Star Wars: The Last Jedi release thread (spoilers)

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Re: Star Wars: The Last Jedi release thread (spoilers)

Post by FaxModem1 » 2018-05-15 05:45am

The Romulan Republic wrote:
2018-05-14 01:21pm

Its her job to inspire confidence, yes. But I'd presume that it is also Poe's job not to challenge her authority or disobey orders unless necessary.
And there's the rub, 2/3rds of the fleet was wiped out, Poe asked her what's going on, and she wouldn't tell him anything, and death seemed a few hours away at best. From his perspective, it did seem necessary. Consider my example situation below.
Dealing with frightened, angry, disillusioned and frustrated subordinates is the primary job of a senior leader. Its the #1 thing they are there to do, to inspire people to be better and accomplish more than they think they can. To be blunt, anyone can come up with plans, and commanders rarely do that themselves. They are there to execute, through the inspiration and management of people.
Fair enough.

I'm not saying anyone (Holdo or Poe) handled the situation ideally. I'm just saying that there are reasons for that given the situation (both explicite and implied) other than "Holdo is evil" or "Holdo is stupid." And that Poe bears some of the blame.
We all know that Poe has blame, he swiftly disregarded Opsec and Commsec. We can rightly hold him over the coals for that one. Finn and Rose for hiring someone who wasn't their contact. DJ more so for selling them out. And even Manaka for not just giving the Slicer's name. Poe's staging a mutiny when he thinks everyone's lives count on his doing it is due to Holdo's bad leadership, that's on Holdo's refusal to brief anyone on what's going on.

If person A was driving a car towards a cliff, and person B is in the passenger seat, and doesn't see them slow down, but instead accelerate, without knowing that person A is planning on landing in the secretly set up cushion at the bottom of the cliff and that they should survives Person A set up without Person B knowing, they will rightfully think that Person A is going to get them killed. This is only compounded when Persons C and D have heart attacks from the seemingly suicidal driving.

Person B is worried for their life, as well as the lives of Person E, F, and G, who are also in the same car, worried about dying as well. Person B is entirely in the right to try and stop the car by whatever means possible with the information they have at hand.

Poe isn't flipping out because he's naturally rebellious or that he's afraid of following a woman. He's afraid his leader is getting them killed pointlessly, and has already gotten two captains killed, and is acting in self defense.
FaxModem1 wrote:
2018-05-13 01:57pm
Patroklos handled this well, so I'll only add that if Holdo was given a 30 second line about worrying about spies, saboteurs, listening devices, etc, she would come off as having better reasons for her level of secrecy.
Agreed.
But it wasn't, so Poe's actions are justified from his available information. It might even hold up in a Court Martial.
Snip Fax's brainstorming for a better film.
As you noted, that's kind of the relationship Poe has with Leia, but giving him that relationship with Holdo would have been arguably redundant, and would have required a major re-write, as ray noted.

I think the problem is two-fold: one, the need for secrecy is never clearly stated. It makes sense as a justification after the fact, but it should have been stated in the film. It would have cleared up a number of plot issues that have been raised in this thread, while still leaving enough to make the audience think Poe was right about Holdo.
Agreed.
Secondly, we don't really get a chance in the film to find out much about Holdo, or see things from her perspective. So we just get half a film of Poe (as previously noted in this thread, a character the audience has already gotten to know and presumably identify with) saying she sucks, followed by a twist. Holdo's goodbye to Leia and her final sacrifice help to make her more sympathetic and give her more depth, but it would have probably helped the audience to sympathize with her if we'd found out a bit more about her.

I might have played up the idea that it was some of Holdo's people that Poe's stunt at the start got killed- given her a stronger personal reason to dislike and distrust him. Hell, maybe even have Holdo blame Poe for Leia being incapacitated, since his stunt wiped out their fighter cover and exposed the Raddus to Kylo's fighter attack. Give her more of a reason for a personal animosity towards Poe. The latter would tie it into her other main relationship in the film (her friendship with Leia), and Leia's recovery could then provide a stronger reason for her to reevaluate her opinion of Poe.
You can do that, but unless handled right, it can make Holdo look irrational due to personal grief. And I'm not sure if having the female leader being out of control with her emotions to the point that she gets two ships destroyed because she can't communicate properly is a good idea.
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Re: Star Wars: The Last Jedi release thread (spoilers)

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-05-15 02:08pm

ray245 wrote:
2018-05-14 09:13pm
The Romulan Republic wrote:
2018-05-14 01:21pm
Both Poe and Holdo make mistakes, certainly. But the Holdo bashers insist that Poe is faultless, and that everything is Holdo's fault. This is bias.
How many people in this thread is saying Poe is entirely faultless? It's unfair to make the assumption that posters in this thread shares the same view as some random poster on youtube.
True enough, but I do see people here defending Poe on points where he pretty clearly was at fault.

That post, for example, was in response to tezunegari's claim that Poe was "professional" in his first exchange with Holdo, which he then backed up by posting dialog quotes which show Poe interrupting Holdo's conversation with another officer to ask her about the very problem she appears to be trying to deal with, then inaccurately claiming a higher rank than he currently possesses.

Even taking into account that tezunegari put his own slant on the scene (noting his interpretation of Holdo's tone or expression when it would make her appear unprofessional, but making no mention of Poe's), Poe's conduct isn't faultless there, so his argument comes across as trying to put all the blame for the animosity between Poe and Holdo on Holdo- blaming her initial unprofessionalism, while ignoring Poe's.

Because, maybe Holdo could have handled it better, but I can definitely see why Poe's actions there would have irritated her and made her inclined to be dismissive of him, especially given the larger context.
FaxModem1 wrote:
2018-05-15 05:45am
And there's the rub, 2/3rds of the fleet was wiped out, Poe asked her what's going on, and she wouldn't tell him anything, and death seemed a few hours away at best. From his perspective, it did seem necessary. Consider my example situation below.
Again, this is something that's been covered in some detail, but...

