I don’t see which one, though. Holdo is shown as a brilliant strategist, and most probably a veteran Republican Navy officer. However, she is a rather poor leader, particularly in the not-quite-as-regimented Resistance. Sure, Poe going rogue was what nearly destroyed the Resistance, sure, but if she hadn’t browbeaten him and instead, you know, actually communicated with her subordinates instead of expecting blind obedience, Poe wouldn’t have gone rogue in the first place. The thing was also her screw-up in a big way.
I mean, in this precise context, obedience is necessary - that’s the point Poes’ actions prove - but poor leaders will make poor subordinates. If she is making a political point, it’s that while the chain of command is necessary, it is also not a due.
In fact, more or less everyone is flawed in non-trivial ways here.
Poe and Holdo are very good at their job, but bad at being officers. Finn is out of his depth. Hux is a believable WWI general. Snoke is too self-confident. Kylo Ren has too many issues to list here…
Phasma, alas, was already a joke character after Ep VII. I mean, come on, would you take seriously a character that will give the codes for deactivating the shields of the superweapon you’re in charge of defending at the first hint of menace?
She was the Stormtrooper version of the Pointy Hair Boss at this point.
(To be frank, I would have gone the opposite way - make her Finn’s mother or something, and explaining from there how she drove him to defect, why she gave so easily the code… But hey, pointy hair boss it is.)
In fact, that’s a recurring problem. Ep VII was such a trash fire of half-baked plot threads, they did their best with a poor starting point. The map, for example? Good thing they just dropped it.
Snoke was little more than an Emperor bis, bringing nothing new to the table. What potential did this character even have? It would have been more of the same generic Big Bad Evil Guy we’ve seen countless times. With bad CGI. By killing him off like that, they set the stage for more interesting character and plot evolutions.
Don’t get me wrong, he is great as a BBEG (except for the CGI) this time around, but he would have wore thin if he hadn’t ended like this.
Rey being a natural super-Jedi? Ok, the explanation that it’s to balance natural (if still immature) super-Sith Kylo Ren is cliché, but at least they tried.
Also, people forget that Luke is also a natural super-Jedi. With about no training and the slightest idea of what the Force is, he has telekinesis, danger sense, better target precision than a flight computer against a still invisible target, and superhuman aiming skills.
By the way, you know that running joke about Stromtroopers sharpshooting skills? Well, Stormtroopers are actually pretty decent shots for well-trained human soldiers armed with glorified pistols. They only look bad because Luke & cie are just that good.
Also about Luke, I’m always surprised people see him as a whiny brat in the original films. He is a teenager with (modest) dreams stuck in the far end of nowhere, and suddenly his adoptive parents get napalmed and he is thrown unprepared in the war. Well of course he will need some time (about 3 films) to adjust.
The f*** the past is clearly shown as a costly fallacy, though.
Oh f*** those marketing dildos.
To be fair, Star Wars has always been about Communist propaganda, and could have been more subtle about it.
The original trilogy was about Vietnam: scrappy rebellion against super-technological, brutal Empire, burning innocent villagers alive because they were in contact with the wrong person, strategic bombing against civilian populations, high-tech but ill-prepared soldiers destroyed in a jungle by low-tech local forces…
The prelogy was about Irak: creating a war, in collusion with evil weapon-manufacturing megacorps, in order to seize full powers in a slowly failing Republic
TLJ is about, again, evil weapon-manufacturing megacorps making so much money by selling weapons left and right.
TFA was about the folly of financing insurgent groups in the rival’s territory in peace time, leading their regime to change to a worse, much more aggressive one that will end the peace at the first occasion, and also the necessity of military intelligence when your opponent is known for developing massive strategic superweapons that are ideal for a decapitating strike, as well as the necessity of dispersing your forces instead of putting them all, with all your civilian command, in a single, easy-to-decapitate place. And about how expensive do-it-all multi-role fighters won’t replace dedicated light bombers when you really need to blow up something, though at least they didn’t talk about the trillions of credits dumped into the project before the first barely-functional prototype was declared combat-capable after proving it was able to take off half the time without immediately taking fire.
Still, they should have done it a bit less in-your-face. And more importantly, shorter. The camera spends much too long on that casino planet.
(All the trilogies are also about teenagers from sandy nowhere dealing the hard way with how to adult while being dumped in the middle of galactic wars)
While TFA is unredeemable in that regard, I suspect this could be made to work.
First, this won’t work against planetary targets, due to the gravity well dropping you off hyperspace before impact.
Second, this probably requires a quite precise distance - too close and you don’t accelerate enough. Too far and you’re already in hyperspace.
Third, there are probably rather trivial ways to defeat it, once you know what to look for. But the First Order high command is incompetent (by design), unable to take initiatives (being ruled by fear), arrogant (the Resistance clearly has a file on Hux, as they knew of his weakness and exactly how to play it) and tends to underestimate opponents when in position of strength (probably born out of their supremacist ideology).
So that’s basically leaving the Ardennes forest undefended, because that’s not like something would happen there anyway. After all, the film goes out of its way to show how both sides keep screwing up.
I’m not sure about the bomber design, though. It makes sense if it is also a high-altitude ground-attack bomber, but they already have cruisers for that. Maybe for going under anti-orbital shields?
In fact, they seem poorly adapted to bombing capital ships, or any defended target. Many light bombers, while more expensive, would be much more survivable against a defended target. Which makes it believable: that’s exactly the kind of stupid design based on a stupid strategy someone in an office would come up with in order to make things cheaper.
As for the bombs falling, well, the ships do have artificial gravity. That should make the bombs fall. (I read that they are supposed to use railgun-type accelerators to drop them, but in that case why the fuck would you have a vertical artificial gravity?)
While we’re at it, the curving artillery shots may make sense.
See, both ships are accelerating, but the shots themselves probably aren’t. As acceleration is acceleration, whether from ship engines or from gravity, the shots will curve. (It also works if they reached terminal velocity, as in this case the dense, somewhat flammable ether filling space is slowing the shots down, with similar results.) Though not like in a battleship duel, but as if someone at the foot of a cliff shot at someone at the top of said cliff.
I’d have to watch it again to see if they were surprisingly clever and went with that, or were surprisingly stupid and went for the battleship duel curves.
This part looked soooo cheap…
I will be disappointed when she doesn’t just go full dark side in a self-destructive orgy of violence and brutal mind control against the First Order and anyone coming too close, finishing as a screaming kamikaze fury taking much of a First Order army, nearly a full Resistance cell and countless unfortunate civilians with her.
But I guess someone has to keep the Light side alive, so that works too.