New details about General Leia Organa’s role in Star Wars: The Last Jedi – particularly her connection with Poe Dameron – have been revealed. The late, great Carrie Fisher was among the original trilogy cast members who returned to the galaxy far, far away in 2015’s The Force Awakens, appearing in a handful of key scenes to help establish the sequel trilogy storyline. According to reports, Leia’s part was expanded for this December’s sequel, and the filmmakers are promising a powerful performance from Fisher. While her untimely passing in late 2016 has raised questions about Leia’s future in the saga, word is Episode VIII remains unchanged.
In typical Lucasfilm fashion, plot details for The Last Jedi had largely been kept under wraps until recently. Thanks to coverage from EW, fans are pouring over all kinds of new information regarding Rey and Luke Skywalker’s dynamic, Finn’s ever-changing role in the Resistance, and the mysterious Supreme Leader Snoke. Now, the leader of the Resistance takes center stage as the curtain is peeled back on Leia and Poe Dameron’s relationship in The Last Jedi.
Speaking with EW, Oscar Isaac spoke about the bond Poe and Leia have in the film, making reference to the almost family dynamic they share:
“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. I think Leia knows she won’t be around forever and she, with tough love, wants to push Poe to be more than the badass pilot, to temper his heroic impulses with wisdom and clarity.”
Family has always been a running theme through the Star Wars saga, so it’s interesting that Isaac used that terminology to describe Poe and Leia. The General, of course, has a biological son in Kylo Ren, but odds are that relationship is damaged beyond repair. In The Force Awakens, Leia thought that perhaps Han Solo could bring Ben back to the good side (like Luke did with Darth Vader), only to have it tragically backfire. The canon materials, in particular the comics, have illustrated how close Leia is with Poe, so part of her probably thinks of him as the son she wishes she had. Isaac has already gone on record to describe a scene where Leia slaps Poe, so the two Resistance figures should have some fascinating interactions.
From the sound of it, part of Dameron’s arc is evolving from the hotshot pilot into a more seasoned and mature leader. It will be interesting to see how that leads into Episode IX, considering the real-life circumstances. While nothing has been confirmed yet, it’s becoming increasingly likely the sequel trilogy finale will not feature Leia, as Lucasfilm has already shot down digitally recreating Fisher’s likeness and repurposing old footage from previous movies. If the General is truly gone as the war wages on, many will look at Poe as someone to follow, and he’ll have to use the lessons he learns in The Last Jedi to defeat the First Order once and for all.
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