I spoke a bit yesterday about my disenchantment with the Star Wars franchise following the prequels, so I need not revisit that discussion. I will say that my enthusiasm for Episode VII: The Force Awakens was cautious. I only needed it not to be terrible. The logo appeared, the fanfare sounded, the crawl set the scene…
And then there was a desert planet, an adorable droid, a weary and wise older man… and this guy.
The most daring pilot in the Resistance. Poe Dameron.
Resistance is in his blood. He’s the son of A-Wing pilot Shara Bey and Rebellion soldier Kes Dameron.
In a way, he’s the heir to Han Solo’s rakish, don’t-tell-me-the-odds sensibility.
When he’s captured by Kylo Ren and is forced to his knees, there’s a moment of silence. Then, Poe lifts his gaze.
“Do I talk first or you talk first? I talk first?”
Cocksure bravado, as is this.
He maintains that assurance and strength through abduction and torture. When he’s liberated by an unlikely ally, he’s quick to assess the situation and sees through the false righteousness with a quickness.
“Poe: Why are you helping me?
Stormtrooper: Because it’s the right thing to do.
Poe: You need a pilot.
Stormtrooper: I need a pilot.
Poe: *grin* “
One of the first things he does (after calmly liberating a Tie Fighter) is give a name to his new ally, a person who has only known himself as a number. Anyone who’s read fairy tales, or anything, knows that names have power. This is a gift.
“Poe: What’s your name?
Poe: F – What?
Stormtrooper: That’s the only name they ever gave me.
Poe: Well, I ain’t using it. FN, huh? Finn, I’m gonna call you Finn, is that alright?
Stormtrooper: Finn, yeah. Finn, I like that. I like that.
Poe: I’m Poe, Poe Dameron.
Finn: Good to meet you, Poe.
Poe: Good to meet you too, Finn. “
Their camaraderie is easy and warm, born of necessity but defined by personal integrity.
Poe also shares a deep and affectionate bond with his (super adorable) astromech BB-8.
He’s a fine leader and seriously talented pilot.
He’s trusted by his team, he’s trusted by the General (aka Princess). He rocks a jacket that suits all of the sexiest people.
And he’s portrayed by an actor who clearly delights in the chance to be a part of this world, to be a hero for a new generation, and who refuses to be anything less than his amazing self.
There’s a wealth of new material cropping up around Poe Dameron, both in comic books and novels. I relish every opportunity to learn more about him, and look forward to seeing how he shapes the next two Star Wars movies.