I'm not denying the desperation of the situation, or that Poe had legitimate grounds to be concerned about the survival of the fleet. My objections to this argument are two-fold:

1. Poe was already blatantly going behind Holdo's back and undermining her authority long before that (indeed, almost as soon as she took command).

2. As I recall the scene, Holdo didn't really get a chance to explain the plan in full. Pretty much the moment Poe finds out about the transports, he loses it and starts shouting that she's a traitor. Could she have been more clear? Yes. Was Poe remotely inclined to listen to reason at that point? I'd say no.
We all know that Poe has blame, he swiftly disregarded Opsec and Commsec. We can rightly hold him over the coals for that one. Finn and Rose for hiring someone who wasn't their contact. DJ more so for selling them out. And even Manaka for not just giving the Slicer's name.
Thank you for acknowledging that. Although at this point in the discussion, I was referring to Poe's (partial) culpability in the larger situation/breakdown of trust and communication in the chain of command.
Poe's staging a mutiny when he thinks everyone's lives count on his doing it is due to Holdo's bad leadership, that's on Holdo's refusal to brief anyone on what's going on.
Again, and I am really tired of having to repeat this point (because it keeps getting ignored), we don't know that Holdo briefed no one. We know that she didn't brief Poe. Likely, she did not brief the majority of the crew (including Poe's co-mutineers).

In any case, I will reiterate that Holdo likely had a valid reason for keeping that information "need to know". Yes, the film failed to articulate it. Yes, we can fault the plotting of the film for that. But in-universe, her actions do arguably make sense.
If person A was driving a car towards a cliff, and person B is in the passenger seat, and doesn't see them slow down, but instead accelerate, without knowing that person A is planning on landing in the secretly set up cushion at the bottom of the cliff and that they should survives Person A set up without Person B knowing, they will rightfully think that Person A is going to get them killed. This is only compounded when Persons C and D have heart attacks from the seemingly suicidal driving.

Person B is worried for their life, as well as the lives of Person E, F, and G, who are also in the same car, worried about dying as well. Person B is entirely in the right to try and stop the car by whatever means possible with the information they have at hand.
Well sure, but in this situation its more "Person A says that they can jump the ravine, even though it looks too far and they're kind of vague as to the particulars, but there's a truck full of gun-toting maniacs roaring up behind them, a ravine on either side of the road, and fighting to take control of the car might get everyone killed too."

Not sure their are any really good options left in that situation, to be honest.
Poe isn't flipping out because he's naturally rebellious or that he's afraid of following a woman. He's afraid his leader is getting them killed pointlessly, and has already gotten two captains killed, and is acting in self defense.
No doubt that's Poe's thinking. That doesn't mean he's right. He's very clearly acting out of fear (again, people making bad choices due to fear is kind of a theme of this film, repeated with Ben Solo/Kylo Ren's fall, Luke drawing his saber on Ben, Rey's insecurities about her place in the universe making her susceptible to Dark Side manipulation, and even arguably Leia's fear of loss).

Its entirely possible that the same is true for Holdo, who would have suddenly found herself thrust into the top command due to the near-death of her friend, in a situation where she would be under almost unimaginable pressure, hopelessly outgunned, and watching her command die around her. Unfortunately, Holdo's motivations are something else that the film gives very little time to. I forgive that, because a film can only focus on so many plot threads at once, and there were other things that were more important to the story. But its something I wish we had gotten more on, and I think Holdo might have been better-received if we had.
But it wasn't, so Poe's actions are justified from his available information. It might even hold up in a Court Martial.
I'll let one of our board members in the armed forces weigh in on this one, if they wish.
You can do that, but unless handled right, it can make Holdo look irrational due to personal grief. And I'm not sure if having the female leader being out of control with her emotions to the point that she gets two ships destroyed because she can't communicate properly is a good idea.
Fair point about the implications reg. gender stereotypes. Gender politics and gender stereotypes require one to tread carefully, for fear of falling into unintended "unfortunate implications". But I think my basic point is that we needed something to humanize Holdo a bit more.

I still disagree that Holdo needlessly sacrificed those ships, or at least I think that its open to interpretation. Other alternatives that might have saved them do exist, as you've pointed out in some detail, but all of them appear to have their own (serious) drawbacks, in my opinion. I'm also not sure how better communication with Poe would have averted that outcome, unless she entirely abandoned her battle plan in favor of his (which is doubtful, especially since its likely that she was at least partly following Leia's plan).
"Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes" When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy." - Lincoln.

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Re: Star Wars: The Last Jedi release thread (spoilers)

Post by ray245 » 2018-05-15 02:20pm

The Romulan Republic wrote:
2018-05-15 02:08pm
True enough, but I do see people here defending Poe on points where he pretty clearly was at fault.

That post, for example, was in response to tezunegari's claim that Poe was "professional" in his first exchange with Holdo, which he then backed up by posting dialog quotes which show Poe interrupting Holdo's conversation with another officer to ask her about the very problem she appears to be trying to deal with, then inaccurately claiming a higher rank than he currently possesses.

Even taking into account that tezunegari put his own slant on the scene (noting his interpretation of Holdo's tone or expression when it would make her appear unprofessional, but making no mention of Poe's), Poe's conduct isn't faultless there, so his argument comes across as trying to put all the blame for the animosity between Poe and Holdo on Holdo- blaming her initial unprofessionalism, while ignoring Poe's.

Because, maybe Holdo could have handled it better, but I can definitely see why Poe's actions there would have irritated her and made her inclined to be dismissive of him, especially given the larger context.
Because it feels like you are making the assumption that military does not allow people to question their superiors. People in the military are just as human as anyone else in a stressful situation. Being trained to obey and listen to orders does not mean they have no right to ask if their leader has a plan. It's only an issue if Poe is deliberately trying to second-guess Holdo, which doesn't seem to be what Poe was doing.

