Sunday, January 3, 2016
Poe Dameron's Full Backstory Explained
Poe Dameron was a human male starfighter pilot who served the New Republic and, later, the Resistance during its conflict with the First Order. He was born the son of Lieutenant Shara Bey and Sergeant Kes Dameron of the Alliance to Restore the Republic, Dameron followed in his late mother's footsteps and became a pilot, serving the New Republic Starfleet as the commander of Rapier Squadron. He grew disillusioned with the Republic's inaction to the First Order's violations of the Galactic Concordance, which led Dameron to defect to the Resistance, where he became one of General Leia Organa's most trusted operatives. Dameron flew under the callsign of Black Leader while piloting his specialized T-70 X-wing fighter, Black One.
Born two years before the Battle of Endor, Poe Dameron was the son of Shara Bey and Kes Dameron, who both served the Alliance to Restore the Republic in the fight against the Galactic Empire during the Galactic Civil War. As an infant, Dameron barely saw his parents due to continued operations against the Imperials following the Battle of Endor, as his mother worked as a Rebel pilot for the Alliance's Green Squadron and his father was a member of the Pathfinders, and was thus left in the care of his maternal grandfather. Six months after the Battle of Endor, after the Imperial remnant put forward Operation: Cinder, Dameron's parents left Rebel service to reunite with him, settle on Yavin 4 and build a house—close to which they planted a Force-sensitive tree, a gift from Jedi Knight Luke Skywalker.
When Dameron was six years old, he began to learn how to fly using his mother's old RZ-1 A-wing interceptor, which was part of his mother's compensation package when she mustered out of the Rebellion. She would take Dameron up in it, and he would sit in her lap, learning how to control the ship from her. Tragedy struck his family when his mother unexpectedly died; at the time, Dameron was only eight years old.
Eventually, Dameron became a pilot himself and joined the New Republic Starfleet. Upon entering the New Republic's service, he began to learn the true scope of his mother's heroism, and he himself rose through the ranks, becoming a Commander for the New Republic. Given command of Rapier Squadron, a group of T-85 X-wings, Dameron also met the spherical astromech droid BB-8, who would go onto assist him during his flights as Rapier Leader.
His squadron was stationed at the Mirrin Prime Republic Base, under Major Lonno Deso, with whom he would often have discussions about the First Order, aware of the threat they represented and the leeway they were given by the Republic. At the time, Dameron and his squadron had been deployed to patrol trade lanes in the Mirrin sector and protect ships from piracy.
After four weeks of inactivity, Dameron's scanner picked up a distress call from the Yissira Zyde. Once BB-8 pinpointed its exact location above Suraz 4, Dameron and his fellow Rapiers—Karé Kun, Iolo Arana, and Muran—made the jump into lightspeed, expecting to find the Zyde under pirate attack. However, they found the freighter sieged by eight First Order TIE fighters, which proceeded to attack them. Breaking them into two elements, Dameron and Kun attacked the TIE fighters, while Arana and Muran broke off the shuttles attacking the Zyde. Though during the skirmish Dameron fell five enemy ships, and Kun the other three, the squadron lost Muran.
Afterwards, Dameron tried to convince Desso to contact the Resistance or investigate the attack, but as Republic Command had ordered not to take action against the First Order, Dameron's request was denied. Sent on a patrol once again, he split up from Kun and Arana to do a reconnaisance mission of the Zyde’s hyperspace trajectory alone with BB-8. Together, they made it to OR-Kappa-2722 where they found a First Order staging point and Dameron was forced to engage and avoid two dozen TIE fighters while BB-8 located the Yissira Zyde’s ID transponder aboard one of the Star Destroyers. When they were ready to leave, Dameron made a "L'ullo Stand" and managed to escape back to Mirrin Prime. Upon his return to the planet, Dameron met Major Caluan Ematt and was then made to enter a briefing room alone to meet General Leia Organa and tell her everything about the Yissira Zyde.
Upon ending his account of the skirmish in OR-Kappa-2722, Organa offered him the opportunity to join the Resistance, which Dameron immediately accepted, as did Kun and Arana. Retaining the rank of commander and now in charge of his own fighter wing, Dameron was transferred to the Echo of Hope, and in the next few months, he went onto helping in recruiting efforts to find additional pilots, scouting missions, long-range reconnaissance, and searching for signs of First Order movement and positions.
In his service to the Resistance, entering the brewing conflict against the First Order, Dameron became one of Organa's most-trusted operatives, as well as a commander in the Resistance's Starfighter Corps. In that capacity, he commanded Red and Blue Squadrons, flying under the callsign of Black Leader, to denote his black-painted T-70 X-wing fighter Black One, all in the company of BB-8.
Eventually, Dameron was recruited by Organa for Operation: Sabre Strike: to steal the Hevurion Grace’s navicomputer data from First Order symphatizer and Senator Erudo Ro-Kiintor. Dameron, in turn, recruited Kun and Arana and acquired three Z-95 Headhunters for the operation. Forced to leave BB-8 behind, Dameron and his team went to the Uvoss system and awaited for the Pinnacle-class luxury ship to arrive. When it did, Kun and Arana disabled and escorted the ship as planned, while Dameron used an EVA suit to board Ro-Kiintor's ship and claimed it for the Irving Boys to cover their true allegiance, forcing the senator, the pilot and the servant to go to the escape pods.
Dameron then made it to the ship's cockpit and worked on restarting the engines when First Order's vessels appeared. Depite engaging one frigate and two Star Destroyers, Dameron, Kun and Aranda managed to escape and land their respective ships aboard the Echo of Hope. General Organa then met with Dameron and sent C-3PO to get everything he could from the flight computers. The following morning Dameron confided in Organa that he was angry and worried at their situation, his unwavering belief in the Republic, but also the hopelessness that his parents had told him about back during the age of the Empire. Organa then resolved to find Lor San Tekka, whom the First Order was trying to locate according to their findings in the Hevurion Grace, and whom Organa believed held a clue to her brother's location.
Confident in his piloting skills, Dameron was a decorated X-wing pilot who could fly anything, managing to familiriaze himself with a TIE/sf fighter's controls in a matter of minutes and under pressure, but also a Pinnacle-class luxury ship. During the Battle on Takodana, he showed to be skilled enough to fire repeatedly without wasting a single energy burst and destroy multiple First Order assets.
A speaker of Basic, Dameron also understood Binary, and thus had no need for reading BB-8's translated speech in a console to understand what the astromech said while plugged into his starfighter.
Poe Dameron is portrayed by Oscar Isaac in Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens. Isaac's casting in the film was first announced on April 29, 2014, and the character was revealed in the first teaser trailer for the film on November 28, 2014. His name was revealed by Entertainment Weekly in an exclusive trading card.
Dameron was named after J.J. Abrams' production assistant Morgan Dameron. Yavin 4 was made Dameron's homeworld in Star Wars: Shattered Empire when Isaac realized the planet's shooting location was Tikal, which is located in the country he was born, Guatemala.
Dameron was meant to die, but Abrams changed his mind after realizing Isaac was hesitant about accepting the role. On March 20, 2015, Isaac revealed that he will appear in Star Wars: Episode VIII, as well. The film's novelization includes an additional sequence detailing Dameron's escape from the planet Jakku.