The power of women is starting to become undeniable lately, in the best way. While she most recently starred as Renata Klein in the Emmy-winning HBO miniseries, Big Little Lies, fans may be wondering who Laura Dern plays in The Last Jedi. The actresses role in the movie has been kept a secret for a while, but now that the movie is out, fans can't stop talking about how iconic Dern's character is in the extremely popular franchise.
Dern plays Vice Admiral Amilyn Holdo, a purple-haired boss lady who leads her own resistance against the First Order, according to Vanity Fair. And while Dern's character is definitely a new addition to the Star Wars universe, the strength of Holdo is something everyone can appreciate and recognize. Especially within a franchise with strong female role models such as Princess Leia, Rey and Ahsoka Tano, Holdo seems to fit right in.
And of course, I don't want to give any spoilers about one of the most highly-anticipated films of the year, but let's just say that Dern's character isn't just there to get more press. And in an interview with HuffPost, Dern revealed that her entrance into the Star Wars universe was just as mysterious as the nature of her character.
"Rian Johnson (director) called to ask me to lunch and talk about something," Dern explained to HuffPost, "and then Kathleen Kennedy (producer) also called and I knew something was up."
Since then, Dern was transported to the magical world of Star Wars, and it's been a pretty wild ride. According to PopSugar, Holdo is actually friends with Star Wars fan favorite, Princess Leia Organa, whom she meets "in the Apprentice Legislature on Coruscant." Of course, that's what happened in the recent novel, Leia: Princess of Alderaan by Claudia Gray — "created with input from The Last Jedi writer-director Rian Johnson," according to PopSugar. But it's likely that the film follows the novel's plot line pretty closely, and like Organa, Holdo is a big part of the Resistance, but her character remains aloof.
In her interview with HuffPost, Dern described Holdo as being a different kind of female protagonist. She revealed that Rian "wanted Holdo’s strength to lead with deep femininity and move away from the stereotype of what strong female characters must be." And honestly, Dern's portrayal of Holdo is one for the books, and also one that she seems to have deeply loved. Because even though she may be known for her iconic role in Big Little Lies or October Sky, Dern's place in Star Wars has been waiting for her for quite some time.
Dern fondly remembered when she went to go see the original Star Wars when she she was a child, telling HuffPost, that it was "the first time I stood in line for a movie at the Cinerama Dome, and it was profound for me." And that's not all; Dern getting a role in The Last Jedi also sort of brings the franchise full-circle for her.
Continuing her interview with HuffPost, Dern explained,
My Dad (Bruce Dern) had done an independent film called Silent Running that was a great influence on George Lucas. In Silent Running, Dad was alone in space with two droids, said to be the inspiration for R2-D2 and C-3PO.
So truly, Dern's presence in The Last Jedi may come as a bit of a surprise for some fans, who know Dern to star in more drama-esque films than the science fiction and action variety. But, Dern's character of Holdo along with her past relationship to the film indicates that she belongs in the Star Wars universe.
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