- "I can fly anything."
- ―Poe Dameron to Finn
Poe Dameron was a human male pilot who served as a commander in the New Republic and, later, the Resistance during its conflict with the First Order. 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, but grew disillusioned with the Republic's inaction to the First Order's violations of the Galactic Concordance. Dameron defected 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.
As the conflict with the First Order grew more desperate, Dameron was sent to find Lor San Tekka on Jakku, who had part of a map to locate Organa's brother, Jedi Master Luke Skywalker. Though Dameron entrusted the map to his astromech droid BB-8, he was captured by the First Order. He escaped with the help of a defecting stormtrooper, whom Dameron nicknamed Finn, and returned to the Resistance base on D'Qar on his own. He aided Finn, Rey, Han Solo, and Chewbacca with air support during the Battle on Takodana, and he later flew during the battle to destroy the superweapon known as Starkiller Base. During the battle, after the base was damaged by Solo, Finn, Rey, and Chewbacca, Dameron fired the shots that destroyed the Starkiller weapon, saving the Resistance from certain destruction.
- "People were hurting. People were suffering. Your father and I couldn't sit and do nothing."
- ―Shara Bey, to Poe Dameron, about her military service
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 the Alliance's continued operations against the Imperials before and after 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 Dameron 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.
At age 6, Dameron began to learn how to fly in 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. L'ulo L'ampar, Bey's fellow Rebel pilot and friend, helped raise Dameron, and was thus like family to him.
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, and earned the reputation of being extremely skilled. 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 and become a steadfast friend from then on.
His squadron was stationed at the Mirrin Prime Republic Base, under Major Lonno Deso. In time, Dameron came to be aware of the threat the First Order represented and the leeway they were given by the Republic, but he and his squadron were merely deployed to patrol trade lanes in the Mirrin sector and protect ships from piracy.
The Yissira Zyde
- "It's going to happen again, you realize that, don't you?"
"If it does, it'll be dealt with then."
"So we do nothing? That's the solution? An emerging threat, and we do nothing?"
- ―Poe Dameron and Lonno Desso, discussing the First Order
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. Whent they were sent on a patrol once again, Dameron split up from Kun and Arana to do a reconnaissance mission of the Yissira 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 Zyde’s ID transponder aboard one of the Star Destroyers. When they were ready to leave, Dameron made a "L'ulo 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, who requested that he tell her everything about the Yissira Zyde.
- "I'm a Republic officer, General. I swore an oath to protect the Republic, to—"
"No, you misunderstand. I like it. It was rash of you, as I said, it was foolish. But we could use some rash these days, and foolish and passionate are often confused, and passion is something we desperately need."
- ―Poe Dameron and Leia Organa
Upon ending his account of the skirmish, Organa realized that Dameron reminded her of her brother Luke Skywalker―for being passionate, an outstanding pilot and dedicated to doing what was right―, and offered him the opportunity to join the Resistance in its conflict against the First Order. 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, Dameron became one of Organa's most-trusted operatives, and quickly rose through the ranks of the understaffed Starfighter Corps, earning the command of both Red and Blue Squadron―the latter of which served as the primary line of defense for the Resistance base on D'Qar. Under the callsign of Black Leader, to denote his customized, dark-hulled T-70 X-wing fighter Black One, Dameron was assisted during his flights by BB-8.
Operation: Saber Strike
- "Captain Kun is an exceptional pilot, without question, as is Captain Arana, for that matter. But it's a rare pilot who engages one frigate and two Star Destroyers and lives to tell the tale."
- ―Leia Organa to Poe Dameron
Eventually, Dameron was recruited by Organa for Operation: Sabre Strike to steal navicomputer data from the Hevurion Grace, which belonged to First Order sympathizer and Republic 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 Grace. Inside, he claimed the ship for the Irving Boys to cover his true allegiance, and forced the senator, his pilot and his servant to go into 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, which echoed the age of the Empire's characteristic hopelessness that his parents had told him about. Organa then resolved to find Lor San Tekka, whom (according to their findings in the Hevurion Grace) the First Order was trying to locate, and whom Organa believed held a clue to her brother's location.
At some point, Dameron and BB-8 were deployed to retrieve C-3PO (with whom he was already familiar), the only survivor of a mission to transmit the location of Admiral Gial Ackbar to the Resistance.
- "You are my team, you are my friends. We are Black Squadron…and it's an honor."
