Our next Han Solo? Meet Poe Dameron

Oscar Isaac announced at The Force Awakens panel at Star Wars Celebration last April that his character, Poe Dameron, was “the best fricken pilot in the galaxy.”

Confident. Cocky. A bragger with swagger.

I’m very much looking forward to seeing Poe on screen December 17th – in IMAX 3D, no less – because of that smugness. He’s my choice for the character I’m most looking forward to when The Force Awakens is released next month – and the topic of this month’s Star Wars ComLINKS.

As an “original” Star Wars fan, as I affectionately refer to myself having grown up with the Original Trilogy (I was 9 when Return of the Jedi was released – the first installment of the saga I saw on the big screen), I always aligned myself closest to Han Solo. His confidence and cockiness was immensely alluring. He was cool. He was a helluva pilot. A gambler and a scoundrel, of course. He got the girl, he was heroic, and he got paid! A solid day’s work and my kind of dude. Han was the Star Wars character I role played the most as a youngling.

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Poe is our next Han Solo – at least I’m hoping so. All we’ve really seen from the teasers and trailers for The Force Awakens is Poe yelling and piloting an X-wing in at least two different in-atmosphere battles. Disney Channel’s sneak peek on November 13th gave us a single Poe line of dialogue that signals a pivotal moment in the new film:

“We’ve got company.”

Coincidence that Han yelled something very similar to Luke on the Death Star? I think not.

One of my favorite scenes from the full trailer for The Force Awakens that was released during Monday Night Football on ESPN in October was Poe being tortured by Kylo Ren. I immediately thought of the other Original Trilogy character who we saw being tortured on Cloud City – Han Solo in The Empire Strikes Back.

With only a handful of shots and really just the one line of dialogue, it’s hard to draw many comparisons between Poe and Han, but if my insights are serving me well, I think we’ll leave the theater after seeing The Force Awakens with the realization that Poe Dameron is our next Han Solo. After all, both characters only have three letters in their first name and neither are Force sensitive (so far). I also think Poe and Finn will have a relationship like Han and Luke did. The scrolling scene of Poe and Finn running into each other in the full trailer reminded me of Han and Luke on Yavin 4 before the attack on first Death Star.poeandfinn

Will we see Poe exude confidence and cockiness? I do think so. Will he exhibit exceptional piloting skills and leadership qualities? For sure. A gambler and scoundrel? We’ll see. Will he be heroic and get the girl? I certainly am hoping for that.

One thing’s for certain – Poe’s story in The Force Awakens will have its ups and downs and that will make his character compelling for sure. Considering what we’ve seen and heard so far, Poe’s story within the grander story will be quite interesting. Considering also how he’s already been tied to the Original Trilogy with his parents being involved in the Battle of Endor and fighting the Empire alongside Han, Leia, and Chewie, Poe’s backstory is something I’m very much looking forward to learning about.

Come December 17th, I’ll be in my seat ready to experience The Force Awakens in all its glory. With so many new characters and a brand new story, I’m sure many favorites will emerge – from its characters, its ships, planets, and epic battles. Poe’s will be one of many and I can’t wait to see his character and his heroism first hand.

I’ll close with my BOLD prediction regarding Poe and The Force Awakens, which if it does come to fruition is sure to draw applause and cheers from the Star Wars faithful in those theater seats with me:

*** Poe will utter the classic Star Wars phrase: “I’ve got a bad feeling about this.” ***

May the Force be with you.

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