Oscar Isaac's Poe Dameron is one of the coolest new heroes in the entire Star Wars galaxy. With the swagger of the late Han Solo and the charm of Lando Calrissian, it takes a lot for any character to one-up him. Alas, I sat down with Isaac and Laura Dern at the press junket for Star Wars: The Last Jedi this past weekend weekend, the man behind Poe explained that Dern's Vice Admiral Holdo presents the hotshot pilot with a massive challenge in the latest Star Wars movie, and has a significant impact on him. Isaac told us,
I think that's the big change. You see Poe dealing with somebody who's got his number, understands how he operates, is at least five steps ahead of him at all times. And there's a lesson to be learned. One of the fascinating things is the impact that this character has on Poe and how it shapes him. I think for this movie and also for the next one going on, it's I would say probably when Poe's on his deathbed looking back thinking this was the pivotal moment of his life, is meeting this person and the interaction that he had.
Even during his encounter with Kylo Ren in Star Wars: The Force Awakens Poe Dameron always seems to have a certain amount of control. However, according to Oscar Isaac, Laura Dern's Vice Admiral Holdo (the anti-General Leia, in a sense) will be one of the few characters who can out think and outplay him - which will put him in vulnerable positions that he's not used to experiencing. As a result, Holdo may have one of the biggest impacts on Poe (both good and bad) during the events of The Last Jedi, and that could spill over into the events of Episode IX as well.
It's clear that Oscar Isaac has affection for Laura Dern and her character in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, even if there's a bit of antagonism between them on the screen. In fact, Isaac continued during our interview heaping praise upon the actress for her ability to bring Vice Admiral Holdo to life with such complexity. Said Isaac,
The way that Laura plays this character is so incredible because it's so complex. There's so many layers to it, and what you think is happening is not what you think. It's definitely not what Poe thinks is happening. And so that's a really fun thing.
From there, Laura Dern opened up and likened Poe's journey through the new saga to that of other fan-favorite Star Wars heroes, in the sense that the franchise is all about the path to becoming a hero. In the same way that Rey is on her own path to self-actualization, so too is the Resistance's best pilot. Dern explained,
George Lucas set out to tell a hero's journey. That's what he always spoke about loving in mythology, and I feel like Poe is like Rey. They're such extraordinary characters in that this is not a legacy that gives you your heroes. This gives you human beings on that journey and searching toward self and heroism and faith and nobility and all of those things. So I love the path, the journey. It's why this is such a perfect film and you go, 'Oh, this everything I want.' You want to stay on the journey because we want to see where you're going to go.
Check out a clip from my interview with Laura Dern and Oscar Isaac below to see what they had to say about Vice Admiral Holdo's impact on Poe Dameron in Star Wars: The Last Jedi!