WARNING: This article contains SPOILERS for Star Wars: Poe Dameron #25
Finally, the full role of Star Wars: The Force Awakens' mysterious Lor San Tekka has been revealed. When he first appeared in the opening scene of Episode VII, the role played by actor Max von Sydow was one of the few things the filmmakers had managed to keep secret. When he handed over the last map fragment leading to Luke Skywalker, and recognized Kylo Ren as the Jedi's former pupil Ben Solo, fans everywhere knew there was more to 'Lor San Tekka' than the film showed.
The new canon established in movie novelizations, tie-in books, and visual dictionaries have offered rough details. But now, the comic series Star Wars: Poe Dameron has revealed the events preceding The Force Awakens, including the first meeting between Lor San Tekka and Poe - the last time they would cross paths before the secret exchange that launched the new trilogy of the Star Wars saga.
The search for Lor San Tekka was actually the mission given to the ace Resistance pilot back in Poe Dameron #1, with the rough description of a wise "explorer" who helped pass Jedi lore on to Luke at some point in the past. But it would take twenty more issues for Poe and the rest of Black Squadron to actually track down "The Explorer" (all taking place in the months leading up to The Force Awakens).
The squadron came closest to recovering Lor San Tekka from First Order custody in recent issues, when the galactic senior was left floating in space as leverage, with coordinates given to the highest bidder, First Order or Resistance (the only reason Leia Organa actually knew Lor San Tekka was still alive was due to a First Order communique, the villains also seeking him out for potential knowledge of the Last Jedi's location).
But at long last, Lor San Tekka is recovered in the pages of Star Wars: Poe Dameron #24 and brought to the secret Resistance base on D'Qar. There he finally meets Leia, and when told she now seeks her long lost brother in hopes of defeating the First Order, Lor San Tekka confirms he may have a theory as to Luke's location.
As a historian, explorer, and lifelong fan of the true Jedi Order, the legends of the first Jedi Temple have interested him, as well. Setting off to separate fact from fiction, he meets Poe Dameron - the pilot who has been hot on his heels for months, at least.
The revelation that Lor San Tekka is not an ancient Jedi, or a survivor of the original series may be underwhelming to those most fond of theories and speculation. But this story is still a valuable one for fans eager to fill in the gaps of the story leading to Episode VII's events. After bidding Poe farewell with some final musings on The Force, the nature of humanity, and the excess of importance placed in those who wield the Force and lightsabers, he departs until he and Poe meet again (in a remote Jakkhu hut).
It's an important disctinction: Lor San Tekka isn't providing Poe with Luke's whereabouts, but the location of the first Jedi Temple on Ahch-To. Besides further emphasizing that Luke didn't want to be found (a question some raised since be left a map behind to find him), the story gives Lor San Tekka the role he truly deserves in the Star Wars Canon. His monologues in the comic series establish him as a student of the ancient Force, who discovered some mysteries and relics still unexplained - the most significant of which being a relic forged by both Light and Dark Force Powers, suggesting a history in which the Force was not divided.
Combine that with the mosaics in the first Jedi Temple confirming the theory, and Lor deserves some serious credit.
While he feared that the First Order might emerge victorious (having lived too long to simply hope for the best), Lor also makes a point of saying he, too, senses an "awakening" in the Force prior to Rey's emergence. He's not a Force sensitive, but instead notes the phenomenon in sites imbued with Force energy. Fans may not have enough evidence to debate whether or not Lor San Tekka was actually Force sensitive, but his perspective, now revealed, questions many assumptions about how visible the ways of the Force may be to those who study it.
It won't change how successful The Force Awakens or Lor San Tekka's role in it may be on its own. But for the diehard fans eager to know every part of the story, the chapter of Lor San Tekka's story concluded in Poe Dameron #25 just became required reading.
Star Wars: Poe Dameron #25 is available now from Marvel Comics.