laura dern

Despite (or perhaps because of) how obsessive and analytical ‘Star Wars’ can be, it seems as though there’s always something new to learn about the films. Whether it’s a deleted scene from ‘The Empire Strikes Back’ or a different direction that ‘The Force Awakens’ might have taken, there’s always something for those willing to look for it. And ‘The Last Jedi’ is proving no different.

In light of ‘The Last Jedi’ arriving on home video this week, the revelations are coming fast and furious, ranging from deleted scenes to unexplored character traits. The latest of which concerns Laura Dern’s character, Amilyn Holdo. An enigmatic character, it was always clear that there was more going on with Holdo than met the eye, and now, thanks to Laura Dern herself, we have a better sense of just what that was. Specifically, Dern has revealed to Entertainment Weekly that her character was Force sensitive.

“In their minds, and in their understanding of the origin story, we know that she was a true rebel in the Resistance, and in our culture we might have called her a hippie. But she was longing for peace, and a revolutionary in that way, and wanted to be trained by and led by Leia, who taught her everything she knew. She wanted to come up in the ranks to support Leia’s mission, but also had this otherworldly side that does involve the Force.”

As Luke Skywalker himself points out in the film, the Force isn’t all lightsabers and mind tricks. Sometimes it’s as simple as an ability to see beyond oneself. Say, in a way that might make one well suited to a leadership role. And this connection isn’t just some abstract connecting of the dots on Dern’s part. Rather, it’s something that is at the core of what drives the character. Dern continues:

“There’s something about her that longs to protect it, and holds that with great care. There’s a sort of light on and a wisdom that she speaks about in the film, and speaks to Oscar Isaac’s character briefly about it.”

Asked if this connects to Holdo’s willingness to sacrifice herself for the Resistance, Dern agrees.

“Yeah, her primary goal was to protect the light, to protect the Force, and to keep the revolutionaries alive. And I think the film speaks so beautifully to that with this last image of the next generation of the Resistance, you know?”

The idea of Holdo being Force sensitive (whether or not she has any training in its actual use) fits in with a theme that has emerged throughout the sequel trilogy and was especially explicit in ‘The Last Jedi’. Best embodied by the so-called Broomstick Boy at the end of the film, that theme could be described as the “democratization of the Force.”

Directed by Rian Johnson, ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ stars Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Kelly Marie Tran, Adam Driver, Laura Dern, and Andy Serkis. The film is available now on home video, including 4K, Blu-ray, DVD, and a variety of digital formats.