Star Wars: Oscar Isaac Shares How He Convinced J.J. Abrams Not to Kill Poe

For some actors, the opportunity to take on a role in the Star Wars universe would be a dream come true that they'd embrace by any means necessary, but Oscar Isaac requested a few tweaks to Poe Dameron before joining The Force Awakens. His biggest request of filmmaker J.J. Abrams was that his character stay alive past the opening act, as he'd become all too familiar with that role in a movie.

"I said that I wasn't sure because I had already done that role in other movies where you kind of set it up for the main people and then you die spectacularly," Isaac recalled to Esquire about his hesitation over taking the role. "What's funny is that [producer] Kathleen Kennedy was in the room and she was like, 'Yeah, you did that for us in Bourne!'"

Kennedy's comments were in regards to the 2012 film The Bourne Legacy in which his character is blown up moments after Jeremy Renner's character walks out of a cabin safely. Similarly, Isaac's character in Drive is killed and jumpstarts the narrative of the rest of the film.

In The Force Awakens, Poe helps Finn (John Boyega) escape the First Order and their ship crashes on Jakku. Shortly after Finn comes to, their TIE blows up, seemingly killing Dameron. This was meant to be the character's demise, were it not for Isaac's requests.

Another reason Dameron became so prominent later on in the film was that Harrison Ford was injured while filming Force Awakens, preventing him from being able to film all of the scenes required of him. Han Solo's absence left some room for Dameron to thrive and become a major player of the Resistance.

While there are quite a few similarities between Han Solo and Poe Dameron, Isaac assured audiences that his character won't merely become a replacement for the smuggler in The Last Jedi.

"Well, there could be, but I think what [The Last Jedi writer/director] Rian [Johnson] did was make it less about filling a slot and more about what the story needs," Isaac shared about the risk of Dameron becoming a surrogate Solo. "The fact is now that the Resistance has been whittled to just a handful of people, they're running for their lives, and Leia is grooming me — him — to be a leader of the Resistance, as opposed to a dashing, rogue hero."

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Fans will see more of Dameron when The Last Jedi hits theaters on December 15.

[H/T Esquire]