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Vice Admiral Holdo

SWVIII: The Last Jedi
by yo go re

I didn't spring for expedited shipping on this figure, because, well, we've all seen what happens when this lady's in a hurry.

Commanding officer of the Resistance cruiser Ninka, Vice Admiral Holdo has been a trusted ally of General Leia Organa for years. Holdo radiates a quiet confidence with her measured words, but will it be enough to light the encroaching darkness?

In addition to everything else great about it, Last Jedi has perhaps the clearest demonstration of "mansplaining" available in pop culture, but it's really only apparent on subsequent viewings, and also will require you to identify with someone other than the POV character. It's when Poe first meets Holdo: he comes up, interrupting what she's doing, and starts informing her about fuel and whatever else; she's dismissive, yes, but not because she doesn't care; because she already knows. He's not telling her anything she doesn't already have a handle on, but he thinks he's a genius for figuring it out. That's what mansplaining is... and since our female readers were probably all familiar with the concept and we're acting like heroes for noticing it, this paragraph can be a terrific exampe, too.

Amilyn Holdo was played by Dr. Ellie Sattler herself, Laura Dern. The "Photo Real" paint process makes for a great likeness, when paired with the underlying sculpt, but things could be better: Holdo's eyes are so blue and her eyebows are so light that she ends up looking like the face wasn't finished. They needed some dark black eyelashes or something.

When the sad little boys who are still mad at their mommies were made uncomfortable by a movie daring to have the audacity to not treat the white(r) man like a special hero, they needed to come up with some excuse to disguise their real motivations - because they're smart enough to realize if they say "I don't like this character because I don't like women being in charge," people will get mad at them, but they're not smart enough to realize saying "I don't like this character because she dresses unprofessionally" is too transparent to trick anybody. In a world where Admiral Zoidberg can be a great military hero, they were pretending to be mad she dressed like an old woman? Nice try, Walter.

Since Holdo wears a floor-length dress, we don't get to see a lot of sculpted details - it's softgoods, so all we're really getting are her sleeves, and the big... scarf... thing?... she wears draped down her back. There's a new body underneath, just like another dress-wearing character, but that isn't meant to be part of the draw. They did do a nice job with her jewelry, though: the tiara stuck into her curly hair represents the multiple suns of her homeworld, Gatalenta, while her bracelets are shaped like local constellations. The toy even has the two large rings she wears.

I was a bit disappointed when I first got this figure (ordered her online, since you know these things are impossible to find in stores), because her dress seemed to be a different style from the one she wore in the film - it still had the full neck wrap, but it didn't show off her shoulders the same way. But! The dress is softgoods. It moves. It flexes. When you open the toy, slide the dress's shoulders down a little onto the toy's arms - it will reveal just the little flash of skin that we should be seeing, and it will look tons better.

Also since the dress moves, all Holdo's articulation is still useable: head, shoulders, elbows, wrists, chest, hips, thighs, knees, and ankles. Her only accessory is her DDC Defender-5 blaster pistol, a classic weapon often carried by Gatalentan nobility. Though (like Laura Dern) you'll have to provide your own "pew" sound effects.

As said, I ordered this figure online because I didn't want to miss out on her. Vice Admiral Holdo is a badass in the film and has a great look - a look which may work better on film than on a toy, it must be said, but great nonetheless. She's responsible for what is easily the most jawdropping moment in any Star Wars film, even it's suprising the moment was given to an actress they'd be able to get back and not to the much-missed Carrie Fisher (though, if the roles had been switched, we would have missed out on Luke and Leia's on-screen reunion, which would have been a loss, as well). Holdo herself is awesome; the toy is nearly that good too. A few touch-ups would make her better.

-- 06/16/19

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