Poe Dameron

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Poe Dameron
Star Wars character
Poe Dameron-Force Awakens (2015).png
Promotional photo of Oscar Isaac as Poe Dameron from The Force Awakens
First appearance The Force Awakens (2015)
Created by
Portrayed by Oscar Isaac
Voiced by Oscar Isaac (Disney Infinity 3.0, Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens)
Lex Lang (Lego Star Wars: The Resistance Rises
Information
Gender Male
Occupation X-wing fighter pilot
Affiliation New Republic
Resistance
Title Captain (Poe got demoted from Commander in episode VIII)
Family Shara Bey (mother)
Kes Dameron (father)
Homeworld Yavin IV

Poe Dameron is a fictional character in the Star Wars franchise. Introduced in the 2015 film Star Wars: The Force Awakens, he is portrayed by Oscar Isaac. Poe is an X-wing fighter pilot for the Resistance who inadvertently brings renegade stormtrooper Finn (John Boyega) and Jakku scavenger Rey (Daisy Ridley) into the fight against—and eventually a victory over—the sinister First Order. He is featured in The Force Awakens media and merchandising as well as an eponymous comic book series, and will appear in the film's forthcoming sequel, Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Isaac and the character have received positive reviews, with Poe being compared to the characterization of Han Solo (Harrison Ford) in the original Star Wars film trilogy.

Character[edit]

Concept[edit]

During the development phase of The Force Awakens, the character was initially referred to as "John Doe" and was first intended to be a Jedi, and then a bounty hunter with a Wookiee sidekick.[1]

Portrayal[edit]

Isaac's casting in the film was first announced on April 29, 2014,[2] his character was first seen in the 88-second The Force Awakens teaser trailer released by Lucasfilm on November 28, 2014,[3][4] piloting an X-wing fighter.[5][6][7] The name Poe Dameron was revealed by Entertainment Weekly in a Lucasfilm-designed Topps-style trading card mockup in December 2014.[8][9] The character was one of those featured in a May 2015 Vanity Fair photo shoot by Annie Leibovitz,[10] he was named after The Force Awakens writer/director J. J. Abrams' assistant Morgan Dameron.[11]

The film has received praise for its diverse casting, including Isaac, who is Guatemalan-American.[12][13][14] Peter Travers of Rolling Stone wrote that "giving starring roles to a black man, a white woman and a Latino is ... quietly history making".[15] Targeted at Spanish-speaking viewers, an action-oriented Univision TV spot heavily featuring Poe included an introduction by Isaac in Spanish,[16] after an initial release of promotional character posters in November 2015,[17] a poster featuring Isaac's Poe was released the following month.[18]

Description[edit]

In The Force Awakens, Poe is a skilled X-wing fighter pilot for the Resistance,[10][19] the son of a rebel fighter pilot and a rebel commando, he is a commander in the Resistance’s Starfighter Corps and "one of Leia Organa's most-trusted operatives" who is headstrong and "can fly anything".[20] Isaac described Poe as "the best freaking pilot in the galaxy... He's been sent on a mission by a certain princess, and he ends up coming up across [Finn], and their fates are forever intertwined."[19]

Natalie Zutter and Chris Lough of Tor.com wrote, "Poe is that rare creature who knows exactly what he wants to do with his life."[21] Isaac said of the character in 2015, "Poe's the kind of guy you want in the trenches with you. He’s straightforward, he’s honest, he's incredibly loyal and he’s got some swagger to him."[22] Katy Waldman wrote for Slate, "This is Poe Dameron, star pilot, heartthrob, wiseass, ace leather jacket–bestower, Finn’s OTP. When he grins up at [Kylo Ren], all rakish charm and derring-do, we know the movie will be OK."[23] Comic book writer Charles Soule, creator of the 2015 Marvel Comics series Star Wars: Poe Dameron, said of the character, "I think it's his charisma that really defines him, for me. Poe Dameron is one charming fellow. We've seen great pilots before, and great warriors, but his ability to lead and inspire feels pretty fresh to me, as is his somewhat snappy roguishness."[24]

After filming The Last Jedi but before its release, Isaac said in 2017:

Poe is in some ways a surrogate son for Leia, but also I think she sees in him the potential for a truly great leader of the Resistance and beyond ... Poe's arc is one of evolving from a heroic soldier to a seasoned leader, to see beyond the single-mindedness of winning the battle to the larger picture of the future of the galaxy. [Leia], with tough love, wants to push Poe to be more than the badass pilot, to temper his heroic impulses with wisdom and clarity.[25]

Appearances[edit]

Poe's helmet on display at Star Wars Launch Bay at Disney's Hollywood Studios (2015).