- ―Poe Dameron, forming Black Squadron
Determined to find her brother before the First Order did, Organa tasked Dameron with the search for San Tekka at his last-known location. Although trouble was unlikely, Dameron was authorized to select a squadron of four pilots and a technician. Choosing people whom he could trust, Dameron recruited Kun, L'ampar, Temmin Wexley, Jessika Pava, and Oddy Muva to form Black Squadron. Dameron informed the group that they would be departing on a mission, but, to L'ampar's disapproval, the purpose of their mission remained classified.
Except for Muva, Dameron and his squadron departed from D'Qar to Ovanis where Tekka was last seen. Leaving the rest of his squadron to fly above the surface, he flew Black One into a perilous cavern and landed at a Crèche outpost, and briefly lost contact with the squadron. While BB-8 restore the signal, Dameron inquired about Tekka's location with the outpost's elder, but she refused out of distrust. BB-8 then discovered a tracker on his ship, which meant the First Order was likely to arrive soon. Not too long afterwards, Kun reported to Dameron that a First Order platform was already on site and deploying a taskforce to the cavernous entrance. Striking a deal with the elder, Dameron and BB-8 hid their starfighter before Agent Terex bursted into the outpost, and Dameron ordered his squadron to "give him some leverage".
While they did as ordered and fell the platform, Dameron confronted Terex while BB-8 remained hidden. Although he no longer had air support, Terex ordered his flametroopers to destroy the sacred egg of the Crèche and correctly surmised that the Ravenous from orbit would launch a counterattack. However, in the nick of time, the "savior" hatched from the egg and attacked everyone. Dameron used the opportunity to distract Terex with a punch, while BB-8 stole the agent's blaster pistol. As Dameron and Terex fought over it, the creature's counterpart appeared to save the Crèche and killed the newly-hatched beast. Forced into stalemate, Terex called the attack off, and Dameron took advantage of their momentous peace to speak with the elder again. Grateful, she told Dameron where Tekka had gone after leaving the planet, and then left the planet with the rest of her people and the savior. With them safe, Dameron and his squadron retreated from the planet, letting Terex go.
- "May the worst win."
Back on D'Qar, Dameron reported to Organa about the search's next destination and told her of the tracking beacon BB-8 had found attached to his ship. While she put C-3PO on the case to see what he learned through his network, she also paid a generous amount to get Black Squadron inside the privately-owned prison of Megalox Beta so that they could see Grakkus the Hutt—reputed for being a collector of Jedi artifacts. Upon arrival, Dameron and his squadron were greeted by Luta, who gave them a rundown of the prison's rules, and left her men to escort them to the surface. Although they were left to their own devices, Dameron's team found its way to Grakkus' headquarters. However, Dameron soon found out that Terex was already there and had become aware of Dameron's attempts to find the location of Tekka. Grakkus struck a deal with the two of them: he would provide his information to the one who broke him out of the prison.
After speaking with Grakkus, Dameron told Black Squadron that Grakkus knew where Tekka was. However, he told them they had break him free out of prison before Terex. "Snap" asked Dameron how Terex got there first. All Dameron knew was that the F.O.S.B. have ears everywhere. Thus, Dameron and Black Squadron started to plan the escape. He then waited until a group of prisoners started ram the door.
Dameron and the other members of Black Squadron than defended Grakkus's fortress against the prisoners under Papa Toren. Dameron then waited for BB-8 and the other astromechs to disable the prison's gravity field. After BB-8 signaled him, Dameron and the others then turned on their gravity belts. After the prisoners were subdued, Dameron had L'ampar acquire guns. Dameron then went into the fortress and took Grakkus. Dameron then contacted Warden Luta and told him that he knew about his deal with Terex. Dameron was able to convince him to let them return to their fighters and leave with Grakkus on one of Luta's ships. As they left the station, Dameron and the other pilots then engaged with the Carrion Spike. Before Grakkus made his escape, Dameron was then given information on Lor San Tekka. Dameron then returned to D'Qar, where he gave the information to General Organa. Dameron than asked if he would resume his search for Tekka. Organa told him that she had a more important mission for Dameron; to find out who informed Terex about the prison.
- "The Resistance...will not be intimidated by you."
