2015's Star Wars: The Force Awakens reintroduced moviegoers to the world of Star Wars, and dropped them into a raging conflict between two paramilitary groups: the heroic descendants of the Rebel Alliance known as the Resistance; and The First Order, a tyrannical group hellbent on forging a new Galactic Empire. One of the key players in that conflict was the Resistance's top pilot, Poe Dameron, played by Oscar Isaac, the leader of an elite team of pilots known as Black Squadron. The film began with Poe completing an important mission (locating the explorer Lor San Tekka), and concluded with the destruction of the First Order's Starkiller base, in which the pilots of Black Squadron played a key role.
In their ongoing Marvel Comics series Star Wars: Poe Dameron, writer Charles Soule and artists Phil Noto and Angel Unzueta have been fleshing out their title character and his fellow pilots with a longform story that shows the struggles they've endured and missions they've undertaken while trying to find Lor San Tekka. In issue #25, that story comes to a close with an epic race between the Resistance and the First Order to reach the missing explorer first. Then in Poe Dameron #26, a new era and arc begins as Soule and Unzueta show what their cast was up to during their offscreen moments in The Force Awakens.
CBR spoke with Soule about moving from one era to another, the evolution of Poe's nemesis Agent Terex, and the important and grounded role Resistance leader, General Leia, plays in the series.
CBR: So, Charles --when you kicked Poe Dameron off, the series was set in a time period just before The Force Awakens, with your title character and his squadron of pilots tasked with finding Lor San Tekka. In issue #25 you bring that mission and the current arc to a close with a story that has both the Resistance and the First Order racing to rescue Tekka from the icy void of space. How does it feel to reach this point in your story? How big is the scope, scale and action in issue #25?
Charles Soule: Poe #25 is designed to bring the story I’ve been telling since #1, with all its twists, turns and sidesteps to a satisfying conclusion. In issue #1, Leia Organa gave Poe Dameron and his Black Squadron a mission to track down the Force explorer Lor San Tekka and hopefully get his assistance finding her brother Luke Skywalker. Poe 25 is where that mission finally ends, one way or the other. So, the action is big, but it’s also thematically big. Lor has seen some things in his time. He has some wisdom to impart. We’ll see if he gets a chance. Tons of big moments, including a surprise I’ve been planning since the start of the series.
The First Order and the Resistance are locked in this course of action because of ex-First Order agent, Terex. It's been interesting to watch his evolution and his story unfold. In issue #24 he tells Poe that the secret to happiness is to stop caring about the fate of the galaxy. That quote and his actions in this arc reminded me of the sort of shadowy, powerful characters we saw in the latest Star Wars film, The Last Jedi that profit off the conflict between the First Order and the Resistance. Was that your intention? And can you talk about what reaching the time of The Force Awakens means for Terex's role in the book? Is it necessarily at an end?
Terex is one of my favorite characters in the whole story, Poe included. His arc began decades prior to the series, as an Imperial Stormtrooper who started fighting shortly before the Empire fell. Ever since that moment, he’s always been searching for an opportunity to once again be part of something bigger than himself. He eventually found his way to the First Order, but it wasn’t really a replacement for what he thought he’d lost, as we’ve seen. Terex’s realizations and decisions in #24 hopefully felt very earned and satisfying for readers, as well as thematically consistent with other storytelling across the Star Wars Universe, such as The Last Jedi -- I know they did for me, as the writer. As far as seeing him again… we’ll see! He’s still out there, and I know people like him. I certainly do.