While I thoroughly enjoyed The Last Jedi (enough to see it twice), there are things that went un-addressed in the film that I want to shed some light on. Things that bugged the hell out of me. Spoilers below.
By and large, it’s a great picture. It took risks that I applaud. It wiped out characters that I was genuinely shocked to see wiped off the board, and spared at least one that I didn’t saw coming. It was also undeniably a STAR WARS picture. What more can be said.
Nevertheless, a few things happened in the picture that were never given a second thought, and as a dyed-in-the-wool nitpicker, I’m here to pick those nits.
Problem #1. The idea that Poe was wrong for taking out the Dreadnaught when and how he did.
At the start of the picture, the First Order shows up with a Dreadnaught, a gunship so powerful it can destroy the Resistance base with four shots. Poe refers to it as a fleet killer, and no one disagrees with him.
Poe leads an attack on the Dreadnaught before he’s asked to withdraw so the fleet can get the hell out of there. Poe ignores the command and presses on, leading an attack that destroys the Dreadnaught. A fraction of the fighters make it back in one piece.
When he returns, Leia smacks him in the face, demotes him, and flat out tells him that he made the wrong move. Poe doesn’t say much to defend his decision. (I can’t imagine many who could argue with Her Highness, but I digress.)
Here’s the thing. Poe was absolutely right to take out the Dreadnaught while he still could. If he hadn’t, it would have arrived with the rest of the armada that dropped out of lightspeed moments after the Resistance did, and torn the fleet to pieces. The entire point of that ship is to take out targets at greater range and with more firepower than any other ship in the First Order.
Poe’s decision may have cost the fleet a good number of ships, but those same ships would have been annihilated a half hour later if he hadn’t.
Problem #2. The idea that Holdo was right to withhold her escape plan from her subordinates.
Vice Admiral Holdo picked up the reins following Leia’s brush with death. Fine. She continued with her predecessor’s last orders. Also fine.
I understand that a superior officer should expect her subordinates to follow orders without asking why. I get that she was concerned about the possibility of a mole on the ship. But Poe asked her on two separate occasions for some kind of explanation. Even when there was a blaster to her head, it would have made more sense to share her plan than to fracture the fleet through in-fighting.
Even something as simple as “I have a plan,” would have been better than “I have hope, and you should too”.
Were there other mistakes? Absolutely. Would any of those mistakes have happened if she’d given Poe even a single reason to trust her? Not at all.
From a meta point of view, I get it. From a storytelling angle, having her keep her plan a secret jacks up the tension and sets the stage for an act three reveal. Fine. It still comes down to incompetent leadership.
Thanks for letting me rant. Please actually read the article before you leap to arguing in the comments.