The problem is Rian Johnson is too caught up in trying to subvert a fairly reasonable scenario, and executing it badly.
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Re: Star Wars: The Last Jedi release thread (spoilers)

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-05-15 02:41pm

ray245 wrote:
2018-05-15 02:20pm
Because it feels like you are making the assumption that military does not allow people to question their superiors.
If you don't want me to make assumptions about others' views, please don't make assumptions about mine.

No, I don't think that soldiers should never question orders. The only people who think that are fascists, or fascists in all but name. But I think that there's a time and a place, that there is a right way and a wrong way to do it, and outright going behind your commander's back or mutinying is something that should be reserved only for very rare circumstances.

I fully acknowledge that this is the opinion of a civilian, and thus not founded on personal experience, simply second-hand knowledge and my own judgment.

The question, then, is:

a) Did Holdo's actions warrant a mutiny?

b) Did Poe have reason to believe that they did?

c) Did Poe make a reasonable effort to resolve the situation by less drastic methods?

I would answer those questions:

a) No. Holdo's plan (which may well have originated with Leia) would likely have succeeded in saving the majority of the personnel in the fleet* if not for Poe's interference, bad luck, and a turncoat who never should have known about the plan to begin with.

*Barring the escape being sensed through the Force by Kylo or Snoke, but that's a risk to some degree with any plan that relies on stealth in Star Wars.

b) Yes, but a qualified yes. Poe could reasonably conclude, based on his interactions with Holdo, that her plan was likely to fail catastrophically (the accusation of treason was unwarranted, but very clearly an emotional rather than rational response). However, Poe made very little effort to communicate effectively with Holdo (she does also bear some responsibility in this) before rejecting her authority, and their relations were undermined from the get-go due to his recent record of insubordination.

c) No. See above. Poe made very little effort to communicate effectively with Holdo before going behind her back, and was quick to jump to the worst possible interpretation of her actions.

From Poe's point of view, he had good reason to mutiny. However, his conclusions were incorrect, and resulted from poor communication between him and Holdo. And either of them made more of an effort to work professionally together, this miscommunication might have been averted.

I tend to put more blame on Poe, however, since he had less reason to distrust Holdo's judgment at their initial encounter than vice-versa, and he basically introduced himself by interrupting her, questioning her, and lying about his rank. Then when he got a negative reception, immediately escalated to "conduct secret op behind my CO's back").
People in the military are just as human as anyone else in a stressful situation. Being trained to obey and listen to orders does not mean they have no right to ask if their leader has a plan.
Agreed.
It's only an issue if Poe is deliberately trying to second-guess Holdo, which doesn't seem to be what Poe was doing.
See above. Holdo didn't handle their first encounter ideally, but neither did Poe, and he was very quick to write her off, and start working behind her back.
The problem is Rian Johnson is too caught up in trying to subvert a fairly reasonable scenario, and executing it badly.
I'd say the problem is basically two-fold:

1. The set-up is too convincing, so some people refuse to buy the eventual twist.

2. There is a lot of audience bias against Holdo. Some due to genre conventions, some due to hostility toward the film/the ST, some due to gender, and some due to Poe being a more established character. Which the film used to make people buy the set-up, but then feeds into people refusing to buy the subsequent subversion.
"Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes" When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy." - Lincoln.

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Re: Star Wars: The Last Jedi release thread (spoilers)

Post by tezunegari » 2018-05-15 03:35pm

The Romulan Republic wrote:
2018-05-15 02:08pm
That post, for example, was in response to tezunegari's claim that Poe was "professional" in his first exchange with Holdo, which he then backed up by posting dialog quotes which show Poe interrupting Holdo's conversation with another officer to ask her about the very problem she appears to be trying to deal with, then inaccurately claiming a higher rank than he currently possesses.

Even taking into account that tezunegari put his own slant on the scene (noting his interpretation of Holdo's tone or expression when it would make her appear unprofessional, but making no mention of Poe's), Poe's conduct isn't faultless there, so his argument comes across as trying to put all the blame for the animosity between Poe and Holdo on Holdo- blaming her initial unprofessionalism, while ignoring Poe's.

Because, maybe Holdo could have handled it better, but I can definitely see why Poe's actions there would have irritated her and made her inclined to be dismissive of him, especially given the larger context.
Poe doesn't interrupt a conversation between Holdo and Darcy, or at least it is at a moment when there is a pause in it when both Holdo and Darcy are getting up some steps towards a console.

Admittedly he does interrupt her when she asks Darcy for the projections on the Fuel consumption - but at the same time she treats him in a dismissive manner, only looking at him after he interrupts her.

Does Poe introduce himself with the wrong rank? He does but I attribute that to a slip of the tongue.
Her reaction to that was unprofessional.
Her phrasing of reminding Poe of his demotion is weakening her position, at least to me.
She asks him instead of telling him she knows about it.
A simple "I know who you are, CAPTAIN Dameron. I also know that you were ordered to abort the attack that cost us our entire bomber fleet."
Instead we get "Oh, weren't you demoted for getting our bomber fleet killed?"

here is the scene in question
english:

german:
"Bring your thousands, I have my axe."
"Bring your cannons, I have my armor."
"Bring your mighty... I am my own champion."
Cue Unit-01 ramming half the Lance of Longinus down Adam's head and a bemused Gendo, "Wrong end, son."
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Re: Star Wars: The Last Jedi release thread (spoilers)

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-05-15 03:37pm

Thank you for clarifying.

As you noted, Poe does give the wrong rank (may or may not be an honest error), and interrupts Holdo. That does not reflect well on him.

That said, I will concede that she could have handled it better.
"Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes" When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy." - Lincoln.

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Re: Star Wars: The Last Jedi release thread (spoilers)

Post by Batman » 2018-05-15 05:24pm

At this point his demotion is but several hours old. He may still think of himself as 'Commander' by sheer force of habit
'Next time I let Superman take charge, just hit me. Real hard.'
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Re: Star Wars: The Last Jedi release thread (spoilers)

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-05-15 05:51pm

Batman wrote:
2018-05-15 05:24pm
At this point his demotion is but several hours old. He may still think of himself as 'Commander' by sheer force of habit
Possibly, and fair enough. I'll acknowledge that he may not have intended to deceive Holdo (and it would be a pretty pointless deception, as she could easily verify his actual rank).

