Star Wars Finally Explains How Last Jedi’s Holdo Maneuver Was Possible

This article contains spoilers for Star Wars #29!A key moment in Star Wars: The Last Jedi saw Vice Admiral Holdo perform an unprecedented hyperspace feat, and Star Wars is finally explaining how that was possible. Star Wars has traditionally viewed hyperspace as simply a way to travel the galaxy, but Star Wars: The Last Jedi changed everything. Vice Admiral Amilyn Holdo weaponized hyperspace in a feat that became known as the Holdo Maneuver. As remarkable as the feat may have been, it left many viewers puzzled – why hasn’t anybody ever weaponized hyperspace before?

Lucasfilm’s Star Wars: The High Republic transmedia initiative has begun to explain this. It seems there’s a reason the rules of hyperspace are so poorly defined: it’s because they are actually poorly understood. Hyperspace was initially charted by Force-sensitives, who used Force talents such as Wayfinding to navigate through this mysterious dimension. Because this is the case, some scientists have even suggested hyperspace is best understood as an aspect of the Force itself. 200 years before the events of Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace, a group of space pirates known as the Nihil made a number of hyperspace breakthroughs, and some Nihil technology was adopted by the Jedi. Many of their secrets were lost in the mists of time, however.

Star Wars #29, by Charles Soule and Ramon Rosanas, hints that Holdo learned from the Nihil. The issue sees Holdo acquire a Nihil Path Engine, a device that allows for hyperspace jumps through unconventional routes – some of which were generally considered impossible due to their intersection with gravitic masses. Holdo – or, more likely, Holdo’s agents – presumably went on to study Nihil hyperspace technology after the end of the Galactic Civil War. This would explain why Holdo was able to develop a greater understanding of hyperspace than even most pilots, and why she could pull off stunts that haven’t been seen before. It’s interesting to note Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker featured a line of dialogue explaining Holdo’s hyperspace ramming was a million-to-one shot. However, this may simply mean few pilots understood hyperspace well enough to pull off the feat.

Hyperspace Ramming Transforms Star Wars

Knowledge of hyperspace expanded during the Dark Times of the Empire’s reign, with the Empire taking advantage of technology acquired from the Unknown Regions to create Interdictor cruisers that could interrupt journeys by emitting a gravitic field that would knock ships out of hyperspace. Even these Interdictors considered hyperspace purely as a way of traveling, though, failing to consider the possibility it could be a weapon. Holdo was the first to weaponize hyperspace, explaining why the maneuver was named after her. But she had opened Pandora’s box, and now the potential chaos she has unleashed cannot be reversed.

Hyperspace Ramming WIll Return

The Empire never weaponized hyperspace, but that doesn’t mean future forces will fail to do so. In fact, for all Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker indicated the Holdo Maneuver should be considered a million-to-one shot, another scene revealed it had already been duplicated over the skies of Endor. The clear implication is that others are trying to replicate Holdo’s strategy, and indeed that they are succeeding. Star Wars: The Last Jedi may have shown hyperspace ramming used by a hero, but it’s only a matter of time before other forces use it for evil in Star Wars.

Star Wars #29 is available now from Marvel Comics!