Star Wars: Oscar Isaac on Why Poe Is Vital to the Resistance in 'The Last Jedi'

Oscar Isaac returns as high-flying Resistance pilot Poe Dameron in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, working under Vice Admiral Amilyn Holdo (Laura Dern) and continuing the good fight against the nefarious First Order.

Poe was almost among the casualties in The Force Awakens — Isaac convinced director J.J. Abrams to let the headstrong X-wing pilot live past the first act — and Isaac explained to ComicBook.com why Poe Dameron is such a vital part of General Leia Organa's (Carrie Fisher) Resistance.

“There’s not many of them left. The Resistance is dwindling, and he’s absolutely someone that is not conflicted at all about his allegiance to the Resistance up until he gets himself into this situation where the one thing that he knows how to do is taken away from him, which is to attack, and he has to deal with this new strategy," Isaac reveals.

Poe will butt heads with interim Resistance leader Holdo, whose presence creates a source of friction and conflict between the Vice Admiral and her subordinate.

"That’s when the whole thing starts to really crumble for him, because he doesn’t know what to do in the situation, he knows he wants to fight, he knows we need to survive, but also he needs to be a good soldier and fall into line and obey," Isaac says. "And so there’s a lot of conflict there.”

Dern and Isaac's characters may clash on screen, but Dern is a fan of Dameron's trajectory and growth.

"We feel his being a leader. He’s on a hero’s journey," Dern says of the captain. "That’s what’s so beautiful, we fell in love with that character the last time, so I think that’s exciting to watch.”

As Jedi-in-training Rey (Daisy Ridley) learns the ways of the Force under the tutelage of one Skywalker sibling, Isaac previously explained Poe has a Skywalker mentor of his own in Leia.

“Poe’s arc is one of evolving from a heroic soldier to a seasoned leader, to see beyond the single-mindedness of winning the battle to the larger picture of the future of the galaxy,” Isaac told Entertainment Weekly. “I think Leia knows she won’t be around forever and she, with tough love, wants to push Poe to be more than the badass pilot, to temper his heroic impulses with wisdom and clarity.”

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He's not only a sort of surrogate son for Leia — whose blood son is helping lead the First Order as the villainous Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) — but according to Isaac, "She sees in him the potential for a truly great leader of the Resistance and beyond.”

Starring Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Benicio del Toro, Laura Dern, Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill, Star Wars: The Last Jedi opens December 15.

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