But it does give an additional reason for why she might be inclined to view him negatively from the get-go.
"Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes" When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy." - Lincoln.

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Re: Star Wars: The Last Jedi release thread (spoilers)

Post by ray245 » 2018-05-15 08:15pm

The Romulan Republic wrote:
2018-05-15 02:41pm

If you don't want me to make assumptions about others' views, please don't make assumptions about mine.
Fair enough.
No, I don't think that soldiers should never question orders. The only people who think that are fascists, or fascists in all but name. But I think that there's a time and a place, that there is a right way and a wrong way to do it, and outright going behind your commander's back or mutinying is something that should be reserved only for very rare circumstances.

I fully acknowledge that this is the opinion of a civilian, and thus not founded on personal experience, simply second-hand knowledge and my own judgment.
Isn't the near total loss of all major political and military leadership a time to ask the new commander about the plan? Could Poe have used his words better? Sure, but as a leader, you don't get into petty arguments with your subordinates. That's why you are trusted to lead people.


The question, then, is:

a) Did Holdo's actions warrant a mutiny?

b) Did Poe have reason to believe that they did?

c) Did Poe make a reasonable effort to resolve the situation by less drastic methods?

I would answer those questions:

a) No. Holdo's plan (which may well have originated with Leia) would likely have succeeded in saving the majority of the personnel in the fleet* if not for Poe's interference, bad luck, and a turncoat who never should have known about the plan to begin with.

*Barring the escape being sensed through the Force by Kylo or Snoke, but that's a risk to some degree with any plan that relies on stealth in Star Wars.
Such a plan requires communications.

b) Yes, but a qualified yes. Poe could reasonably conclude, based on his interactions with Holdo, that her plan was likely to fail catastrophically (the accusation of treason was unwarranted, but very clearly an emotional rather than rational response). However, Poe made very little effort to communicate effectively with Holdo (she does also bear some responsibility in this) before rejecting her authority, and their relations were undermined from the get-go due to his recent record of insubordination.
The job of ranking officers is to communicate with the people under their command. If Holdo really understand the type of fly-boys like Poe, then she should be good at communicating with them. Bearing a grudge against the fly-boy types and letting that affect your judgement/communication is a massive sin in leadership.
c) No. See above. Poe made very little effort to communicate effectively with Holdo before going behind her back, and was quick to jump to the worst possible interpretation of her actions.

From Poe's point of view, he had good reason to mutiny. However, his conclusions were incorrect, and resulted from poor communication between him and Holdo. And either of them made more of an effort to work professionally together, this miscommunication might have been averted.

I tend to put more blame on Poe, however, since he had less reason to distrust Holdo's judgment at their initial encounter than vice-versa, and he basically introduced himself by interrupting her, questioning her, and lying about his rank. Then when he got a negative reception, immediately escalated to "conduct secret op behind my CO's back").
The job of a leader is to take up responsibility for the people under their command, including their fuck-ups. It's their job to understand and manage people. If Poe is a hot-headed fool, then it's the job of a good leader to learn to communicate with hot-headed fools. The buck stops with the leader, and not just the soldier at fault.

See above. Holdo didn't handle their first encounter ideally, but neither did Poe, and he was very quick to write her off, and start working behind her back.
See above. Learning to communicate well is key.

I'd say the problem is basically two-fold:

1. The set-up is too convincing, so some people refuse to buy the eventual twist.
Not really, because he used the wrong "redemption" for Holdo. If you want to subvert people's expectation, you need to understand what is the audience's perceived flaw.

Rian Johnson thinks the audience's perceived flaw of Holdo is her cowardliness, so her redemption by sacrificing herself to save the rest of the rebellion is supposedly the thing that subverts this expectation. The problem is he did not read what he wrote. The inital perception of Holdo is not that she's a coward, it's that she's a horrible leader that is bad at communications.

So in order to redeem her, you need a plot that shows she is actually good at communication. That's not done by the end of the movie, so Holdo ended up not being redeem at all.

It's a failure of subversion becaues the writer himself does not understand what he is really doing

2. There is a lot of audience bias against Holdo. Some due to genre conventions, some due to hostility toward the film/the ST, some due to gender, and some due to Poe being a more established character. Which the film used to make people buy the set-up, but then feeds into people refusing to buy the subsequent subversion.
The problem is Rian Johnson didn't really give Holdo too many positive attributes. You can subvert gender bias by showing how certain traits are seen as "weak" are actually a good thing for a military organisation. You can show Holdo as someone who empathises more with soldiers and communicates well with the people under her command as a good thing.

Instead, Rian Johnson basically gives her some of the problems associated with masculinity. He turn Holdo into something that gets into pointless ego contest with her subordinates.
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Re: Star Wars: The Last Jedi release thread (spoilers)

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-05-15 08:43pm

ray245 wrote:
2018-05-15 08:15pm
Fair enough.
Isn't the near total loss of all major political and military leadership a time to ask the new commander about the plan? Could Poe have used his words better? Sure, but as a leader, you don't get into petty arguments with your subordinates. That's why you are trusted to lead people.
Did Poe have reason to be concerned? Yes, of course. Was he actually willing to hear Holdo out at that point? Probably not. And even if he was, his past actions had already contributed to a breakdown of communication (though one Holdo also shares some blame for).
Such a plan requires communications.
Like any effective plan which relies on secrecy, it requires a careful balancing of communication and discretion. Poe was not "need to know", in my opinion (unless he was very close to Holdo in the chain of command). That said, both he and Holdo could have communicated with one another more effectively.
The job of ranking officers is to communicate with the people under their command. If Holdo really understand the type of fly-boys like Poe, then she should be good at communicating with them. Bearing a grudge against the fly-boy types and letting that affect your judgement/communication is a massive sin in leadership.
Agreed, though I would point out again that Poe's actions actually gave her concrete reasons to be distrustful of his judgment, and to take offence at him.

