Hyperspeed Ramming: Does it break Star Wars lore?

Hyperspeed Ramming: Does it break Star Wars lore?

The Holdo maneuver was a suicidal tactic akin to ramming named after ResistanceVice AdmiralAmilyn Holdo. The name was based on Holdo’s sacrifice during the First Order‘s attack on the Resistance navy, which consisted of Holdo ramming the cruiser Raddus against the Supremacy at near-lightspeed velocities to buy the surviving Resistance members time to escape to Crait. One year after the Battle of Crait, Beaumont Kin proposed to use the Holdo maneuver against the Sith Eternal‘s Final Orderfleet, but the former stormtrooperFinn dismissed it as a “one-in-a-million” shot. The maneuver, however, was later used by a heavy freighter to destroy a Resurgent-class Star Destroyer above the forest moon of Endor.

As the sole remaining member of the crew of the Raddus after ordering all others to join the Resistance transports ferrying survivors to the surface of Crait, Vice Admiral Holdo performed this maneuver in an effort to force the pursuing First Order fleet to halt its attack. Powering up the hyperdrive, she brought the Raddus about to directly face the Supremacy, at the head of the First Order fleet. This was initially dismissed by General Hux as a transparent attempt to draw their attention away from the fleeing transports; by the time he realized Holdo’s intent and ordered the fleet to turn its fire upon the Raddus, it was too late to stop her.

Holdo initiated her hyperspace jump and the Raddus collided with the Supremacy mere moments before the cruiser would have transitioned from realspace into hyperspace. While the ship itself was destroyed in the impact, the energy of the Raddus’ experimental deflector shield continued on at near lightspeed, ripped through the Supremacy and sheared off its entire starboard wing, and destroyed twenty other Star Destroyers that were in escort around it and docked in its internal hangars.

The Holdo maneuver first appeared in the 2017 film Star Wars: Episode VIII The Last Jedi, the second installment of the Star Wars sequel trilogy. It was first identified in the 2019 sequel Star Wars: Episode IX The Rise of Skywalker and its accompanying reference book Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker: The Visual Dictionary.

In a discussion about the nature and precision of the Holdo maneuver, Lucasfilm Story Group member Pablo Hidalgo cited a similar maneuver that appeared in an episode of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, and that Holdo’s maneuver was under unique circumstances—echoing a 2018 comment made by The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson to /Film: “The fact that Hux doesn’t see it coming means it’s probably not a standard military maneuver. I think it was something that Holdo pulled out of her butt in the moment.”