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How Poe Dameron Is Connected To The Original Star Wars Trilogy

It turns out that Poe Dameron's connection to the Resistance runs even deeper than we thought.

The new novel Star Wars: Resistance Reborn has revealed that Poe, in fact, has a connection to a character who has been fighting on the side of the good guys since the days of the Galactic Empire and the Rebellion. (via Digital Spy)

The novel by Rebecca Roanhorse, released just last month, is set between the events of The Last Jedi and The Rise of Skywalker, and — unlike the so-called "extended canon" properties that were rendered obsolete when Lucasfilm was purchased by Disney — it is indeed official canon. Poe is the main character in the novel, and its plot sees him going on a galaxy-wide hunt for Resistance sympathizers after the death of Luke Skywalker, as Leia, Chewbacca, Finn, Rey, and Rose search for a new base aboard the Millennium Falcon.

Along with a few allies, Poe's planet-hopping search leads him to the unsettling conclusion that prominent members of the Resistance have simply been vanishing without a trace. Finally arriving on the planet Akiva, they encounter an ex-Rebel pilot who will be very familiar to any fan of the Original Trilogy: Wedge Antilles.

Wedge, of course, is a Corellia native and buddy of Luke Skywalker himself, and a guy who has the lonesome distinction of being among the only Rebel fighters to survive the attacks on both Death Stars. Poe finds him leading a peaceful life as a farmer alongside his wife Norra — but when this idyllic existence is intruded upon by the First Order, he and Norra are compelled to once again saddle up to fight the dark forces threatening the galaxy.

So, what's Wedge's connection to Poe? We're so glad you asked; please hold onto your butt. It turns out that not only have the two been acquainted for many years, but that Wedge is actually the guy who taught Poe how to fly. How... freaking... awesome... is that?

Will Wedge Antilles return for The Rise of Skywalker?

The fact that Wedge Antilles was Poe's flight instructor certainly explains the latter's sheer gumption in the pilot's seat. You don't survive not one, but two full-on assaults on heavily armed enemy space stations without having some pretty impressive knowledge to pass on, and during the events of The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi, Poe has certainly proven that he has the kind of skills that should make ol' Wedge proud. The fact that the ex-Rebel pilot figures so prominently in the plot of Resistance Reborn, however, raises an absolutely intriguing question: is Red Two standing by for The Rise of Skywalker?

The answer, somewhat surprisingly, is a solid "it appears so." You may recall that the actor who portrayed Wedge in the Original Trilogy, Denis Lawson (who just happens to be the uncle of Obi-Wan Kenobi actor Ewan McGregor) actually turned down a role in The Force Awakens, citing schedule conflicts. Speaking with BBC Radio 4's Loose Ends program in 2017, the actor shot down reports that he'd rejected the role because it would have "bored" him, saying, "That's falsely recorded, they did ask me to do it, frustratingly I wasn't free. I would like to set that record straight. I was shooting on something else, I'd have loved to have done it... ask me again!(via Bleeding Cool)

Apparently, someone at Lucasfilm was listening. In October of this year, the official Twitter account for Star Wars fan site RebelForceRadio.com tweeted that Lawson's agent had confirmed his participation in Rise of Skywalker: "We just received a solid 'YES' from a representative for the actor, Denis Lawson will be in [Rise of Skywalker] reprising his role as Wedge Antilles," the tweet read.

Hopefully, we'll get to see Wedge and Poe get together in Rise of Skywalker to reminisce over old times, swap a few tips having to do with evasive maneuvers or some such, and perhaps even fight the First Order side by side. We'd like to note that it's likely that Poe was a mere child when he was under Wedge's tutelage, and to state that if Wedge refers to Poe as a "womp rat," we will absolutely freak out.

At any rate, it'll be cool as heck to see Lawson return for one last hurrah alongside a laundry list of Original Trilogy cast members, including Anthony Daniels as C-3PO, Mark Hamill as (presumably the Force ghost of) Luke Skywalker, Ian McDiarmid as Emperor Palpatine, Billy Dee Williams as Lando Calrissian, and — by way of unused footage from The Force Awakens — the late Carrie Fisher as General Leia. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, the conclusion to the nine-film Skywalker Saga, finally hits the big screen on December 20.