Presenting OTP Tuesday! Each Tuesday I will introduce you to a new One True Pairing. Tune in each week to find out which fictional couple you need to agonize/squee over next. This week is something new – JediStormPilot!
Who Are JediStormPilot?
JediStormPilot is a first for this column – an OT3. Rather than the One True Pairing we’re used to, an OT3 is a throuple ship, with three people involved. JediStormPilot consists of Rey, Finn, and Poe Dameron from the Star Wars sequel trilogy. The name JediStormPilot refers to each character’s overall role: Jedi (Rey), Stormtrooper (Finn), and Pilot (Poe).
The protagonist of the sequel trilogy, Rey begins the series as a nobody. She’s a scavenger on the desert planet Jakku, eking out a miserable and lonely existence. As a child, Rey was left on Jakku by her parents, so even as a young adult, she waits for them to return and save her from this life. Unfortunately, they’re not coming. But adventure comes to Rey anyway, in the form of the droid BB-8 and the former stormtrooper Finn.
Rey is forced to flee Jakku and sets out to reunite BB-8 with his owner, Poe Dameron of the Resistance. She’s still adamant that she needs to return to Jakku and await her family, but is forced to face the truth. She also faces the truth that she is caught up in a grand, galactic war, with the power to save the galaxy and restore peace. Rey sets out to learn the ways of the Force from the Jedi Master Luke Skywalker. Sadly, Luke is not what she expected, and tries to frighten Rey away from the Force.
In the end, though, Luke sees Rey’s potential to save them all. Although Luke dies, Rey continues her training with his sister, General Leia Organa. As the war comes to a frightening climax, Rey comes face to face with a miserable truth: that she is the granddaughter of Emperor Palpatine, who has been diabolically scheming to return to power. Luckily, through sheer force of will and the power of friendship, Rey is able to defeat Palpatine and embarks on a new life in a peaceful galaxy.
Another main character in the sequel trilogy is Finn, formerly known as FN-2187. As a child, he was stolen from his family and brought into the ranks of the evil First Order. He was raised as a stormtrooper, obedient and servile, without even a name – just a number. Things change when FN-2187 refuses to kill for the First Order. Realizing that his life is in danger, he breaks out the captive Poe Dameron and flees.
After crash-landing on Jakku, Finn (named so by Poe) tries his best to run as far from the First Order as possible. However, BB-8 and Rey change his plans. Rey, who doesn’t know that Finn was once a stormtrooper, makes him feel like a real person. So when she is kidnapped by the First Order, he mounts a daring rescue that has a lucky side-effect of destroying the First Order’s superweapon. Although Finn ends up in a coma after his injuries, his heroism inspires the Resistance.
As the Resistance tries to recover from near elimination, Finn takes on a bigger role. Although at first he still wanted to run away, his experience and heroic nature put him at the forefront of the fight against tyranny. He is eventually named co-leader of the Resistance with Poe, and the two lead one final attack against the First Order. It’s now or never; the First Order is prepared to destroy a significant part of the galaxy. Luckily, our heroes succeed, and they can finally live in a galaxy without the First Order.
The final member of the so-called “sequel trio” is Poe Dameron, Resistance Commander and leader of Black Squadron. Poe is the hottest pilot in the galaxy (pun intended) and a rising figure in the Resistance. He is sent on a secret mission by Leia, which leads to his capture by the First Order. Thanks to Finn breaking him out, Poe escapes, though Finn assumes he was killed in the crash on Jakku. Luckily, Poe survives and makes his way back to the Resistance, and his piloting skills help them defeat the First Order superweapon.
Poe’s brash nature ends up getting him in trouble when he refuses to listen to orders and gets a whole squadron killed. Leia demotes him, and when she is incapacitated, he is cut out of the planning process by her successor, Admiral Holdo. Desperate and utterly convinced that he is right, Poe stages a mutiny. At the last minute, Leia returns and subdues him, but Poe learned a much needed lesson on leadership. This comes in handy after Leia’s death, as she has appointed him the new General of the Resistance.
Overwhelmed, Poe is unsure of how to lead. He appoints Finn as his co-general, knowing that they are stronger together. When the First Order threatens to destroy the galaxy, Poe is put to the test in a big way. But he doesn’t falter, and leads the Resistance in one final battle. Although things look rough, Poe’s optimism pays off when they are able to defeat the First Order fleet.
Why Is JediStormPilot OT3?
I have never shipped an OT3 before. While I’ve read fic with polyamorous ships, I’ve never searched it out. It’s been more of a side-effect of the fandoms I enjoy (particularly Star Wars) and the authors whose work I read even if it isn’t exactly my cup of tea. But JediStormPilot is so compelling, I can’t put it to the side.
Of course, I’ve been a big Stormpilot fan since day 1. And I love the dynamic between Rey and Finn, though my loyalty to Stormpilot stopped me from fully shipping them. But after The Rise of Skywalker, I’m all in for JediStormPilot. The film did an amazing job developing the relationships in the trio and giving each dynamic its time to shine.