Is there a lack of communication going on here? Yes. Is Holdo responsible for that? Partially. Is she entirely responsible for it, or acting purely on an irrational grudge? Definitely not.
The job of a leader is to take up responsibility for the people under their command, including their fuck-ups. It's their job to understand and manage people. If Poe is a hot-headed fool, then it's the job of a good leader to learn to communicate with hot-headed fools. The buck stops with the leader, and not just the soldier at fault.
I'm not saying that it was just Poe's fault.

But this seems like something of a cop-out to me. Yes, a leader is supposed to take responsibility for the actions of their subordinates, but to what point? If the subordinate in question is running around doing shit behind their back, while they're dealing with urgent shit like trying to keep the entire fleet alive, it seems unfair to put the responsibility entirely on the commander either.
See above. Learning to communicate well is key.
Indeed. And if Holdo failed at that with Poe, Poe certainly failed at it as well.

You could say that its Holdo's responsibility more than Poe's because of her position. But you could also say that its more Poe's responsibility because he was the one who started things off on the wrong foot, conducted secret operations behind her back, and had his prior record (demotion for insubordination) weighing against him.
Not really, because he used the wrong "redemption" for Holdo. If you want to subvert people's expectation, you need to understand what is the audience's perceived flaw.

Rian Johnson thinks the audience's perceived flaw of Holdo is her cowardliness, so her redemption by sacrificing herself to save the rest of the rebellion is supposedly the thing that subverts this expectation. The problem is he did not read what he wrote. The inital perception of Holdo is not that she's a coward, it's that she's a horrible leader that is bad at communications.

So in order to redeem her, you need a plot that shows she is actually good at communication. That's not done by the end of the movie, so Holdo ended up not being redeem at all.

It's a failure of subversion becaues the writer himself does not understand what he is really doing
There are a lot of reasons people criticize Holdo, some more well-founded than others. Communication issues are only a part of that, but its the main one (with any actual substance) that the film doesn't really "correct" post-reveal. So to that extent, you are correct.

I think the intent is that we see that Poe misjudged Holdo, and perhaps conclude that the breakdown in communications was on him as a result. But this is obviously not sufficient for a lot of people, and I think would be a somewhat simplistic interpretation.
The problem is Rian Johnson didn't really give Holdo too many positive attributes. You can subvert gender bias by showing how certain traits are seen as "weak" are actually a good thing for a military organisation. You can show Holdo as someone who empathises more with soldiers and communicates well with the people under her command as a good thing.

Instead, Rian Johnson basically gives her some of the problems associated with masculinity. He turn Holdo into something that gets into pointless ego contest with her subordinates.
That's an interesting interpretation, though one that somewhat clashes with the overtly feminine aspects of Holdo (including her costume). I do like your idea as an interesting alternative direction that the character could have gone in, though its not the only one.

However, while its true that we find out fairly little about what motivates Holdo or what her background is, I do think she demonstrates a number of positive qualities in the film- they've just gotten largely lost in the backlash.

We see that she is capable of considerable personal courage, that she's a capable fighter and pilot in a crisis, and she seems to genuinely care about the lives of the people under her command, being visibly distressed at the destruction of Resistance ships IIRC. Her friendship with Leia, brief though its screen time is, also gives her a bit more warmth and depth to her personality, rather than being just "the leader".

You know, all this makes me want to write a fanfic to flesh out Holdo a bit more. Don't think its going to be a short-term project, though. I have too many stories currently in-progress, and... its cowardly, but I'd probably rather wait until the controversy had died down a bit more. Fanfic is what I do to escape contentious shit on the internet.
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Re: Star Wars: The Last Jedi release thread (spoilers)

Post by ray245 » 2018-05-15 09:34pm

The Romulan Republic wrote:
2018-05-15 08:43pm
Did Poe have reason to be concerned? Yes, of course. Was he actually willing to hear Holdo out at that point? Probably not. And even if he was, his past actions had already contributed to a breakdown of communication (though one Holdo also shares some blame for).
I don't think so. Holdo has enough reputation initially to impress Poe. Holdo utterly failed to use that and bring Poe to her side.
Like any effective plan which relies on secrecy, it requires a careful balancing of communication and discretion. Poe was not "need to know", in my opinion (unless he was very close to Holdo in the chain of command). That said, both he and Holdo could have communicated with one another more effectively.
Communication doesn't mean telling Poe the whole plan (which Poe ended up knowing anyway). It means bringing Poe to her side and let him believe he should still respect her as a leader.
Agreed, though I would point out again that Poe's actions actually gave her concrete reasons to be distrustful of his judgment, and to take offence at him.

Is there a lack of communication going on here? Yes. Is Holdo responsible for that? Partially. Is she entirely responsible for it, or acting purely on an irrational grudge? Definitely not.
She went ahead and call him a fly-boy without much provocation. If you are someone so easily provoked into a verbal fight, you don't really deserve to be a high-ranking officer.

I'm not saying that it was just Poe's fault.

But this seems like something of a cop-out to me. Yes, a leader is supposed to take responsibility for the actions of their subordinates, but to what point? If the subordinate in question is running around doing shit behind their back, while they're dealing with urgent shit like trying to keep the entire fleet alive, it seems unfair to put the responsibility entirely on the commander either.
Still a failure. The job of a leader is to manage everyone, including the troublemakers. It's why they are given authority to throw people into the brig, confine people to their quarters and so forth. If Poe is going to cause too much trouble, it's your job as a leader to spot this and confine him. If Poe can be reasoned with and bring into your point of view, that's your job to do so as well.

It's not a cop-out because that's the basis which military function. Leaders have to take complete responsibility for the people under their command. If you don't, then the commander have no real authority to speak of ( which happened to Holdo because she let Poe run around the ship further undermining her).

Indeed. And if Holdo failed at that with Poe, Poe certainly failed at it as well.
The fault is always greater with the commander. Because that's the job to communicate and manage people. Learning to deal with tough personalities is why they are selected in the first place. If they can't do that job well, they don't deserve the command.

