(Last Jedi spoilers ahead, if you haven't seen the movie, please don't read on.)

So, fridge logic moment for me:

If Vice Admiral Holdo had told Poe Dameron about the plan to just hold on long enough to make a covert run to Krait, then Poe wouldn't have felt the need to send Finn and Rose on their little side-trip, and the code-breaker wouldn't have overheard anything nor sold them out, and the First Order would've had no reason to notice the cloaked ships.

I do understand that there's a lesson in there about following orders, even if said orders come from a pretty face in a pretty dress, but that's kind of an out-of-universe reason. What was Holdo's reasoning? Surely she knew enough about Poe to realize that treating him like a mushroom1 would not result in anything good.

1 "kept in the dark and fed shit"

  • Is she going to give personal detailed briefings to all the fly-boys? The technicians? The janitors? The chain of command exists for a reason. A better question is what reason WOULD she have to inform him? Commented Aug 2, 2018 at 1:57

4 Answers 4


Initially because Poe Dameron has just been demoted from commander to captain for his hotheadedness; he's no longer in the top ranks. It's likely that Admiral Holdo is also trying to teach him a leadership lesson, citing Leia Organa's comment about hope being like the sun; just because you cannot see it at night (the darkest time) doesn't mean it isn't there.

There's also a clash of leadership styles, as director Rian Johnson explained who he set up the conflict between Poe and Holdo in this L.A. Times interview:

“[Poe] is a hotshot pilot, so you ground his X-wing and you face him with the question of bravado vs. true heroism, which is leadership. I started watching World War II movies, because you see that type of relationship reflected a lot in films like ’Twelve O’Clock High’ or ‘The Dawn Patrol.’ The fact that it’s a woman, and not only that, but it’s a woman who isn’t in a general’s outfit but has a real feminine energy, seemed like the toughest thing that Poe could come up against.”

This conflict heats up just as it appears that Poe has a chance to learn about the main plans: As he enters the command room, he sees that the shuttles are being fueled and he loses his temper. He accuses Admiral Holdo in front of the rest of the remaining command staff of being a coward and a traitor. Since a military commander cannot tolerate insubordination, Poe is ejected from the command area. (Note that this also follows his refusal at the start of the evacuation to follow Gen. Organa's orders to abandon the attack with the bombers.)

Thematically, Poe's failure to have hope in Holdo, along with the insurrection and the failure of Poe's alternate plan for escaping from the First Order sets him up for future leadership of the Resistance, at least in terms of Yoda's speech to Luke: "Failure is the greatest teacher."

  • 6
    @turion She quickly forgave Poe for his mutiny, so probably not.
    – Rogue Jedi
    Commented Dec 18, 2017 at 13:18
  • 8
    she could have avoided the mutiny
    – user35971
    Commented Dec 23, 2017 at 23:37
  • 7
    @ChrisB.Behrens It's literally the job of a subordinate to follow a superior's orders without question in a military. Morale was evidently not an issue at all in any of the scenes - the rest of the Resistance were happily fuelling and loading onto the transports in accordance with Holdo's plans just fine. It's only Poe and his groupies who were dissatisfied and mutinied.
    – Semaphore
    Commented Jan 1, 2018 at 18:32
  • 3
    @semaphore - follow orders, yes, have faith, no. And when an unproven commander is leading you into annihilation, and refuses to even say "I've got a plan" - remember, she didn't - the obligation to follow orders tips over into blind subservience to authority. I'm not defending the mutiny - but I would have continued to force the confrontation to get an answer. The answer doesn't have to be the details of the plan, but it does have to be that there IS a plan. That was Holdo's fatal mistake. Commented Jan 1, 2018 at 19:17
  • 9
    @ChrisB.Behrens Except she's established right from the start as a proven commander from the Battle of Chyron Belt, by none other than Poe. Admirals don't need to explain herself to a recently busted junior officer who's tactlessly forcing a confrontation in public - how does she know First Order wasn't tracking them via n informer? If that's a fatal mistake, it's less of one than Poe's disastrous plan and mutiny which got the transports killed. Curious how people handwave that away and blame Holdo, as though Poe simply can't be expected to take orders like the rest of the Resistance.
    – Semaphore
    Commented Jan 1, 2018 at 21:34

If you have a plan that relies on sneakiness and staying hidden, you better don't tell everyone.