The Force Awakens (2015)[edit]

Poe Dameron is the decorated star pilot of General Leia Organa's Resistance fleet,[20] and the robot BB-8 is his astromech droid.[26] He is sent by Leia on a mission to the planet Jakku to retrieve part of a map that will lead to the location of her brother, Luke Skywalker, before Poe can leave with the map, the First Order attacks and he is captured. The pilot has entrusted the map to BB-8, who flees into the desert as Kylo Ren tortures Poe in search of the map.[22] Poe is saved by the renegade stormtrooper Finn, and they escape in a TIE fighter, they crash on Jakku; Finn is ejected from the ship and Poe is presumed dead as the destroyed craft is sucked under the sand. Poe later reappears, having also been thrown from the crash, now leading a squadron of X-wing pilots in an assault on the First Order at Maz Kanata's castle, he later leads his squadron to attack the First Order's Starkiller Base, and personally fires the shots that cause the planet-destroying weapon to explode.

Isaac told GQ in December 2015 that when he was offered the role, Abrams told him that Poe would die in the film. When Isaac later accepted, Abrams said he had changed his mind: "I’ve figured it out. You’re in the whole movie now."[27] Funny lines, like those during Poe's interrogation by Kylo Ren, were added in reshoots, and some were improvised by Isaac.[28]

The 2015 novelization of The Force Awakens by Alan Dean Foster explains that Poe regains consciousness and is able to crash land the TIE fighter in the desert.[29] Thrown from the wreckage, he comes upon the Blarina scavenger Naka Iit.[29] Poe helps Naka outrun a team of pirates, and in turn Naka helps Poe get to Blowback Town.[29]

Related works and merchandising[edit]

Poe also appears in the Journey to Star Wars: The Force Awakens line of novels and comic books, introduced in conjunction with The Force Awakens to connect the film with previous installments.[30] He is first mentioned in the young adult novel Moving Target: A Princess Leia Adventure (2015) by Cecil Castellucci and Jason Fry, set between The Empire Strikes Back (1980) and Return of the Jedi (1983).[31] Yavin 4, the moon on which the Rebel base was located in the 1977 film Star Wars, was established as Poe's homeworld in the comic series Star Wars: Shattered Empire (2015) after the Guatemalan-born Isaac learned that the shooting location for Yavin 4 had been Tikal, Guatemala.[32] The Shattered Empire series features Poe's parents, members of the Rebel Alliance: his mother is Shara Bey, an A-wing pilot who adventures with Leia, and his father is Kes Dameron, part of a special ground force known as the Pathfinders who are led by Han Solo.[22][31][33] Poe is featured in Star Wars: Before the Awakening (2015) by Greg Rucka, an anthology book for young readers about the lives of Poe, Rey and Finn before the events of The Force Awakens.[34] Poe is also a point of view character in the 2015 novelization of The Force Awakens by Alan Dean Foster.[35] A Marvel comic book series titled Star Wars: Poe Dameron, written by Charles Soule and illustrated by Phil Noto, began publication in April 2016. The events of the series take place shortly before The Force Awakens.[36][37][38]

Poe is a playable character in the 2015 Force Awakens add-on to the Disney Infinity 3.0 video game, with an Infinity character figurine available separately.[39][40][41][42] Hasbro has released a 3.75 inch Poe Dameron action figure,[43][44] and a 6 inch figure in their Black Series line.[45] Funko has produced three Poe Dameron figures as part of their POP! Television line of 4.5 inch vinyl figures in the Japanese super deformed style. The first features the character in his flight suit, helmet, and goggles;[46][47] the second is a Hot Topic-exclusive version in Poe's leather jacket look from the beginning of the film;[48][49] and a third is an f.y.e.-exclusive version in an orange First Order "prisoner suit" and facial cut.[48][49] Poe and BB-8 are featured in a Lego Star Wars playset called Poe's X-wing Fighter,[50][51] and Poe is available as a Lego Buildable Figure.[52] The Lego versions of Poe and BB-8 also appear in the 2016 short form animated series Lego Star Wars: The Resistance Rises,[53][54][55][56] voiced by Lex Lang,[57][58] and the short Poe Dameron vs the First Order Snowspeeder.[59] Hasbro is also releasing a Star Wars Black Series Poe Dameron Electronic Helmet in 2017.[60]

The Last Jedi (2017)[edit]