- ―Poe Dameron to Kylo Ren
At Organa's behest, Dameron and BB-8 went to Tuanul on Jakku to retrieve a map to Skywalker's location from Lor San Tekka, but during the meeting, stormtroopers under the command of Kylo Ren attacked the village. Alerted by BB-8 of their arrival, Dameron and the droid attempted to flee in their X-wing starfighter, but a pair of stormtroopers disabled the engines. Left with no alternative, Dameron gave the map to BB-8 and ordered the astromech to flee, while he remained behind to cover BB-8's escape. After watching the confrontation between Tekka and Ren, Dameron tried to take a shot at Ren, but he caught the blaster bolt in mid-air with the Force. Dameron was subsequently taken prisoner, while the rest of the villagers were slaughtered.
Taken aboard the Resurgent-class Battlecruiser Finalizer, Dameron resisted interrogation until Ren assaulted him with the Force, which eventually caused Dameron to crack about BB-8. Left alone by Ren, a renegade stormtrooper named FN-2187 helped Dameron escape. Together, they stole a TIE/sf space superiority fighter from a hangar bay, with FN-2187 manning the guns while Dameron piloted the fighter, and managed to disable the Finalizer’s turbolasers. Upon a disagreement—while FN-2187 wanted to flee the system, Dameron attempted to return to Jakku to retrieve BB-8 and the map—, their TIE fighter was disabled on General Armitage Hux's orders, the blast knocking Dameron out.
Whereas FN-2187, dubbed "Finn" by Dameron, ejected from the TIE shortly before it crashed on the planet's surface, Dameron recovered consciousness just in time to set the craft down more or less intact, and got out of the cockpit before something blew, leaving his jacket behind. Suffering from a concussion and a brief period of memory loss, he moved away from the crash. When he awoke, Dameron found himself alone and set off to find a ship and contact the Resistance, sure that he would be able to reunite with BB-8 with their help. During his journey, he encountered a Jakku native, the Blarina Naka Iit, whom Dameron managed to impress with both his sheer audacity and his piloting skills, such that he agreed to get Dameron to a ship in Blowback Town that would get him back to the Resistance. Dameron hitched a ride from Iit's friend, Ohn Gos to Yavin 4, where he left Black One prior to his mission to Jakku.
- "Go straight at 'em. Don't let these thugs scare you."
- ―Poe Dameron
Following the destruction of the Hosnian system, Dameron was deployed to lead a squadron of Resistance X-Wing fighters to fend off the First Order garrison attacking Maz Kanata's castle on Takodana. Dameron, piloting the Black One, swooped in dangerously low, attacking at treetop level, and took out parked TIE fighters, clusters of troopers, and support vehicles, firing repeatedly without wasting a single energy burst. The battle ended prematurely when Ren ordered his troops to retreat once he had captured Rey, a scavenger who had seen the map to Skywalker's location.
After returning to the D'Qar base, Dameron was reunited with BB-8 and Finn, who offered to return his jacket. Dameron declined, stating that his jacket suited Finn better. Subsequently, the ex-trooper requested Dameron's help in rescuing his friend Rey, by asking Dameron to take him to meet General Organa. Together, they made it to the conference room, where Finn disclosed what he knew of the First Order superweapon, Starkiller Base. After a reconnaissance flight by Wexley, the Resistance command made the plans to attack the base, assigning Dameron to lead the starfighter attack to the weapon's thermal oscillator.
- "All right, let's light it up!"
- ―Poe Dameron during the attack run on Starkiller Base
Upon receiving notice that the Millennium Falcon had landed on Starkiller Base, Organa sent order to deploy the X-wings. Dameron, in the lead, was aboard Black One and assisted by BB-8 once again, and departed D'Qar along his fellow pilots. Once Finn, Han Solo and Chewbacca were able to bring down the thermal oscillator's shields, Dameron was given full authorization to attack, and his team emerged from lightspeed. Ordering his fellow pilots to hit the target as many times as possible with as many runs as they could get, he himself let loose his X-wing's full complement of armament, but they barely damaged the building before a host of TIE fighters moved to engage the X-wing squadrons, as well as deployed seekers.
The ground team, however, planted pyro denton explosives to create an opening in the containment center, which Dameron took advantage of—with the assistance of his squadron, he flew through the opening and caused heavy damage inside, starting a chain reaction that would ultimately destroy Starkiller Base. Dameron escaped the explosion, heading for the outer atmosphere, yet at the order of General Organa to retreat immediately, Dameron refused to leave their friends in the Falcon behind. His fellow pilots concurred, and Dameron gave the order to find them.
