When Holdo decides to

ram the flagship at lightspeed

we see that the action

slices through not only Snoke’s ship, but also neatly slices through all the other star destoyers as well, which were shown to be at locations other than in the direct path.

How did this happen? Did

Holdo’s ship break up into many bits of high speed shrapnel that dispersed in many directions as it impacted Snoke’s vessel?

Or did the

force of the impact cause pieces of Snoke’s ship to fly off at lightspeed in all directions.

It looked like each of the

“cuts” was pretty isolated. It didn’t look like a very large number of fragments sprayed the other ships broadly, but more like a single clean slice through each.

  • 1
    I think you are mistaking the multiple slo-mo shots of pieces fracturing to be other ships getting slices. Snoke's was the only one to get sliced.
    – amflare
    Dec 17, 2017 at 5:33
  • 1
    I was certain it showed the other ships getting hit. I’ll have to watch it again. Can anyone confirm or deny? Dec 17, 2017 at 5:41
  • 1
    @amflare it showed multiple cruisers getting cut into pieces
    – Edlothiad
    Dec 17, 2017 at 7:28
  • "Because the plot required it." Mar 8, 2018 at 16:02

3 Answers 3


The film's official novelisation gives a nice technical description of the incident. In short, the star destroyers behind the Supremacy were hit with highly accelerated plasma consisting of the remains of the Raddus' and its "hyperspace tunnel" (rather than, as might be supposed, shrapnel from the Supremacy).

But with the fail-safes offline and the overrides activated, the proximity alerts were ignored. When the heavy cruiser plowed into the Supremacy’s broad flying wing, the force of the impact was at least three orders of magnitude greater than anything the Raddus’s inertial dampeners were rated to handle. The protective field they generated failed immediately, but the heavy cruiser’s augmented experimental shields remained intact for a moment longer before the unimaginable force of the impact converted the Raddus into a column of plasma that consumed itself.

However, the Raddus had also accelerated to nearly the speed of light at the point of that catastrophic impact—and the column of plasma it became was hotter than a sun and intensely magnetized. This plasma was then hurled into hyperspace along a tunnel opened by the null quantum-field generator—a tunnel that collapsed as quickly as it had been opened.

Both the column of plasma and the hyperspace tunnel were gone in far less than an eyeblink, but that was long enough to rip through the Supremacy’s hull from bow to stern, tear a ragged hole in a string of Star Destroyers flying in formation with it, and finally wink out of existence in empty space thousands of kilometers beyond the First Order task force.

The Last Jedi: Official Novelisation


Hyperspace shrapnel

The scene definitely appears to imply that, upon collision, parts of both ships were torn off and blasted behind as hyperspace shrapnel. When two objects impact and shatter, that shattering force has a lateral component, which in this case results in the shotgun effect we see.

As to how much of each, pretty much any part of Snokes ship that is missing is likely a part of that shrapnel. Considering we see none of Holdo's ship lingering afterwards, it's likely that it made up a large part of the shrapnel.

  • 1
    Completely agree! Here's a good screenshot showing the shrapnel on it's way to hit other ships.
    – LevenTrek
    Dec 18, 2017 at 5:35
  • @LevenTech Thank you! Had been trying to find a good image for it, but wasn't coming up with anything (which was pretty much expected given how recent it came out). Good find =)
    – Mwr247
    Dec 18, 2017 at 5:55

That was due to shrapnel from the Raddus impacting the Supremacy being flung at near-light speeds, the shrapnel literally slicing through the Star Destroyers unfortunate enough to be in the conical area behind the place of impact.

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