Shortly after the destruction of Starkiller Base, the First Order catches up with the Resistance just as they begin their evacuation of D'Qar, and Poe leads an attack on the First Order to stall while the last Resistance fighters board the transports. When they do so, Leia orders Poe rejoin the rest of the Resistance but Poe insists on taking out one of the First Order's bigger ships and calls in the Resistance's team of bombers. While they are successful in taking out the ship, all of the bombers are killed in action and Leia demotes Poe for his recklessness and unwillingness to follow orders, the First Order soon attacks again, revealed to have been able to track the Resistance through lightspeed, which was previously believed to have been impossible. The attack claims the lives of nearly all of the Resistance's leadership and renders Leia unconscious, and while Poe assumes that he will become the acting general, Leia is instead replaced by Vice Admiral Amilyn Holdo. Poe tries to make suggestions to Holdo but she refuses to listen to him because of his recklessness; in his frustration with Holdo and his want to take a more active role against the First Order, Poe concocts a plan with Finn and mechanic Rose Tico to disable the First Order's tracker from the Star Destroyer, with Poe staying aboard the Resistance cruiser while Finn, Rose, and BB-8 embark on the mission.

Later, frustrated with the lack of progress, Poe personally asks Holdo what their next plan is, and finds out that she is charging the transports to escape from the cruiser. Poe is furious, considering the plan traitorous and cowardly; he tells her about the mission he has sent Finn and Rose on, and when Holdo continues to neglect Poe's suggestions, Poe stages a mutiny. As Poe listens in through a communicator, he learns that Finn and Rose's plan failed, and shortly afterwards, a recovered Leia stuns him and takes him aboard the transport, he awakens later, upset to learn that they have gone forward with Holdo's plan, but Leia tells him the rest of the plan: that the transports are taking them to an abandoned base on the planet Crait, where they will transmit a distress signal to their allies, and that Holdo stayed behind to pilot the cruiser. Leia tells him that Holdo was a good leader because she was more interested in preserving the light than in being a hero, the First Order, thanks to the betrayal from a former ally, learns of the Resistance's plan and begins firing at the transports; Holdo rams into the Star Destroyer at lightspeed to hinder the attack, and when they transports arrive on Crait, the Resistance has greatly dwindled.

Poe leads a small strike against the First Order on Crait, but despite help from Rey aboard the Millennium Falcon, the strike is ineffective and Poe orders the fighters to retreat. When Luke Skywalker arrives, Poe realizes that Luke intends to stall to allow the Resistance to escape and Leia allows him to once again take charge, leading them through a passage where they meet up with Rey and board the Millennium Falcon. Poe formally introduces himself to Rey for the first time, and he along with the rest of the Resistance begin to plan their next steps.

Reception[edit]

Michael Phillips of the Chicago Tribune wrote, "Oscar Isaac is a primary asset as Poe Dameron ... Like Ford's Han Solo in the original three, he's the guy you want on your team, the one who doesn't take any guff".[61] Robbie Collin of The Telegraph called Poe "a dashing, dry-humoured swashbuckler—in short, he’s like Han Solo was 40 years ago".[62] Todd McCarthy of The Hollywood Reporter described the "hotshot" pilot as "a man very much in the Solo mold",[63] and Manohla Dargis of The New York Times wrote that Poe "suggests a next-generation Han".[64] Richard Roeper of the Chicago Sun-Times noted that "Isaac has more than a bit of Han Solo swagger",[65] and Ann Hornaday of The Washington Post said that "Isaac brings just the right amount of cocksure street smarts to his role".[66] Brian Hiatt of Rolling Stone wrote that Poe's "loose, jazzy dialogue was the first, highly welcome clue that these new films would be more human in tone than George Lucas' prequels."[28] The Telegraph also listed Poe's scenes as one of their "14 things Star Wars fans will love about The Force Awakens", writing that they "spark and fizz with energy" and that "while Han Solo will always hold the number one spot, Oscar Isaac’s Poe Dameron is definitely a serious contender for the title of Second Coolest Man in the Galaxy".[67] Peter Travers of Rolling Stone wrote that "Isaac oozes flyboy charm".[15] Alex Brown of Tor.com called Poe "the greatest addition to Star Wars canon since Mara Jade", a popular character from the Star Wars expanded universe.[37]

Both Joanna Robinson of Vanity Fair and Scott Mendelson of Forbes noted the chemistry between Poe and Finn (John Boyega),[68][69] with Brian Truitt of USA Today calling the relationship a "bromance".[36][70] Their scenes in the film, and Isaac's own comments during an interview with Ellen DeGeneres have sparked fan and journalistic speculation that Poe could be gay, or developed as such in future films.[68][69][70][71][72][73][74] Several media outlets reported the wave of fan fiction, and fan art created by fan "shippers", or those with a desire to see Poe and Finn in a romantic relationship.[68][70][72][73][74] Commenting on Isaac's camaraderie with his The Force Awakens cast members, Joanna Robinson of Vanity Fair wrote that "the most important bond Isaac established was with John Boyega. Theirs is a flirtation that launched a thousand pieces of fan fiction."[68]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]