Welcome to Bae Watch Wednesday, where I tell you all about the fictional characters you ought to be crushing on. This week, I initially had a different bae in mind, but after watching the trailer for The Last Jedi, I’m in a Star Wars kind of mood. So this week’s bae is the hottest pilot in a galaxy far, far away: Poe Dameron.
Who is Poe?
Poe Dameron is the son of two heroes of the Rebellion, Shara Bey, and Kes Dameron. Shara had been an ace pilot, and she taught Poe how to fly an A-Wing starting at age six. He takes after his mother and is a natural in the cockpit. He takes after his father in his loyalty and unwavering dedication to the cause.
Poe is the best pilot in the Resistance. At least, that’s the description of him we get from Kylo Ren. Ren has Poe as a prisoner due to Poe’s mission to find Luke Skywalker. He had been given a map to Skywalker but had stashed the map with his droid BB-8 for safekeeping. Ren had also been looking for the map and tortured Poe to get the information. However, Poe resists all attempts until Ren uses the Force to (sorry) force him to answer.
What we see of Poe indicates great skill and a hefty dose of confidence. He is not only a great pilot but a leader. He is a Commander in Resistance ranks and leads a large group of pilots. Poe is known as Black Leader for his signature black X-Wing, and he leads Black Squadron, among others. He is a particular favorite of General Leia Organa, who relies on him for his skill and loyalty.
The Force Awakens
Poe first appears (in film, anyway) in The Force Awakens. He has traveled to Jakku to gain information about Luke Skywalker’s whereabouts. He can send a map away with his trusty droid BB-8 before being captured by the First Order and tortured by Kylo Ren. Ren remarks that he is impressed by Poe’s ability to resist torture. It is only once Ren personally intervenes that Poe is defeated.
But he is by no means broken. He is rescued by FN-2187, who brings him to a TIE-Fighter so that they can escape together. Poe, despite his recent torture, is cocky and assures FN-2187 that he “can fly anything.” And he’s not wrong. Though there are some hiccups, they escape the Finalizer and make a break for it.
Poe bestows upon his rescuer the name Finn, which pleases Finn greatly. Even in the midst of a battle, he is focused on the people around him, making connections and being a good person. Unfortunately, when Poe attempts to head back to Jakku to rescue BB-8, they are shot down. Finn survives the crash, but when the TIE explodes, and he finds no sign of Poe but his jacket, he assumes the worst.
“One Hell of a Pilot!”
Luckily for us, Poe does not die on Jakku. He escapes and makes his way back to the Resistance. In the meantime, Finn finds BB-8 with the plucky scavenger Rey. The two of them, through a series of improbable scrapes, manage to get BB-8 off Jakku and on their way to the Resistance.
Finn, who has linked up with Han Solo and Chewbacca, is on Takodana with Maz Kanata when the First Order shows up. They are surrounded when suddenly a squadron of X-Wings show up and handily blow away their attackers. Finn remarks that that’s “one hell of a pilot!” And it is indeed one hell of a pilot — one Poe Dameron, to be precise.
Poe meets up with Finn on D’Qar, where the Resistance is based. Their reunion is surprisingly enthusiastic, considering they knew each other for a handful of hours. Poe thanks Finn for completing his mission and getting BB-8 to the Resistance. Of course, their new mission looms over their reunion. Kylo Ren has captured rey, and they have a superweapon preparing to destroy D’Qar.
While Finn heads off with Solo and Chewbacca to rescue Rey, Poe leads the Resistance’s forces in the sky. Poe leads his squadron on an aerial attack. When Finn and co damage the oscillator port, Poe flies into the belly of the superweapon and destroys it.
Poe survives the assault. We do not know yet what will happen to him in The Last Jedi, but we have hints. The trailer shows him in his fighter with BB-8, so it is likely he will perform more daring feats. He also gives an inspiring speech. It is clear that Poe Dameron has lost none of his determination.
Why is Poe Dameron Bae?
First of all, Poe Dameron is hot. Someone send Oscar Isaac’s mom a thank-you card because she has done the galaxy a huge service. Look at this man!
Poe is incredibly charming, as well. He has all the cockiness of a pilot who knows he is the best. And while that may be a turn-off for some, you can’t deny that his skill backs up his ego. His reputation precedes him. Even Kylo Ren is impressed by Poe’s strong will. Poe is sarcastic and snarky when he wants to be, but he gets real serious real quick.
Poe’s loyalty to the Resistance is remarkable. He looks up to Leia with a lot of respect. He’s always willing to do what’s necessary for the good of the galaxy, even if it means putting himself at risk. Poe is also very friendly. Even in the midst of an escape attempt, he makes pleasant conversation with the Stormtrooper who has saved him. He has a ready smile that makes anyone feel special.
Poe’s relationship with BB-8 is too cute for words. Poe is like BB’s dad, always watching out for him. BB-8 is a super cute little kid of a droid. Yes, he’s a combat droid who has been in many battles with Poe. But still… the way he acts is the attitude of a small child.
This is especially clear on Jakku when BB thinks Poe has left. He is sad and lonely and scared. When Rey takes him in, they have a connection as people who are, deep down, just small children looking for their parents.
Poe’s dedication to BB-8 is shown in the fact that, when he is rescued from the Finalizer, he turns back to Jakku rather than seeking freedom. He won’t leave BB behind. Some of this might be because BB-8 has the map, but it’s clear that Poe cares about BB himself too.
When BB-8 and Poe are reunited on D’Qar, BB tells Poe about how Finn saved him from Jakku. BB runs off to his dad first thing so that he can tell him all about the adventures BB had. Their interactions are too cute, and I can’t wait for more in The Last Jedi.
BB-8 isn’t the only important person in Poe’s life. His interactions with Finn have created a dedicated following of shippers. The ship name, StormPilot, reflects who they are. But their interactions reflect who they might be, together.
First off the bat is the fact that Poe names Finn. Finn has never had a name before, or at least none that he remembers. The First Order designated him FN-2187, and that’s the only name he’s ever known. Poe dubs him Finn — and this is a critical moment. At this moment, Finn becomes a real person. This is thanks to Poe and his genuinely good nature. He sees a person, not a trooper.
Their interactions are charged with pure chemistry. When they get into a firefight on the TIE, their banter shows that Poe is comfortable with Finn. After the crash on Jakku, Finn thinks Poe is dead and takes his jacket. This leads to an iconic moment:
There’s also a lot of respect between the two. Finn recognizes that Poe is a star pilot. Even when he doesn’t know it’s Poe in the cockpit, he admires the skill he sees. Poe, for his part, admires Finn for his rejection of what he was taught. Finn has recognized the evil of the First Order and breaks away from it, something that was incredibly empowering. Poe acknowledges what Finn has done. He acknowledges Finn as a person and an important one at that.
What’s Not To Love?
Poe Dameron has dedicated his life to eradicating evil in the galaxy. When the Republic wasn’t taking a strong enough stance against the First Order, he rebels. He is truly his parents’ child. The cause is the most important thing, and he will do anything to see it through.
That’s not to say that Poe is single-minded or excessively obedient. He is a strong person with a strong personality. He recognizes that people are as important as the cause — if not for the people, there would be no cause. Poe is fighting for them — for the nameless citizens of the galaxy whose lives will be bettered if he succeeds. But he is also fighting for his friends. He fights for General Organa, for BB-8, for Finn.
Poe Dameron is charming, cocky, skilled, friendly, loyal, and a genuinely good person. He’s unfairly attractive. He loves his droid and his newfound best friend, Finn. He is going to save the galaxy, not because he wants fame or glory, but because it’s the right thing to do.