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Why Poe Dameron is more important than you think

Besides being "one hell of a pilot", and really good at naming Stormtroopers, Poe Dameron is a character with some real potential. The Force Awakens barely scratches the surface of the cool and collected entity that is Poe, but all signs point to a much bigger role for Black Leader in the future. Here are a few reasons why. Warning: spoilers ahead for the five of you that still haven't seen the film.

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Someone needs to take over

The Force Awakens gave fans some heavy-hearted, yet much-needed closure on the story of the galaxy's most notorious smuggler. His death fueled the plot in much the same way as Obi-Wan's did in A New Hope. So with one legendary hero down for the count, it's easy to imagine that others are close behind, at least for the sake of closure. It's possible that Luke will become a Force ghost at some point in a future film, and Leia can't lead the Resistance forever. That means that someone will need to take over the Resistance, or whatever it evolves into after inevitably putting a smack down on the First Order. Can you imagine a more capable leader than good ol' Poe? No, yo can't, so don't even try.

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He blew up Starkiller Base

If luck isn't in the cards for Poe, and we don't get to see him live long enough to take the reins from Leia, then it can be assumed that Poe will die for something big. But seeing as how he already blew up an entire planet/weapon/base/thingy, he's setting the bar pretty high for himself. Killing him in some cheap, secondhand way would be an insult to his character and to his fans (are the writers of Independence Day: Resurgence reading this?). So there must be some incredible things in his future.

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He's the best around

Nothing's gonna ever bring him down. All Karate Kid themes aside, he really is the best of the best. More than once the movie shows off or praises him for his incredible piloting skills. More importantly, he has something that both Finn and Rey lack: experience. He's seen some action! He's killed people! Finn may have been trained for a life of trooping, but he is clearly still riding with training wheels. And Rey is barely able to escape her fight with Kylo Ren. Let's be honest, had the planet not been breaking apart, and had Uncle Chewie not blasted Ren's kidney to smithereens, Rey may not have walked away from that duel. The young heroes need someone who can give them strength and have their backs for the tough times ahead. Poe has clearly demonstrated those qualities already. He gives a much needed balance to the new trio.

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He's a mentor

Besides rounding out the group, Poe offers something else as well. He's going to be the mentor character for Finn. The two have already developed a pretty deep Poe-mance with one another, and chances are Finn is going to lean on Poe to guide him once he recovers from his fight with Ren. With Rey off to the First Jedi Temple, holding things outward to Luke for extended periods of time, Finn is going to need a purpose. He's new to the world outside of the First Order and Poe will be the guy to teach him how to fly, how to fight, and how to be find the best jackets.

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He was supposed to die

In an interview with GQ, Oscar Isaac spoke about his initial meeting with director J.J. Abrams. While excited for the role of Poe Dameron, Isaac was a bit disappointed by the fact that Poe was supposed to die in the opening sequence. After reluctantly accepting the role anyway, Abrams came back with the news that plans had changed, and Dameron would live to see another day. As of now, Poe is set to appear in at least Episode VIII. So what prompted Abrams to change his mind about the fate of Poe? Perhaps Abrams hatched a much bigger plan for the Resistance's go-to guy. Only time will tell.