You could say that its Holdo's responsibility more than Poe's because of her position. But you could also say that its more Poe's responsibility because he was the one who started things off on the wrong foot, conducted secret operations behind her back, and had his prior record (demotion for insubordination) weighing against him.
Then it's the job of Holdo to think about this and confine him if need be.

There are a lot of reasons people criticize Holdo, some more well-founded than others. Communication issues are only a part of that, but its the main one (with any actual substance) that the film doesn't really "correct" post-reveal. So to that extent, you are correct.

I think the intent is that we see that Poe misjudged Holdo, and perhaps conclude that the breakdown in communications was on him as a result. But this is obviously not sufficient for a lot of people, and I think would be a somewhat simplistic interpretation.
Again, that's why only certain people are selected to be high-ranking commanders. They are people that have the charisma and emotional intelligence to deal with a wide variety of people with difficult personalities. They are not supposed to be a regular soldier. That's the basis which they are judge, because that's what they are supposed to be competent at.

Having good military tactics is fine and dandy, but no one select people to be generals, admirals or commanders purely based on how good they are at thinking about plans or flying a fighter/ship. All the brains and technical skills is uselss if you cannot command people.
That's an interesting interpretation, though one that somewhat clashes with the overtly feminine aspects of Holdo (including her costume). I do like your idea as an interesting alternative direction that the character could have gone in, though its not the only one.

However, while its true that we find out fairly little about what motivates Holdo or what her background is, I do think she demonstrates a number of positive qualities in the film- they've just gotten largely lost in the backlash.

We see that she is capable of considerable personal courage, that she's a capable fighter and pilot in a crisis, and she seems to genuinely care about the lives of the people under her command, being visibly distressed at the destruction of Resistance ships IIRC. Her friendship with Leia, brief though its screen time is, also gives her a bit more warmth and depth to her personality, rather than being just "the leader".

You know, all this makes me want to write a fanfic to flesh out Holdo a bit more. Don't think its going to be a short-term project, though. I have too many stories currently in-progress, and... its cowardly, but I'd probably rather wait until the controversy had died down a bit more. Fanfic is what I do to escape contentious shit on the internet.
Except those qualities are useless because they aren't being used to help her as a commander. All the empathy in the world is useless if you cannot show it to the people under your command. In fact, I'll add that to her sin/failure as a commander.

Putting up a bravado face and only showing your vulnerable side in private is one of the things people have criticised about masculinity. That's exactly what Holdo is doing. She may be wearing a more feminine clothing, but her actions as a leader is entirely masculine. Ego-clashing, putting up a false bravado in public, not making effort at communicating with subordinates are things we find to be things undesirable among men.

Holdo is a hyper-masculine character in a bad way, her dress sense aside. I really don't think Rian Johnson knows what he's doing with the character. Instead of letting characters act out organically, his characters can feel a little forced and simply be there to serve a plot point. He wants to have the scene with Holdo doing the hyperspace ram sequence, but he doesn't seem to have a good idea how to get there.

In a way, I think Rian Johnson thinks he's far more clever than he actually is. He feels like one of those people who reads Tvtropes and thinks trying to subvert those tropes will make a good story. So many of his plot can feel like subversion for the sake of it, rather than a well-told organic story. He's still a competent director, of course, but he has limitations as a writer.
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Re: Star Wars: The Last Jedi release thread (spoilers)

Post by tezunegari » 2018-05-16 02:39am

The Romulan Republic wrote:
2018-05-15 08:43pm
Like any effective plan which relies on secrecy, it requires a careful balancing of communication and discretion. Poe was not "need to know", in my opinion (unless he was very close to Holdo in the chain of command). That said, both he and Holdo could have communicated with one another more effectively.
But why does the plan require secrecy?

The film never even hints at the possibility of a traitor or spy, that is an audience justification for Holdo keeping the plan to herself.

From the very beginning everyone on the bridge, including Leia who had experience with tracker-traps, assumed that the First Order suddenly had the capability to track their travel in hyperspace by other means.

So the argument "She kept the plan to herself because there might be a spy" doesn't work.
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Re: Star Wars: The Last Jedi release thread (spoilers)

Post by Vympel » 2018-05-16 03:13am

Re: the assertion that Poe was 'professional' in his first interaction with Holdo.

That's false. His tone is blatantly patronising and he is restating something that is clearly blindingly obvious to her (she doesn't need an update on their situation from him. She's the commander of the Ninka, recall) and Holdo took it as Poe intended. The audience is meant to infer this - we see Poe's wingman calling after Poe as he goes up to Holdo, because he realises Poe is about to do something inappropriate.

That Poe took Holdo's disinterest in his patronising tone and immediately launched an op without going through her first speaks to his bad faith and lack of professionalism.
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Re: Star Wars: The Last Jedi release thread (spoilers)

Post by Patroklos » 2018-05-16 03:30am

True, but it is unprofessional in the most unimportant way. In a situation these people have just found themselves in any leader who doesn't vocally and forcefully seek to get answers for his people is worthless. A good commander expects their people to be proactive and forceful in bringing their voice to the table and making themselves useful, and you can only do that if your commander 1.) listens and 2.) provides their clear intent. Holdo does neither.

I will take a mouthy and slightly inappropriate subordinate who is clearly attempting to look out for the interests of the command and his people, especially when the situation lends itself and indeed calls for people to be proactive and forceful in seeking solutions, than the most polite and submissive subordinate doing what Holdo expected most of the crew of Raddus to do, which was to meekly and unquestioningly sit around and wait for their doom while neither demanding or exercising agency.
The Romulan Republic wrote:
2018-05-15 02:41pm
a) No. Holdo's plan (which may well have originated with Leia) would likely have succeeded in saving the majority of the personnel in the fleet* if not for Poe's interference, bad luck, and a turncoat who never should have known about the plan to begin with.
I would like to lay this to rest. We all know that Leia had nothing to do with Holdo's plan, right? That its impossible for that to be the case given what we see on screen.

