Oscar Isaac Says Fans Will Be ‘Surprised’ With Poe’s Backstory In Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

Oscar Isaac as Poe Dameron in Star Wars: The Last Jedi

The original Star Wars trilogy had Luke Skywalker, Leia Organa and Han Solo. The prequel trilogy had Anakin Skywalker, Padme Amidala and Obi-Wan Kenobi. And for the sequel trilogy that launched with The Force Awakens, our core trio of protagonists has been Rey, Finn and Poe Dameron.

Of those three, we’ve arguably spent the least amount of time with Poe, but not only will he back for The Rise of Skywalker this winter, we’ll also be learning about his past, and Oscar Isaac thinks audiences will be surprised by what comes to light about the hotshot Resistance pilot. In the actor’s words:

Particularly with Poe, I think people will be surprised to see that he has a bit more of an ambiguous past. He’s not just kind of that squeaky-clean flyboy.

Although Poe Dameron did snag the spotlight in the Marvel comic book series centered on him that ran from April 2016 to September 2018, those stories followed him from shortly before The Force Awakens to right after The Last Jedi’s conclusion. All we really know about Poe’s younger years (thanks to the aforementioned comic book and the Shattered Empire miniseries) is that he was born two years before The Battle of Endor, is the son of two Rebel operatives and has loved flying nearly his whole life.

With Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker wrapping up the Skywalker Saga, this is the last big screen opportunity to shed light on Poe Dameron’s life before he became one of the Resistance’s most well-known figures, as it’ll probably be the last time we see him and his cohorts in this setting. I have no doubt that in the years to come there will be other Star Wars novels and comic books that flesh out Poe’s backstory further, but it’s still important that folks who only pay attention to the Star Wars movies get a better sense of this character.

Naturally though, Oscar Isaac didn’t elaborate on what we’ll learn about Poe Dameron in The Rise of Skywalker while speaking with ET Canada. Even though it’s only four months until the movie comes out, in traditional Lucasfilm fashion, the company is keeping a lot of plot points shrouded in secrecy. Though that’s not to say there hasn’t been plenty of teases of what’s to come.

Just this past weekend at D23, a new preview for The Rise of Skywalker came out, with the most intriguing bit of footage revealing Rey wielding a hinged, red double-bladed lightsaber and looking like she’d switched her Force allegiance to the Dark Side. It wasn’t much, but considering that the first Rise of Skywalker trailer came out in April, it was nice to finally have something new to chew on.

If the marketing for The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi is any indication, we should get the next full trailer for The Rise of Skywalker in October. Not only will it provide a little more context for what we can expect, but perhaps we’ll be treated to some cool footage of Poe Dameron in action.

While one would imagine there will be at least one scene where Poe's flying around in an X-wing, unlike his previous two theatrical appearances, The Rise of Skywalker will finally see him journeying with both Rey and Finn. Judging from the footage released so far, the trio and the allies accompanying them will get into plenty of trouble on the ground.

As things stand now, all we know about The Rise of Skywalker’s plot is that it’s set one year after The Last Jedi and will bring an end not just to the conflict between The Resistance and The First Order, but also the ancient conflict between the Jedi and Sith. More Star Wars movies will obviously follow next decade, but this will mark the definitive conclusion of the epic narrative that began when A New Hope came out in 1977.

Along with Oscar Isaac back as Poe Dameron, and Daisy Ridley and John Boyega reprising Rey and Finn, respectively, The Rise of Skywalker will feature plenty of other familiar faces, including Adam Driver’s Kylo Ren, Kelly Marie Tran’s Rose Tico, Anthony Daniels’ C-3PO and Mark Hamill’s Luke Skywalker, to name a few. This movie will also finally mark the big screen return of Billy Dee Williams as Lando Calrissian and Ian McDiarmid as Emperor Palpatine, and unused footage from The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi was utilized so that Leia Organa will be present too.

As for new faces, The Rise of Skywalker will introduce Naomi Ackie’s Jannah, an ally of the Resistance; Richard E. Grant’s Allegiant General Pryde, a high-ranking Resistance officer; and Keri Russell’s Zorro Bliss, a “criminal and old friend of Poe’s. Dominic Monaghan has also been cast in an undisclosed role, and we’ll finally be officially meeting the Knights of Ren.

When we last left off with the Resistance at the end of The Last Jedi, they had been nearly wiped out by The First Order and made one last stand on Crait. Thanks to a well-needed distraction on Luke Skywalker’s part and Rey and Chewbacca arriving to rescue the survivors, the Resistance lives on, although they’re severely lacking in resources during The Rise of Skywalker and have had to adjust their military tactics.

If you’re looking for background on what Poe and the other protagonists of the Star Wars sequel trilogy have been up to in the year between The Last Jedi and The Rise of Skywalker, check out the novel Resistance Reborn, which is being published in November and explores the efforts to rebuild the Resistance. Marvel is also publishing a comic book miniseries called Star Wars: Allegiance in October, which will follow Leia Organa reaching out to the Mon Calamari (who were key allies in the Rebellion) for assistance while she’s on the run.

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker opens in theaters on December 20, so stay tuned to CinemaBlend for continuing coverage. Don’t forget to also check out our 2019 release schedule to find out what other movies are coming out before the year is over.

Adam Holmes
Senior Content Producer

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore, Adam is a Senior Content Producer at CinemaBlend. He started working for the site back in late 2014 writing exclusively comic book movie and TV-related articles, and along with branching out into other genres, he also made the jump to editing. Along with his writing and editing duties, as well as interviewing creative talent from time to time, he also oversees the assignment of movie-related features. He graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in Journalism, and he’s been sourced numerous times on Wikipedia. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.