for the job. Holdo proved this to Leia in a more general sense many times over throughout this comic series, but this particular mission relates to the one in The Last Jedi due to the shared problem of a fuel shortage–which is just the latest example of the ever-present ‘rhyming’ device used in Star Wars storytelling since the series’ inception.
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