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Re: Star Wars: The Last Jedi release thread (spoilers)

Post by Vympel » 2018-05-16 08:59am

Patroklos wrote:
2018-05-16 03:30am
True, but it is unprofessional in the most unimportant way. In a situation these people have just found themselves in any leader who doesn't vocally and forcefully seek to get answers for his people is worthless. A good commander expects their people to be proactive and forceful in bringing their voice to the table and making themselves useful, and you can only do that if your commander 1.) listens and 2.) provides their clear intent. Holdo does neither.

I will take a mouthy and slightly inappropriate subordinate who is clearly attempting to look out for the interests of the command and his people, especially when the situation lends itself and indeed calls for people to be proactive and forceful in seeking solutions, than the most polite and submissive subordinate doing what Holdo expected most of the crew of Raddus to do, which was to meekly and unquestioningly sit around and wait for their doom while neither demanding or exercising agency.
Yeah, there's no doubt in my mind that Holdo made entirely unforced errors. I just don't think it needs to be a competition - the Resistance in TLJ has its chain of command and leadership in shambles, conduct wise.
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Re: Star Wars: The Last Jedi release thread (spoilers)

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-05-16 01:19pm

Patroklos wrote:
2018-05-16 03:30am
The Romulan Republic wrote:
2018-05-15 02:41pm
a) No. Holdo's plan (which may well have originated with Leia) would likely have succeeded in saving the majority of the personnel in the fleet* if not for Poe's interference, bad luck, and a turncoat who never should have known about the plan to begin with.
I would like to lay this to rest. We all know that Leia had nothing to do with Holdo's plan, right? That its impossible for that to be the case given what we see on screen.
I was thinking that Leia might have decided on the base on Crait as a destination before she was incapacitated, but reviewing the sequence of events, the stealth transports part of the plan was devised in response to the FO tracking them, and Leia was incapacitated almost immediately after that happened. So you are correct that she could not have devised that part of the plan (only approved of it after the fact).
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Re: Star Wars: The Last Jedi release thread (spoilers)

Post by Civil War Man » 2018-05-16 01:20pm

Vympel wrote:
2018-05-16 08:59am
Yeah, there's no doubt in my mind that Holdo made entirely unforced errors. I just don't think it needs to be a competition - the Resistance in TLJ has its chain of command and leadership in shambles, conduct wise.
No one in the Resistance really comes out of this smelling like roses. I think one of the big problems is that they were thrown into such chaos when the enemy that defeated them so soundly was basically run by the Keystone Kops. I mean, the OT Empire had its fair share of screw-ups and incompetents, but they at least had some menacing people at the top.

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Re: Star Wars: The Last Jedi release thread (spoilers)

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-05-16 01:30pm

Hux is an imbecile, but Snoke appears fairly competent, aside from the usual Dark Side arrogance and giving Hux too much leeway, and Kylo is competent whenever he's not dealing with someone who triggers his emotional insecurities (Han, Leia, Luke, Rey).

Would the Resistance's plight have been more acceptable to some viewers if the FO leadership was more competent? Probably. But then you would have had to dial down the FO firepower advantage, because if you outgun your enemy by that much, and you have comparably skilled leadership, the only way for the FO not to win would have been a deus ex machine.

It doesn't take brilliant commanders to gain the advantage when they have literally hundreds of times the enemy's forces.

I do think the chaos of the situation has to be taken into account when evaluating the Resistance's performance (this applies to both Poe and Holdo). No one's command structure is at its best when their leadership has just been decapitated, their forces are demoralized (which was pretty clearly the case even before Holdo took command), and their flagship's bridge is a charred ruin exposed to space.
tezunegari wrote:
2018-05-16 02:39am
The Romulan Republic wrote:
2018-05-15 08:43pm
Like any effective plan which relies on secrecy, it requires a careful balancing of communication and discretion. Poe was not "need to know", in my opinion (unless he was very close to Holdo in the chain of command). That said, both he and Holdo could have communicated with one another more effectively.
But why does the plan require secrecy?

The film never even hints at the possibility of a traitor or spy, that is an audience justification for Holdo keeping the plan to herself.
The film doesn't say it, and I've acknowledged that that was an error on the part of the filmmakers, but its the obvious explanation for a supposedly untrackable fleet being tracked.

If the characters had been reluctant to go swimming in a lightning storm, would you need them to explicitly mention the fear of electrocution as their motivation to conclude that its a plausible one?

In any case, a plan which relies on stealth to succeed is something that I'd think you'd want to keep "need to know" under any circumstances, personally.
From the very beginning everyone on the bridge, including Leia who had experience with tracker-traps, assumed that the First Order suddenly had the capability to track their travel in hyperspace by other means.
Which is frankly weird.

Does Holdo ever say anything on the subject one way or the other? Because if you can give me a line of dialogue where she assumes that the fleet is being tracked, I'll concede that its a genuine example of incompetence on her part.
So the argument "She kept the plan to herself because there might be a spy" doesn't work.
It would work very well, given the circumstances, had the film not dropped the ball on including one little line of dialogue.
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Re: Star Wars: The Last Jedi release thread (spoilers)

Post by Crazedwraith » 2018-05-16 02:31pm

Patroklos wrote:
2018-05-16 03:30am
I would like to lay this to rest. We all know that Leia had nothing to do with Holdo's plan, right? That its impossible for that to be the case given what we see on screen.
Is it impossible? Why?

Leia made the decision to go to Crait. Presumably based on the old rebel base. She could easily have 'hide there' as her back up plan. There's nothing to suggest the stealth shuttles were an innovation of Holdo's. IIRC (and I could well be wrong the film is thankfully fading into memory) Leia seems to immediately understand the situation when she awakes.

There's no explicit evidence in favour of it. There's nothing really to rule it as 'impossible' either though.
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Re: Star Wars: The Last Jedi release thread (spoilers)

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-05-16 02:37pm

IIRC, Leia made the decision to go to the Crait system, and presumably intended to use the base their while contacting the Resistance's allies. The stealth tech. was an innovation of Rose's. The only part Holdo presumably came up with, given the sequence of events, was using it to sneak away while the FO blew up the Raddus.

