‘Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker’: Oscar Isaac Improvised This Hilarious Poe Dameron Moment

Perhaps the greatest strength of Star Wars: The Force Awakens is how well it establishes a new generation of beloved heroes. The new lead trio — Rey (Daisy Ridley), Finn (John Boyega), and Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) — became instantly beloved by fans. Unsurprisingly, the interactions between the three are undeniably some of the best moments of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.

In particular, J.J. Abrams’ new film takes the time to explore Poe’s backstory and connections with the other characters, especially Rey. The Rise of Skywalker leans into the Resistance pilot’s brusque demeanor at several key points. Now it seems Abrams gave Isaac the freedom to improvise. The result? Some of Poe’s best moments in the entire sequel trilogy.

[Spoiler alert: This article contains mild spoilers for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. Read at your own risk.]

Oscar Isaac at the European premiere of 'Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker'
Oscar Isaac at the European premiere of ‘Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker’ | David M. Benett/Dave Benett/WireImage

Poe Dameron’s bond with Finn

Before we get to Poe’s Rise of Skywalker highlights, we’d be remiss if we didn’t point out one element of the character the films left unexplored. From The Force Awakens on, some Star Wars fan took note of the chemistry between Finn and Poe. An entire ship — dubbed “Stormpilot” — formed in the hopes that the former stormtrooper and ace pilot’s friendship would lead to something more.

Isaac himself expressed interest in the movies pursuing such a romance, which would have been unprecedented for Star Wars. After all, the series’ LGBTQ representation only extends to a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it same-sex kiss which doesn’t even involve major characters. Yet, the “Disney overlords” — Isaac’s words, not ours — apparently rejected the idea of a Finn and Poe love story.

As a result, the sequel trilogy has virtually no central romance, save for perhaps the whole “Reylo” thing. That doesn’t give the naturally playful Poe much to work with in the love department. But at least The Rise of Skywalker devotes a bit of time to his past as a spice runner. Moreover, the film reveals at least one relationship from his past.

The closest Oscar Isaac gets to a romance

In the film, Poe and our heroes make their way to Kijimi in search of a way to hack into C-3PO’s (Anthony Daniels) programming. When they arrive, they meet Zorii Bliss (Keri Russell), and the spark between Poe and Zorii indicates not only a spice-running partnership but a past romance as well.

The pair share crackling on-screen chemistry. But perhaps no single moment between Zorii and Poe is as memorable as one in The Rise of Skywalker‘s final moments. Following their defeat of the Final Order, Poe glances over at Zorii suggestively. As Isaac told DigitalSpy, this was one of several moments born of Abrams’ openness to improvisation.

There was room to find things, and add some stuff, and try some stuff out. And that, I think, was also really unexpected, that there was going to be room to improvise and play around. … Even the end with Zorii, the look, just the nature of how that played out was just like, “How would you guys give each other a look?” And that turned into this little one-act play we do.

Another improvised moment, Isaac said, was his explanation to Rey about how their recent mission went. “Really bad. Really bad actually,” Poe says, as the Millennium Falcon sits in flames behind him. This kind of fun character interaction is built into the DNA of what makes Star Wars so popular. So it’s good to know Abrams trusted his actors enough to make such moments their own.

Will ‘Star Wars’ fans see Poe again?

As much fun as Poe is in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, we still have no clue when or if we’ll see the character again anytime soon. Isaac and his co-stars sound pretty confident the series needs to slow down for the time being. That’s not the most encouraging news for fans who were hoping for more of the sequel trilogy’s heroes.

Then again, Isaac has voiced Poe on Star Wars: Resistance. So there’s always the chance he could reprise the role in another form, even if a new movie doesn’t happen for a while. The big-screen future of Star Wars is very much in flux. So we’ll have to wait and see exactly what the future holds for Isaac, Ridley, Boyega, and the rest of the cast.