There’s been a lot of discussion about Rey, Finn, and Poe as the “sequel trio.” The idea of a main character trio is not unique to Star Wars; Harry Potter fandom is famous for the “golden trio” of Harry, Ron, and Hermione. But the Star Wars fandom has long been interested in the trios. The original trilogy had the main characters of Luke, Leia, and Han, and their relationships and adventures truly shaped the series. Prequel fans argue that there is a similar dynamic between Anakin, Obi-Wan, and Padmé (though for me, this was never as compelling as the original trio).
When The Force Awakens came out, fans latched on to Rey, Finn, and Poe as the new “trio.” The movie set about creating fantastic deep relationships. Finn and Poe, with their adventurous escape from captivity and Poe giving Finn his first name, were a lot of fun to watch. And the dynamic between Rey and Finn – both lonely and reaching out – was equally compelling. But the whole trio never interacted – in fact, Poe and Rey do not even meet until the final moments of The Last Jedi. So we had great relationship dynamics, but not as a whole.
The Rise of Skywalker finally addresses the issue (better late than never). Finally, we get to see how the group functions as a whole. Rey and Poe get to develop their own relationship, which is unique from the relationships each has with Finn. And the three of them interact so well. There’s bickering and banter. There’s comfort and belonging. On a grand adventure, we get to see how the trio does their thing. And while Rey goes awol for a bit, in the end, she returns home to the people who matter so much to her.
Finn Has Two Hands
From the first time I watched The Force Awakens, I was sold on Stormpilot. The dynamic between Finn and Poe in the first movie was top notch. From the moment when Poe gives Finn a name, treating him like a human being rather than a stormtrooper, to their reunion on D’Qar, which is charged with some sort of connection, it’s clear that there is something interesting going on between the two. While the Stormpilot dynamic slows down a bit in The Last Jedi, as Finn goes off with Rose Tico, there’s still something between them.
Conversely, there’s the FinnRey dynamic. This is, perhaps, more thoroughly developed (if less instantly compelling). Finn and Rey are both broken, lost characters looking for a better future. And for Finn, Rey gives him the chance to be something better than what he was. Their dynamic is consistent, with the two spending the most time together. Even in The Last Jedi, when they are separated, they are both constantly fighting to return to the other, and their eventual reunion is moving. But for me, FinnRey fell to the side because of my Stormpilot enthusiasm.
The Rise of Skywalker reminded me that Finn can have a relationship with Poe and Rey. Both relationships are important to him, and he doesn’t need to choose. Throughout the film, we see how both dynamics are fleshed out and exist alongside each other. Sure, there’s some jealousy on Poe’s part, but it’s mostly for laughs. But we also get a good look at how Poe and Rey would work together. It’s less smooth and easy than either Stormpilot or FinnRey, but their dynamic is interesting and fun, and a good addition to each of their relationships with Finn. We can have JediStormPilot – we can have it all.
What’s Next for JediStormPilot?
For the moment, there is nothing on the horizon for JediStormPilot. The Rise of Skywalker was the culmination of over forty years and three trilogies. To what extent the film was successful in wrapping up these epic stories is debatable, but it is an end. Finally, the Sith are defeated. The Resistance stops the First (and Final) Order, restoring peace to the galaxy. There’s a lot of rebuilding ahead, but for the moment, they have won. But what comes next?
We can speculate a lot on what would be next. Rey going off to Tatooine is not likely the end of her story, as some fans have argued. She is making a pilgrimage, not becoming a hermit. It’s likely that, having taken on the mantle of Skywalker, Rey will begin a new Jedi Order and train new Force-sensitives. Given that Finn is revealed to be Force-sensitive in the film, he will probably be one of her first students. A future where Rey and Finn are leading a new era of Jedi alongside Resistance leader Poe is not so farfetched. Together, JediStormPilot can help usher in a better, freer, happier era for the galaxy.
But that is all speculation. We’re only just past the release of The Rise of Skywalker, so it might be some time before we get any supplemental material. And it’s likely that such material will take the form of books or comics. Given the harassment that the actors have faced for taking part in the sequel trilogy, it’s understandable that they’re not eager to continue working with Disney on further filmed adventures (such as a Disney+ show). We may never know what comes next for JediStormPilot. But we can hope, and dream, that they find peace together in their new, better galaxy.
Is JediStormPilot canon?
For all that it’s a massive franchise with eleven movies, Star Wars isn’t big on canon romance. In all the films so far, we’ve had Han/Leia in the original trilogy and Anidala in the prequels actually become a full thing. Han and Leia were great, but things obviously went awry between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens. And Anidala, well, that went galactically wrong. Then there was the romance between Han and Qi’Ra in Solo, but that fizzled out almost before it had a chance to even start. The only hints of romance in the sequel trilogy were two random kisses that led to nothing further (but death).
Clearly, things haven’t always been great for canon romances in the galaxy far far away. So, maybe it’s a good thing that JediStormPilot is not confirmed canon. Sure, we were robbed of an interracial and/or queer relationship, let alone polyamorous representation. But who knows how badly it may have gone? Some things are better left to the fans, and JediStormPilot might be one of those things. As it is, we have endless speculation and fanworks to create to celebrate our OT3. Lack of confirmed canon just gives us more freedom to play around and create something beautiful – and JediStormPilot deserves that beauty.