So its safe to say that the plan was a pre-existing plan that Holdo adapted to the circumstances.
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Re: Star Wars: The Last Jedi release thread (spoilers)

Post by Crazedwraith » 2018-05-16 02:40pm

I mean to be fair, it is an assumption and it's one that degrades Holdo, when we're not willing to make assumptions that might favour Holdo, like the wish that they'd explicit said she was worried about spies or something.

So far do objecting to it. I just mean it's not an impossible theory as described.
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Re: Star Wars: The Last Jedi release thread (spoilers)

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-05-16 02:57pm

Crazedwraith wrote:
2018-05-16 02:40pm
I mean to be fair, it is an assumption and it's one that degrades Holdo, when we're not willing to make assumptions that might favour Holdo, like the wish that they'd explicit said she was worried about spies or something.

So far do objecting to it. I just mean it's not an impossible theory as described.
I'm confused. Do you mean that its degrading Holdo to assume that it was her plan (since a lot of people think it was a shitty plan), or is it degrading Holdo to assume that its not her plan (presumably because it gives her less agency/a smaller role in the story)?
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Re: Star Wars: The Last Jedi release thread (spoilers)

Post by Crazedwraith » 2018-05-16 03:12pm

The Romulan Republic wrote:
2018-05-16 02:57pm
Crazedwraith wrote:
2018-05-16 02:40pm
I mean to be fair, it is an assumption and it's one that degrades Holdo, when we're not willing to make assumptions that might favour Holdo, like the wish that they'd explicit said she was worried about spies or something.

So far do objecting to it. I just mean it's not an impossible theory as described.
I'm confused. Do you mean that its degrading Holdo to assume that it was her plan (since a lot of people think it was a shitty plan), or is it degrading Holdo to assume that its not her plan (presumably because it gives her less agency/a smaller role in the story)?
The latter. My assumption is if you want to imply it was Leia's plan then Holdo become much less active and imaginative and just a follower carrying out Leia's plan because she can't come up with a better one.

If you assume Holdo is worried about data security/spies being the cause of the FO tracking them, that's a positive for her because it gives her a sane/clear reason to keep Poe out of the loop, if you think she needs one.

My two pence.
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Re: Star Wars: The Last Jedi release thread (spoilers)

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-05-16 03:24pm

Yeah, that makes sense.
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Re: Star Wars: The Last Jedi release thread (spoilers)

Post by tezunegari » 2018-05-16 03:29pm

The Romulan Republic wrote:
2018-05-16 01:30pm
tezunegari wrote:
2018-05-16 02:39am
The Romulan Republic wrote:
2018-05-15 08:43pm
Like any effective plan which relies on secrecy, it requires a careful balancing of communication and discretion. Poe was not "need to know", in my opinion (unless he was very close to Holdo in the chain of command). That said, both he and Holdo could have communicated with one another more effectively.
But why does the plan require secrecy?

The film never even hints at the possibility of a traitor or spy, that is an audience justification for Holdo keeping the plan to herself.
The film doesn't say it, and I've acknowledged that that was an error on the part of the filmmakers, but its the obvious explanation for a supposedly untrackable fleet being tracked.

If the characters had been reluctant to go swimming in a lightning storm, would you need them to explicitly mention the fear of electrocution as their motivation to conclude that its a plausible one?

In any case, a plan which relies on stealth to succeed is something that I'd think you'd want to keep "need to know" under any circumstances, personally.
Leia explicitly states that they were tracked trough hyperspace.
The possibility is later explained as theoretically possible by Rose and Finn confirms the ability (though he thought it impossible as well when Leia stated it earlier)
They don't even consider the tracker option IIRC...

So to use your example:
The characters are afraid to go swimming during a lightning storm not because of the fear of electrocution, but because one of them mentioned that the lake is made out of acid. And no one mentions the storm.

They could have cut a minute or two from Canto Bait to go into this but... think of the poor animals!

Just have the short scene after the Supremacy appears.
Poe: "How did they find us?"
Ackbar: "Did they get a tracker aboard? During the Dreadnought attack!"
Nameless Officer 1: "All returning fighters were checked. No trackers."
Nameless Officer 2: "All ships reported negative on trackers for the sweep after leaving D'Qar orbit."
Ackbar: "Sweep them again. Any outgoing signal."
Leia: "They tracked us through Hyperspace."

Later after Holdo had her speech.
Poe: "What's our plan?"
Holdo: "Our plan? I know who you are, CAPTAIN Dameron. I also know that you were ordered to abort the attack that cost us our entire bomber fleet."
Holdo beckons him over to the viewscreen so that both of the look out, their backs to the bridge.
Holdo: "Let me be frank. I don't like you. Your insubordination got my bomber crews killed. People I worked with for a long time. Buit I doubt the First Order can track us through hyperspace. And right now I also doubt the First Order would sacrifice a Dreadnought for a spy. Or Starkiller Base."
Poe: "What are you saying? That we have a traitor aboard?"
Holdo: "Yes. A short-burst tracker signal could avoid our signal sweeps if timed well. It would have to be activated manually though. I had my mechanics check your fighters for debris or any foreign items. They found nothing."
Holdo: "I also heard about the ex-Stromtrooper that saved you. The attack happened after he awoke."

I think Rian Johnson mentioned once during an interview that his script had only two rewrites before being accepted.
If that is the case I blame that lack of work on details for a lot of the (in my opinion) bad stuff in the movie.
The ideas are interesting but mostly the execution and details don't work for me.
"Bring your thousands, I have my axe."
"Bring your cannons, I have my armor."
"Bring your mighty... I am my own champion."
Cue Unit-01 ramming half the Lance of Longinus down Adam's head and a bemused Gendo, "Wrong end, son."
Ikari Gendo, NGE Fanfiction "Standing Tall"

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