Poe Dameron is by far the most consistent of all the Marvel Star Wars comics to be released since Star Wars: The Force Awakens landed in theaters. Today’s issue, number 24, is no exception. It’s part five of the Legend Found story arc, and a minor plotline with BB-8 very nearly brought me to tears.
It also sent me down a rabbit hole looking for more information on Black Squadron, the colorful cast of characters that helped the Resistance track down and ultimately rescue Lor San Tekka — the man with the map to Luke Skywalker — ahead of The Force Awakens.
Buckle up, kids. It’s gonna get a little nerdy in here.
[What follows contains major spoilers for Marvel’s Poe Dameron series of comics.]
The Legend Found arc kicks off with Poe Dameron issue number 20, and sets up two parallel love stories. One is between Black Squadron members Karé Kun and Temmin “Snap” Wexley (played in The Force Awakens by Greg Grunberg). Wexley desperately wants them to act on their budding romance, but Kun remains stoic. With a war on, she says, attachments can get you killed. That sends Wexley into a minor rage, and he spends more than a few panels spilling his guts to Dameron over the course of the next few issues.
The other romance is, oddly enough, between BB-8 and a little green astromech droid named Ivee.
It’s clear that the two droids are spending an awful lot of time together, but they can’t they feel emotions like you and I do, right? Other members of the Resistance aren’t quite so sure.
On the next few pages another storyline kicks off, this time with Black Squadron pilot Jessika Pava in need of a new astromech. She’s been flying without one for a long time, ever since the Resistance droids got it in their heads that she was bad luck.
So, at least from a statistical standpoint, it seems that droids are superstitious. That’s sort of like an emotion, right?
So ... that’s new, and opens up the possibility that yes, maybe droids can feel something like human love.
And therein lies one of this arc’s biggest tragedies.
In the end, it’s BB-8 who convinces Ivee to fly with Pava. In today’s issue, number 24, that decision leads to her destruction. Ivee bravely gives her life to save Pava, boosting herself into the path of an oncoming First Order homing missile at a critical moment.
Pava returns to the Resistance base with a message for BB-8: Before she ejected, Ivee said that it wasn’t Pava’s fault that she was destroyed, and it wasn’t the little orange droid’s fault either.
So yeah, they fridged BB-8’s girlfriend.
Pava gives him a little trinket from his lost love, which BB-8 proceeds to weld directly onto the S-foils of Dameron’s jet-black X-Wing starfighter — the same one that blows up in the Resistance hangar in The Last Jedi. Watching that film again, fans will have a whole new set of emotions to deal with in the movie’s opening scenes.
See what I’m saying about Poe Dameron being very, very good? But the comic isn’t just improving the Star Wars canon around Black Squadron. It’s also doing some heavy lifting for Star Wars canon generally. Writer Charles Soule has opened up this massive new narrative line within the Star Wars universe where droids are becoming sentient. It will be interesting to see how that pays off in future storylines.
Beyond that, though, the love affair with Kun and Wexley is also nicely wrapped up in issue 24. I won’t spoil it here, but let’s just say that there is definitely a happy ending ... for now.
Of course, that got me to thinking. Aside from Dameron himself, no one from Black Squadron even shows up in The Last Jedi. So where are they? Some thought that they were blown away in the same hangar explosion that took out Poe’s X-Wing, but digging into the movie’s novelization it turns out that at least two members of Black Squadron were far from the conflict. Leia sent Pava and Wexley to the far corners of the galaxy to try and bring support to the Resistance after the events of The Force Awakens and, by the end of the film, neither Leia or Dameron has heard from them.
Whether or not they were successful is anyone’s guess, but one thing is certain: We don’t know what became of Wexley’s fair-haired love interest Karé Kun. There may be more tragedy and heartbreak yet to come for him and the rest of Black Squadron.