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An illustrated Poe Dameron
Cover art for Poe Dameron’s new solo adventure
Image: Alice X. Zhang/Disney Publishing

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Exclusive: New Star Wars novel will shed light on Poe Dameron’s past

The young adult book will also feature Zorii Bliss

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This December’s Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker brushed up against Poe Dameron’s younger days when the Resistance pilot stopped by the planet Kijimi. In just a few brief scenes, we heard of Poe’s days smuggling spice, met Zorii Bliss and Babu Frik, and watched the First Order march through the streets of a rich but mostly unexplored world.

Fans looking to learn more about Poe’s pre-sequel-trilogy days on Kijimi are in luck: Polygon can confirm that a new book, Star Wars: Poe Dameron: Free Fall, is officially slated for Aug. 4, 2020. Written by Alex Segura of the Peter Fernandez mystery series, and with cover art by Alice X. Zhang, the YA novel will wind back the clock to before Poe was a hot-headed pilot to a time when he was just a hot-headed teenager. Here’s the description:

It’s been a few years since Poe’s mother, who was a pilot for the Rebellion, passed away, and Poe and his father have had more and more trouble connecting. Not sure what he wants to do with his life, teenage Poe runs away from home to find adventure, and to figure out what kind of man he is meant to be.

Polygon corresponded with Segura via email to get even more details on the latest Star Wars announcement.

Polygon: The Rise of Skywalker set up lots of room for backstory — how does the book deepen what we saw?

Alex Segura: I think Free Fall will answer some of the biggest questions fans will have coming out of The Rise of Skywalker: what was Poe Dameron’s secret history as a spice runner, and what does it have to do with the mysterious, helmet-wearing Zorii Bliss? The book will spend a lot of time with Poe during his formative teen years, where we see him grow into the man we meet at the beginning of The Force Awakens.

What excites you about writing for Poe in this setting?

I love complex, multi-faceted characters that aren’t easily categorized. Poe is, of course, a hero — but that doesn’t mean he woke up one day fully formed in terms of his beliefs and experiences. Poe’s loyal, driven, extremely sharp, and stubborn — but the chance to tell the story of how he came to be that Poe, and the shady, dangerous corners of the galaxy he had to walk through to get there, was extremely appealing to me as a storyteller. Free Fall is very much a galactic crime novel, in that it explores the seedier side of the Star Wars universe through the eyes of one of its most relatable characters. It’s been a blast to work on this.

What should Star Wars fans know going into the novel?

This story not only answers questions from The Rise of Skywalker, but also serves as the Poe Dameron origin a lot of people have been clamoring for. I’m thankful to everyone at Lucasfilm for having the confidence in me to tell this pivotal story. In addition to the films, I’m also really indebted to the work of writers like Charles Soule, Greg Rucka, and Rebecca Roanhorse — to name a few — for fleshing out key moments in Poe’s life and creating some really exciting jumping-off points to tinker with.

Free Fall doesn’t just connect the dots, though — it adds texture and weight to these unexplored parts of Poe’s backstory while also letting rip with an action-packed, thrilling adventure that’s firmly entrenched in the Star Wars mythos.

Star Wars: Poe Dameron: Free Fall arrives to shelves on Aug. 4, and is available for pre-order now.


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