There’s a moment in Star Wars: The Last Jedi – a truly unforgettable, jaw-on-the-floor moment – in which Vice Admiral Holdo cuts through the First Order fleet like a hot knife through butter.
Having ordered the dogged Resistance to Crait, Laura Dern’s purple-haired commander then turns her ship to face the oncoming First Order, blindsiding General Hux and everyone on board the Supremacy as the Resistance’s last remaining warship hurtles toward them at a speed faster than light. And then…silence.
It’s an incredibly eerie shot that belongs up there with the best in the Star Wars franchise, and below, writer-director Rian Johnson explains to Empire how the kernel of Holdo’s kamikaze mission owes a debt to the great Han Solo
I’m sure that a lot of fans had thought ever since Han was talking about if you don’t get the calculations right you could go through a star…I always wanted to see what that would look like, and at some point, one of the guys at ILM hit upon that exposure idea of everything going silent. We were struggling with how do we make this visually impressive and when we hit on that, we loved it.
If you’re in need of a refresher, here’s Solo’s original quote to Luke Skywalker in A New Hope:
Traveling through hyperspace ain’t like dusting crops, boy! Without precise calculations we could fly right through a star or bounce too close to a supernova and that’d end your trip real quick, wouldn’t it?
And we couldn’t agree more. Vice Admiral Holdo was arguably one of the strongest additions to Star Wars: The Last Jedi – Rose Tico, notwithstanding – so it’s a real shame that Laura Dern’s stint in the Lucasfilm series had to come to an end so soon. But you know what they say: it’s better to burn bright than to fade away.