Last week, Marvel dropped the news of another ongoing Star Wars comic series starring hotshot X-Wing pilot Poe Dameron, who charmed the entire world in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Picking up just before the film, but presumably after the events of Greg Rucka’s junior novel, Before the Awakening (which describes how Poe comes to join the Resistance at the request of General Leia Organa herself), the series will give fans a better look at Poe’s personality and what led him to Lor San Tekka’s village at the beginning of the new trilogy.
Alongside his short story in Before the Awakening, fans already know exactly where Poe comes from, as the son of A-Wing Shara Bey and her husband, soldier Kes Dameron, whose stories were told in Greg Rucka’s Shattered Empire comic miniseries. With all of the groundwork covered, writer Charles Soule (Star Wars: Lando) and artist Phil Noto (Star Wars: Chewbacca) have quite a challenge ahead of them.
What better way to expand Poe’s story than to tell the story of the people who surround him? While the handsome pilot will lead the series, his fellow pilots who dashed in to save the film’s heroes from certain doom. Here’s a rundown of who they are, and why they should be included:
Jess “Testor” Pava
While she had little more than two lines in the movie, Jess Pava – nicknamed “Testor” became a smash-hit with the fandom before she was ever seen on the big screen. In Weapon of a Jedi, Jess is an eager young X-Wing pilot and something of a Luke Skywalker fangirl (granted, most pilots from the Resistance are). She prompts C-3PO to tell the story that plays out in the book, an old memory of Luke’s adventures.
Jess has also become a popular shipping item with The Force Awakens’ main character, Rey — but beyond that, Jess Pava is the very first front-and-center female pilot in the Star Wars franchise (that hasn’t been cut out or dubbed over with a male voice) and she’s in one of the most elite squadrons on the Resistance, working alongside Poe. I’d wager she’s also the youngest of Poe’s squadron, which would make for great mentorship opportunities between the two characters.
Temmin “Snap” Wexley
The fandom went into something of a heart attack when Star Wars’ official databank updated to reveal that the espionage expert and erstwhile pilot played by Greg Grunberg not only appeared, but starred in Star Wars: Aftermath, the first official novel to occur post-Return of the Jedi. Temmin Wexley, nicknamed Snap, was the scrappy and temperamental teenage son of Norra Wexley, a former Rebel pilot. Not only is Snap following in the footsteps of his mother like Poe, he also seems to be a close friend of the hotshot pilot, and there’s quite a lot to answer about what happened to prompt Snap to join the Rebels (In Aftermath, he’s not exactly the biggest fan of the way his mother’s service kept her away from him).
What’s more, Snap has a previous history as a master tinkerer and droid builder. Not unlike one Anakin Skywalker, a young Temmin built himself a companion (and bodyguard) from scrap battle droid parts. What resulted was the character of Mister Bones, a deranged, supped-up murder droid who is more than happy to decapitate anyone who crosses his master. The two of them have an exceptionally sweet bond (despite the murder) and seeing Mister Bones again (completely drawn out!) would be totally delightful.
His name was inspired by J.J. Abrams’ favorite band, the Beastie Boys (“Hello Nasty”) and his attitude matches it — Ello Asty met his demise in The Force Awakens, but with the leeway of a comic that occurs before the film, fans have a chance to get to know the Abednedo pilot, who is said to have had exceptional talent, but the unfortunate downfall of being a loner when it came to attempting victory runs.
Asty might make for an interesting challenge to Poe’s leadership or a pitfall in the storyline where his fellow pilots are forced to coordinate in order to rescue him. Either way, it would be nice to spend more time with this interesting character.
As far as honorable mentions go, there are simply too many to list — Princess Leia, Admiral Ackbar, Ken Leung’s Admiral Stature, a hopeful cameo by Norra Wexley (who does not have a death date yet!) and so many other names that one could list for days. Regardless, I’m excited for this series, and I’m hoping that it turns out to be a story of camaraderie, much like the Rogue Squadron books of the old expanded universe were.
Star Wars: Poe Dameron is slated for Spring 2016.