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For me, one of the most underrated aspects of Star Wars: The Last Jedi was the arc of Poe Dameron. Poe went through a lot of character development in that film. His journey in The Last Jedi led him to a stage where he found out what it truly means to be a leader and how The Resistance needs him to take responsibility for his actions. His failures in The Last Jedi taught him a lot about duty and leadership.
Leia desperately needed this to happen because she knows that, in order to defeat The First Order, a new generation of heroes must emerge. Still, crafting this great character arc for Poe was not straightforward for Rian Johnson. Indeed, in a recent Q&A at Collider’s IMAX screening of The Last Jedi, Rian Johnson revealed more about what it was like to write Poe’s story in the film.
Rian Johnson’s Comments About Poe Dameron
This is what he specifically had to say on the matter of Poe Dameron:
“Hardest to write for, honestly, just in terms of figuring out what their story was going to be was Poe […] Luke was obviously the hardest overall, but besides Luke, Poe was the trickiest […] Poe is such a clear-cut, simple character in [Episode VII] because he’s Oscar Isaac and he’s the most charismatic man in the universe and he’s just rad. Honestly, I actually wrote, in the very first draft I wrote of it, Poe went with Finn on the mission to Canto Bight, and the two of them were going to be together on the mission. And it didn’t work at all because those two get along so well and it’d be really boring”.
“So when I split them apart, I thought ‘Oh, okay, so Poe can have his own deal … What is Poe’s deal?’ And then I came up with the thing of, ‘Okay, he’s a hero, but he has to become a leader. Leia needs him to mature beyond brash heroics into someone who can take on the mantle of leading this Resistance’”.
I am glad Rian Johnson decided not to have Poe join Finn on Canto Bight. For me, the dynamic between Rose and Finn was compelling partly because of how they clashed on how different they viewed Canto Bight. I doubt that any confrontation would have existed between Poe and Finn. In turn, I doubt that Finn would have gone through the journey he went through to get to stage where he was fully committed to The Resistance.
Thank you for reading this article! You can find my other articles here on Soapbox as well as my reviews which you can also find at my blog theturnertalks.com.