The hot-blooded pilot will tell his friends, someone listens in, and soon everybody knows the plan, including your enemy. The best way to avoid this is to tell as few people as possible.

  • 4
    How would the First Order have gotten the plans from the Resistance?
    – Edlothiad
    Commented Dec 20, 2017 at 13:49
  • 4
    @Edlothiad Maybe somebody would have sent a message to some allies or their mom, or the First Order could have an informant somewhere (they already followed them through a light speed jump, surprisingly). Somebody might dislike their chances and desert in an escape pod, and could be caught by the following New Order ships. It's much safer if all those people don't know the secret plan everybodys live depends on.
    – sth
    Commented Dec 20, 2017 at 14:32
  • 7
    @sth Great point - Rose even tells Finn she's spent all morning stunning potential resistance deserters, so it's not even a theoretical position that someone might desert (and therefore allow privileged information to fall into enemy hands), it's already happening.
    – delinear
    Commented Dec 22, 2017 at 16:21
  • 5
    The Resistance just realised the First Order was tracking them through hyperspace which they thought was "impossible". It's quite possible that Holdo feared there was a traitor on board and wanted to keep her plans a secret until the last possible moment. Of course, the First Order actually had a tracking device, but Poe decided to hide this from Holdo, so...
    – Semaphore
    Commented Jan 1, 2018 at 18:31
  • 3
    Good answer, especially considering the movie does show the plan being revealed to the First Order, and the massive consequences of that.
    – ceejayoz
    Commented Jan 2, 2018 at 14:12

Because Poe is a liability

Poe asked Holdo about the plan himself.

Poe: Vice admiral? Commander Dameron. With our fuel consumption there's a very limited amount of time that we can stay out of range of those star destroyers.

Holdo (looking busy): Very kind of you to make me aware.

Poe: And we need to shake them before we can find a new base. So what's our plan?

Holdo (finally giving Poe her full attention): Our plan, captain? Not commander, right? Wasn't it Leia's last official act to demote you, for your dreadnaught plan, where we lost our entire bombing fleet?

Poe: Captain, commander, you can call me whatever you like. I just want to know what's going on.

Holdo: Of course you do. I understand. I've dealt with plenty of trigger-happy fly-boys like you. You're impulsive, dangerous, and the last thing we need right now. So stick to your post, and follow my orders.

Poe doesn't follow orders and it has already cost the Resistance dearly. He was just demoted for such insubordination. And here he comes interrupting a superior officer to question orders, lie about his rank, and generally act like a male chauvinist. What commander has the luxury of coddling such a person in a literal life-or-death situation? Holdo rightfully recognizes Poe as a liability to the survival of the Resistance as she is tasked with commanding it.

  • 3
    Except he's demonstrably not the type to follow orders he disagrees with. Demoting him won't change that. Locking him up in the brig might, but only insofar as he doesn't manage to escape. She should have realized that dealing with him as a mere insubordinate underling was a vanity move: it upheld her position as his superior officer, yes, but it did not help the Resistance. (Well, maybe in the very long run, in terms of finally teaching Poe to think with his head, not his, um, other bits; but that's one hell of an expensive and tragic way to teach that lesson.)
    – Martha
    Commented Jan 3, 2018 at 5:36

What Holdo feared would happen was precisely what happened. She was worried that by sharing her plan too widely, that someone might flee the fleet in a pod and give the game away to the First Order. On top of that, Poe has repeatedly shown himself to be a massive liability and hardly the sort of individual you should be giving secrets to.

But Vice Admiral Amilyn Holdo had a plan: transfer all personnel to the Raddus, and then evacuate all hands to U-55 loadlifters outfitted with experimental “bafflers” designed to foil scans. The Raddus would be sacrificed, but 400 Resistance fighters would escape to the salt planet Crait, lying low until they could contact allies of General Leia Organa. Disturbed by a wave of desertions via escape pods, Holdo decided to share her plan with only a handful of loyalists: if the First Order learned of it from a deserter, the transports would be easy to detect and destroy. Her plan was undone by a security breach: Poe Dameron had sent Finn and Rose Tico to find a way to disrupt the First Order tracking system, and they had unwittingly revealed the scheme to the slicer DJ, who tipped off the First Order to save his own skin.

Star Wars: Battles that Changed the Galaxy

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