After spotting the Falcon leaving Starkiller Base, Dameron called in his teams in relief and reached D'Qar shortly before the old YT-1300 light freighter did. Like BB-8 and many others, he waited for the Falcon as it landed on their base. There, sometime later, Dameron was present for a strategic gathering concerning the map to Skywalker's location, when Skywalker's astromech, R2-D2, awoke and revealed his possession of an incomplete galactic map from the Imperial archives, only completed with BB-8's fragment. In the ensuing celebration, Dameron met Rey, whom he bid farewell along with BB-8, Organa, C-3PO when she departed D'Qar aboard the Millennium Falcon to find Skywalker at the first Jedi Temple.
Personality and traits
- "Dameron's commitment is absolute. And he's our best pilot. He'll get what we need."
"I've never worried about Poe's commitment. My worry is for what that commitment may cost him."
- ―Caluan Ematt and Leia Organa
The son of a Rebel pilot and a Rebel commando, Dameron grew up on stories of Alliance campaigns, and while his mother taught him to fly and to love it, his father had taught him that when he committed to doing something, one committed to going all the way or not do it at all. Thanks to them, Dameron developed a strong sense of commitment and duty, but had trouble with the line between his commitment to the Resistance and the commitment to his comrades, willing to disobey a direct order from his superior, General Organa, to make sure that the Millennium Falcon safely left Starkiller Base before its imminent destruction.
Noted to be a "bad liar" by fellow comrades much to his indignation, Dameron had a headstrong nature which often led him into trouble, and a proud countenance that, those who did not know him, could mistake for arrogance. Confident in his skills and in his mission, he sometimes displayed an impatience that arose only from a desire to fulfill the task at hand. While daring with an appetite for risk as well as somewhat foolish, Leia Organa once noted that his need to do what was right and "maybe find a little adventure along the way", coupled with his outstanding piloting skills, reminded her of her brother, Luke Skywalker.
Though brash, Dameron had great charisma and limitless respect for the founders of the Resistance, particularly Leia Organa. Dameron's fellow pilots joked that if the Resistance had recruitment posters, Dameron would triple their numbers with his dashing bravado alone. Unlike many starfighter pilots, Dameron delighted in atmospheric missions, soaring through skies and skimming the surfaces of planets.
Skills and abilities
- "That's one helluva pilot!"
- ―Finn, on Poe Dameron
Confident in his piloting skills, Dameron flew starships since he was six years old, and by the age of 32, he had became the most daring and skilled of the Resistance pilots. He was a decorated X-wing pilot who could fly anything, managing to familiarize himself with a TIE/sf fighter's controls in a matter of minutes and under pressure, as well as with 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. In addition to his piloting skills, Dameron was a capable infantryman.
L'ampar once observed that Dameron trusted his subordinates to figure things out on their own rather than give them bad orders, and saw it as the mark of a good commander.
A speaker of Galactic 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.
Behind the scenes
Poe Dameron was portrayed by actor Oscar Isaac in Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens, the LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens video game and the upcoming Star Wars: Episode VIII The Last Jedi. For the LEGO Star Wars: The Resistance Rises episode Poe to the Rescue, Poe Dameron is voiced by Lex Lang.
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. Isaac recounted that after he initially met Abrams, "[He] soon wrote back: 'Never mind. I've figured it out. You're in the whole movie now.' I was like, 'Holy shit! Alright, cool.' Let’s say that it was in that conversation that we began to see a way that being in the movie would be worth his time and the audience’s." On March 20, 2015, Isaac revealed that he will appear in Star Wars: Episode VIII The Last Jedi, as well. The film's novelization includes an additional sequence detailing Dameron's escape from the planet Jakku.
When asked on Ellen about there being "any romance between these characters" in The Force Awakens, Isaac replied "I think it's a very subtle romance that's happening, you know you have look very closely, you have to watch it a few times to see the little hints, but there was, at least I was playing romance," to which John Boyega interjected "I was." Isaac declined to say with which character he interpreted Poe as having romance with, though "it could be a droid". These comments, coupled with the way Isaac had Poe bite his lip while complimenting Finn, prompted speculation that Poe could be an LGBT character.
- Disney Infinity 3.0
- LEGO Star Wars Movie Short (2015 Episode 13: Poe Dameron vs. the First Order Snow Speeder)
- LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens
- LEGO Star Wars: The Resistance Rises – "Poe to the Rescue"
- Star Wars: Puzzle Droids
Notes and references
- Poe Dameron on Wikipedia