Poe Dameron fans haven’t had a great few months. Not only did the character not have much to do in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (to Oscar Isaac’s obvious annoyance), but a line of dialogue retconned his past from heroic Resistance pilot to sometime shady drug smuggler. This was a particularly lazy bit of writing obviously intended to position Poe as the rogueish Han Solo of the Sequel Trilogy. But, as fans of the character are aware, Poe is a far more upstanding figure than Han was.
We know this because Poe’s past has been outlined quite comprehensively in comics by Charles Soule and novels by Rebecca Roanhorse. In these, we learn that he’s the son of Rebellion heroes Kes Dameron and Shara Bey, who both fought in the Battle of Endor. He became a pilot at a young age, joined the New Republic Defense Fleet and then the Resistance soon after it was founded. So, when did he find the time to have a shady, drug smuggling past?
Well, a new book called Star Wars: Poe Dameron: Free Fall intends to answer that question, show his past relationship with Zori Bliss and shed some light on Poe’s time living disreputably. Written by Alex Segura, the official synopsis states that:
“It’s been a few years since Poe’s mother, who was a pilot for the Rebellion, passed away, and Poe and his father have had more and more trouble connecting. Not sure what he wants to do with his life, teenage Poe runs away from home to find adventure, and to figure out what kind of man he is meant to be.”
I suspect that this book might be a bit of a rush-job intended to quickly plaster over the nonsensical plot of The Rise of Skywalker. The film has received a lot of criticism for its half-baked story full of unexplained elements like the resurrection of Palpatine or the appearance of a gigantic secret fleet of Star Destroyers (answers to which are also being served up in tie-in novels). But Segura is adamant that this is a story that needs to be told, saying:
“It adds texture and weight to these unexplored parts of Poe’s backstory, while also letting rip with an action-packed, thrilling adventure that’s firmly entrenched in the Star Wars mythos.”
Star Wars: Poe Dameron Free Fall releases Tuesday, August 4th.