SPOILER WARNING: This article contains spoilers for “Poe Dameron” #8, which is on sale now.
As the new “Star Wars” canon continues to grow with the release of ever comic, TV episode, novel and feature film, the ways these different mediums interconnect becomes more and more apparent. Characters from the cartoons (like Saw Gerrera) and novels (like Snap Wexley) end up in the films, just like characters from the films take on an extended life in the comics. That’s definitely the case for Poe Dameron, the leader of the Resistance’s Black Squadron. His Marvel Comics series leads up to what we saw the character go through in last year’s “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” showing the origins of Black Squadron and Poe’s hunt for the lost Lor San Tekka and his vital information. The latest issue of “Poe Dameron” from writer Charles Soule and artist Phil Noto further integrates more of the canon seen in “The Force Awakens” and the upcoming “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” into its own narrative, teasing potentially big reveals ahead when it comes to one of those films.
The issue’s dual narratives follow Poe Dameron and his the First Order’s Agent Terex as they travel a collision course to the planet Kaddak. The issue dives into Terex’s origin, revealing that he’s inextricably tied to a pivotal location from “The Force Awakens.” Terex was originally a stormtrooper designated TK-603, and he fought in the Battle of Jakku.
Jakku, as everyone that’s seen “The Force Awakens” knows, is the home planet of Rey, a scavenger that salvages parts from the wrecked Imperial fleet and sells them for food. The battle has been established as the last stand of the Empire following the destruction of the second Death Star before retreating to the far reaches of space. The battle has been depicted in a few new expanded universe entries already, including the video game “Star Wars Battlefront.” We now know that Terex left his life as a stormtrooper behind on Jakku.
The issue also has another connection to “The Force Awakens,” one that may shed light on the film’s most mysterious character — Supreme Leader Snoke.
While relaxing on the Resistance headquarters on D’Qar, Poe Dameron is approached by C-3PO with a special secret mission from General Organa. Threepio, who has created a network of droid “spies” that relay pertinent information to each other, says that one of his informant-bots began transmitting data regarding the current location of Supreme Leader Snoke but was cut off mid transmission. Snoke, who was only seen in hologram form in “The Force Awakens,” is the dark Jedi responsible for corrupting Ben Solo and eventually turning him into Kylo Ren. Leia’s mission for Poe involves him going to the location of the informant, the planet Kaddak, and discovering what cut off the transmission. Based on this, it looks like the hunt for Snoke may be a big part of the next “Poe Dameron” storyline.
The issue also includes a nod to “Rogue One,” which arrives in theaters this December. While the film isn’t out yet, plenty of the character designs — including stormtrooper variants — have been released. And Phil Noto makes sure to include some of them when giving readers a sneak peek at Agent Terex’s keepsake room.
In addition to standard Royal Guard and AT-AT driver helmet, Terex’s collection also includes the helmets of a Death Trooper and a Shoretrooper. These two helmets, at the top left and bottom right respectively, will make their debut in the “Rogue One” film. Their inclusion here is a step towards incorporating these two new designs into the universe; as “Rogue One” takes place before 1977’s “Star Wars,” one has to wonder why these two stormtrooper designs were never seen in the original trilogy of films. Of course we know that’s because these designs didn’t exist then, but it does pose a canonical question. The inclusion of these two helmets right here, alongside a few Imperial artifacts from the original trilogy, helps integrate these two new designs into the larger canon and make them feel like they’ve always existed.
And just for fun, the issue also features another nod to the Imperial tech of the original trilogy. This comes by way of Terex’s hotrodded spaceship that he built while stranded on Jakku from wrecked parts.
That’s the head of an AT-AT (seen in “The Empire Strikes Back”) with the engines of an X-wing and wings of a TIE interceptor (from “Return of the Jedi”) slapped on its sides. See? “Poe Dameron” is both remixing the “Star Wars” canon we already know while — in the case of Snoke — pushing forward into uncharted territory.
“Poe Dameron” #9 arrives in stores on December 14.
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