WARNING: This post contains SPOILERS for Star Wars: The Last Jedi

It has been confirmed the Resistance’s best pilot, Poe Dameron, will return in Star Wars: Episode IX. Along with Rey and Finn, Poe is a member of the sequel trilogy’s “big three” of young heroes who first appeared in 2015’s The Force Awakens. Though his screen time in Episode VII was brief, Poe made an immediate impact with his charm and swagger, not to mention the instant chemistry that blossomed between him and Finn during their daring TIE fighter escape. The role was arguably underwritten, but Oscar Isaac’s performance elevated it to another level.

Part of the reason why Poe drew the short straw in Force Awakens is because the character was originally going to die after the aforementioned TIE crashed on Jakku. The story was changed by J.J. Abrams in order to get an actor of Isaac’s caliber on board, and now Dameron will continue to develop in The Last Jedi. While his ultimate fate in the sequel trilogy remains up in the air, fans can rest easy knowing that Poe lives to fight another day following whatever transpires in Rian Johnson’s film.

Related: Poe Gets Permission To Blow Something Up In TV Spot

In Esquire U.K.‘s profile of Isaac, it’s mentioned that the actor will be filming Episode IX at some point “early next year.” Given the phrasing, it’s possible this story was completed prior to J.J. Abrams taking over as director for Colin Trevorrow, who left back in September due to creative differences. Initially, Star Wars 9 was supposed to start production in January 2018, but with Abrams and co-writer Chris Terrio rewriting the script, that has been pushed back to June 2018. Regardless of when the cameras begin rolling, Isaac will be on the set to play Poe again.

Poe Dameron in The Force Awakens Star Wars 9: [SPOILER] Confirmed To Return

Lucasfilm has done an excellent job keeping plot details under wraps for the time being, but one of the few things we know about Poe in Last Jedi is he becomes something of a surrogate son to General Leia Organa, who is hoping to groom the hotshot pilot into a mature leader for the Resistance. This arc could pay off in dividends come Episode IX, especially since it is unknown how Leia will be handled in that film following the death of Carrie Fisher. With a CGI recreation officially off the table and no word on a possible recast, it’s possible Leia (who was going to be a main player in Star Wars 9) is not featured at all. If this is the route the filmmakers go, Poe could be promoted to a new role in the Resistance and have everyone look up to him while the war against the First Order rages on. For many reasons, it’s for the best Poe survives The Last Jedi.

With this development, it’s now official the core trio of Rey, Finn, and Poe will all appear in the three installments of the sequels. Daisy Ridley’s involvement in Episode IX was revealed more than a year before The Force Awakens hit theaters, and Boyega’s return was confirmed earlier this year. Time will tell if all three are alive after Abrams finishes what he started, but with Lucasfilm planning more stories for them, the odds are in their favor.

MORE: Poe Dameron Isn’t A Han Solo Replacement

Source: Esquire U.K.

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