Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) brought in an estimated $220 million during its opening
weekend in North America. That’s a lot of people. What many fans of the franchise don’t know is that before the new film arrived, it was precluded by the book series Journey to the Last Jedi which leads up to the film. Even fewer fans probably read the series. Among those books were Leia: Princess of Alderaan by Claudia Gray, and Phasma by Delilah S. Dawson. These books filled in some of the gaps within the saga, as well as provided more depth to the new film.
Amilyn Holdo was first introduced to Leia Organa in the book Leia: Princess of Alderaan. She served in the apprentice legislature with Leia on behalf of her homeworld Gatalenta. Although at first Leia had trouble communicating with Amilyn; who is more known for speaking in metaphors than direct communication, the two become fierce friends and allies. Amilyn’s indirect communication style may also help to explain why she didn’t feel it was necessary to communicate her plan to the entire Rebel fleet during the film.
Amilyn’s purple hair in The Last Jedi is reminiscent of her youth when she often wore bright and extraordinary clothing in order to set herself apart from her people. Amilyn’s dress in the film is closer to true Gatalentan fashion. The people of Gatalenta are known to dress in plain and simple clothing. This dress choice might also indicate that the young Amilyn followed some advice given to her by the young Leia, but I’ll let you read the novel to find out what the advice was.
During the film, you might have noticed that while many of the Rebel’s crew members expressed fear and concern after the First Order tracked the Rebel’s through light speed, Amilyn remained calm and collected. She’s had a lot of practice at keeping it cool while in mortal peril. In the book, Amilyn was a member of Leia’s pathfinding class. The class was to help Leia learn to climb a mountain by herself to complete a challenge of the body. Amilyn’s goal for the course was to become comfortable while in mortal danger and she happily put herself in dangerous situations while in Leia’s company on several other occasions, often against Leia’s wishes. Judging by her sacrifice in the film, it’s apparent that she found the comfort she was seeking.
Remember in the film, when Fin; also known as FN2187, hit Phasma so hard that it broke a piece off of her helmet, revealing both her skin and eye color? What you might have missed during that moment was the significance of Fin seeing even part of Phasma’s face. There are very few living people in the universe who have ever seen Phasma without her helmet on, and it seems like she’d like to keep it that way.
Phasma’s first appearance in the Star War’s Cinematic Universe was in The Force Awakens (2015). Phasma was given her own Journey to the Last Jedi novel titled Phasma which, in detailing her origin story also explains that she was brought into the First Order by Armitage Hux’s late father Brendol Hux. Brendol Hux; who had seen Phasma without her helmet, suffered from an unknown illness not long after bringing Phasma aboard as both his personal guard and as a lead trainer for stormtroopers on the ship the Finalizer.
No living person in the First Order has ever seen Phasma without her helmet off except for Brendol Hux’s previous personal guard Cardinal, whose whereabouts are currently unknown. Aside from Cardinal and now Fin, only two other potentially living people have also seen Phasma’s face, the Rebel spy Vi Moradi, and one of Phasma’s previous followers a woman by the name of Siv. This fact makes the brief portion of Phasma’s face revealed by Fin noteworthy.
The Rebel base known as Crait is the first Rebel base that Leia set foot in. She found it when she was sixteen years old, during her time in the apprentice legislature on Coruscant. Leia was doing some research and discovered strange traffic patterns heading to the salty planet and took a ship to discover the cause. There she not only discovered a Rebel base, but also her adoptive father Bail Organa who was at the center of the Rebel activity. This marked a turning point for the family and also Leia’s involvement in the rebellion.
To discover more, check out the books (I suggest the audiobooks which have music and sound effects):