Poe Dameron's commitment to the escalating war between the First Order and the Resistance has both friends and foes fearing what he's capable of in The Last Jedi. During the highly-publicized pre-release phase for the upcoming sequel, characters like Luke Skywalker, Rey, and Kylo Ren have (justifiably) been covered extensively, but their dynamic is only half of what Episode VIII will be dealing with. The film's primary subplot concerns the ongoing confrontation with the aforementioned factions, as they fight for control of a galaxy thrust into chaos. Before Starkiller base was destroyed, the New Republic was wiped out, making things quite tense.
In regards to the Resistance, General Leia Organa is running the show, but she isn't alone at the top. Poe Dameron will once again be leading his squadron of pilots (in a modified X-wing), trying to gain an upper hand. Based on his brief role in The Force Awakens, there's no denying Poe is enthusiastic and has supreme dedication to the cause. That said, it's possible he's taking things a bit too seriously - to the point that even his allies are growing concerned.
The official Japanese Star Wars site came out with short character bios, detailing some of the main players in The Last Jedi. Poe, of course, is included in the rundown, and his description came with a surprising revelation about his devotion to the Resistance. English translation courtesy of Star Wars News Net:
"Now that the conflict between the First Order and the Resistance has escalated into total war, Poe is a shining as a leader of a courageous flying battalion. But while he is brave and a skilled pilot, both the First Order and the Resistance alike are starting to fear his dedication to the war effort."
Not much has been revealed about Poe's arc in The Last Jedi, but it sounds like he'll be spending more time alongside Leia as the General tries to mold the hotshot pilot into more of a leader figure. It's possible that Leia is looking to tone down Poe's recklessness before he gets himself (or others) hurt. Marvel's Poe Dameron comic included an issue where Leia grounded Poe in an effort to instill some wisdom into him, so something similar could happen onscreen. Poe does have a strong dislike for the First Order, willing to do anything he can to defeat them. With all of the characters being tested in intricate ways, Dameron may find himself wondering how far is too far as he tries to best his enemies. Considering the Resistance has very limited resources (and no Republic fleet to back them up), it's pertinent for them to take extra precaution.
This sets Poe up in an interesting manner for Episode VIII, harkening back to some of the themes explored in last year's Rogue One. The spinoff showed that the Rebellion was capable of less-than-admirable things, as evidenced by Cassian Andor murdering an informant in cold blood. While Poe may not do anything that drastic, some of his methods could be a little morally dubious, putting Resistance command on edge. After Dameron was relatively one-note in Episode VII (elevated by Oscar Isaac's supreme acting ability), it will be nice to see Rian Johnson give him some depth and a personal story that pays off in a satisfying way.
- Star Wars 8/Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) release date: Dec 15, 2017
- Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) release date: May 25, 2018
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: Episode IX (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019