Oscar Isaacs Defends Poe’s Choices
In a recent interview with USA Today, Oscar Issac talked about both his upcoming movie, Operation Finale, filming Episode 9 without Carrie Fisher, and the choices Poe Dameron made during The Last Jedi. Oscar defends the choices Poe makes in the movie, and deems them as necessary to Poe’s development as a character.
In The Last Jedi, Poe is constantly questioning orders and doing his own thing. His ideas come hot and fast, disregarding what effects they have on the fleet and the resistance. Isaacs had this to say:
“You want to get people (to question him) as opposed to have some sort of easy answer of like, ‘yeah, yeah, he did the right thing. he was a hero.’ what’s the cost of this stuff?”
Poe Dameron is a hot shot pilot. Their job as pilots is to fly fast. Fly Hard and blow targets up. The Target is their only concern. Military leaders have more they have to consider and manage. The two often do not overlap, except Leia sees the leadership potential in Poe and wants more from her Ace.
Oscar went on to say:
“you hear about stories with (George) Washington as a general, where lots of people died based on their orders, but that is part of their leadership and that push-and-pull in the fight for the figuring out what’s the way to move forward.”
Where Poe saw victory and heroes who accomplished a great task, Leia saw lost ships and pilots the resistance could ill afford to lose. Groups like the Empire and the First Order can throw man power at a problem mindlessly, overwhelming the enemy for the win. What Poe was not seeing was that the resistance cannot afford those types of heavy losses.
The New Person in Charge
Another problem Poe had was that all of a sudden he had to follow a new Admiral in Holdo. He knew her record and achievements, but they were at odds with her appearance and actions. Holdo also held her cards very close to her chest. Poe was used to sharing ideas and plans with Leia. When Holdo’s plans did not make sense and she refused to explain them to Poe, he lashed out. Had Leia remained in charge, Poe would most likely have known the plan as well as being able to trust the one who was issuing the orders.
It was all a part of Poe’s development and character growth. If Poe acted the same on Crait as he did while on the fleet, He would have Charged out with the last of the troopers to assist Luke in his fight, leading to the death and the end of the resistance.
Instead, he stops and thinks. He remembers Holdo’s words and thinks about why Luke is undertaking the suicidal action he is taking. Instead of charging out needlessly, he realizes this is their chance to escape. Then comes what is one of the most beautiful scenes in the movie (with Carrie’s death AFTER the scene was shot). Everyone looks at Leia. Leia looks over her should in confusion and gives the perfect set up line, “What are you looking at me for? Follow him.”
In a lot of ways, Poe’s journey reminds me of Pete “Maverick” Mitchell and his journey in Top Gun. A hot shot pilot learns there is a whole lot more to know than just “Who’s the best.”