Charles Soule gives us a Star Wars mission update!

Cue the recap roll! Poe Dameron and his team of elite pilots have been tasked with finding Lor San Tekka, a wise old explorer who may know the whereabouts of Luke Skywalker. Suffice it to say the gang has faced their fair share of trouble along the way, everything from fighting off a glorified bounty hunter to orchestrating a good old fashion prison break, knocking them a bit off track.

But come October 18, writer Charles Soule and artist Angel Unzueta make sure the team gets back on track. “Most of the main threads we’ve been dealing with in the series have been wrapped up, except one – the one that began the book,” says Soule. STAR WARS: POE DAMERON #20 will kick off a six issue story that is, as Soule puts it, “an epic in the great Star Wars tradition.”

So just how far out is Poe from completing his mission? Let’s check the reports!

Operative: Poe Dameron

Commanding Officer: General Leia Organa

Objective: Find Lor San Tekka and determine what he knows about the last remaining Jedi, Luke Skywalker – our only hope.

Progress: Black Squadron has made some great leaps in furthering the resistance’s agenda, most recently securing a fuel transfer for the rebel bases depleting resources and gathering footage of operatives in action to use as a way to rally support for the cause. However, progress toward the major objective has been slow going.

“Poe made progress early in, finding a list of possible locations, but it’s taken a while for the Resistance to work through it and narrow it down,” notes Soule, “C-3PO and his squad of droid operatives have been working through the list trying to see if any of the locations will bear fruit.” Time to lace up your boots and pound the space pavement as the search kicks off anew.

Poe Dameron (2016) #20

Poe Dameron (2016) #20

  • Published: October 18, 2017
  • Cover Artist: Phil Noto

Deviations: The team has encountered a few hiccups along the way, some more heartbreaking than others. However, “the biggest issue is that Poe made an enemy of an extremely versatile and deadly First Order Security Bureau named Terex,” notes Soule, “This fellow was once an Imperial Stormtrooper, and in the decades since the fall of the Empire made his way through the galaxy by being scarier than anyone else. Not a good person to have trying to hunt you down!”

So far Poe and his team have successfully thwarted the attempts of the First Order to capture them, but with Terex brainwashed into mindlessly following orders, Black Squadron finds it harder and harder to pull of their usual escape just in the knick of time antics.

Next Step: “Survive and thrive…hopefully,” suggests Soule. General Organa has planted a seed in Poe’s mind – the resistance is bigger than just one person. Why is this significant for Poe you may ask? “Poe has lost long-time companions, dealt with traitors, and has been learning the galaxy is a darker, more complex place than he realized,” explains Soule, “He’s understanding that he needs to evolve – that maybe he can’t just be a hotshot pilot anymore. The Resistance needs more – it needs a leader.”

Will Poe find Lor San Tekka and become the leader the Resistance needs? Find out on October 18 in STAR WARS: POE DAMERON #20, written by Charles Soule with art by Angel Unzueta!

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Charles Soule crafts a new villain for the Star Wars galaxy!

STAR WARS: POE DAMERON #16 hits on June 28, and writer Charles Soule looks to introduce readers to Malarus, a new villain whom the Resistance’s greatest pilot will need to contend with as he and Black Squadron continue in their struggle against the First Order.

Given the strength of the villains of the Star Wars universe, we spoke with Soule about what goes into creating the right kind of scum to pit against the galaxy’s finest.

Marvel.com: The fact that the First Order consists of a massive federation with many, many people willingly supporting it rarely gets addressed. Do you see everyone in the First Order as completely evil and in need of a boltcaster shot? Or can readers can empathize with these villainous characters?

Charles Soule: The First Order is a pretty monstrous group, I think. As I see it, they’re not just a powerful military force, but they think they’re better. They’re inculcated from birth to believe that they are destined to rule the galaxy by virtue of their strength and superiority in all sorts of ways—and I think that goes from the lowest Stormtrooper all the way to the top with General Hux and Kylo Ren. That’s a recipe for all sorts of terrible acts, as we’ve seen in the films, comics, etc. They think they’re justified. That said, if you make the bad guys too one-sided they become less interesting. So, the trick is to stay true to the somewhat ravenous nature of the First Order’s ideology while also populating their ranks with people that are a bit relatable. You might not agree with what they do—hopefully—but you can see how a person can get there.

Marvel.com: We’ve seen the rise of different types of villains in the Star Wars universe; from more nuanced, complicated characters like Darth Vader and Kylo Ren to those like the completely corrupted Emperor Palpatine. Which type do you find more compelling as both a fan and as a writer?

Charles Soule: It’s interesting that you consider Palpatine less complex, and I can see that; he has one goal, and he’s going to get there no matter what: ultimate power. But, he’s just so skilled and subtle in the way he achieves that goal; evil is his instrument, and he is an absolute virtuoso. He’s one of my all-time favorite characters to write in all of Star Wars. That said, Vader and Kylo are very cool too, and it is that slight underpinning of moral complexity that gets us there. Obviously they’re all a blast to write—but something in Palpatine just speaks to me. I’m not sure what that says about me, though.

Marvel.com: Now, from a more conceptual standpoint, can you share a little of the challenges you face in fleshing out this still-new terrain surrounding the “Force Awakens” era?

Charles Soule: The biggest challenge is really that the story here isn’t done yet. There are still many questions yet to be answered about the First Order, the nature of the Force in this era, Luke’s deal, the Knights of Ren, even basic stuff like the logistics for the Resistance and the government of the New Republic. We’ve gotten bits and pieces of that from “The Force Awakens” and various additional stories—novels, comics, etc.—but the story’s still being written. In the original trilogy and prequel era stuff, most of those questions are settled, and have been for decades. Sometimes, writing in the new trilogy is like sailing through a fog-covered sea—but it’s awesome nevertheless because it’s uncharted territory. Many times, if a question hasn’t been answered yet, I get to answer it. That’s a really great thing.

Star Wars: Poe Dameron #16 cover by Phil Noto

Marvel.com: Of course, with new territory comes new characters: heroes and villains. Can you unpack the process of creating a villain to go toe-to-toe with the Resistance’s best, Poe Dameron?

Charles Soule: I’ve made up two significant bad guys to face Poe so far. One is Agent Terex, an officer in the First Order Security Bureau—sort of like their Gestapo/intelligence-gathering arm—who has a rich, layered history that goes all the way back to the days of the Empire. I’ve had 15 issues to build him up, and he’s one of my favorite creations period. He’s a monster, but he’s tragic at the same time. Then, we have Commander Malarus, who we’ve only just started to get to know. She’s pretty unique, sort of like a sadistic bodybuilder type. I asked [series artist] Phil Noto to model her after Brigitte Nielsen in “Rocky IV,” and he came through perfectly as always. She’s physically very imposing, sadistic in a very direct way, which is unlike Terex, who’s perhaps a bit more subtle in his manipulations. If Terex is a rapier, Malarus is a big two-handed claymore. In both cases, the idea is to present someone who’s a good foil both for Poe’s skill set and his personality, who you really want to see get a comeuppance. Villains are always fun.

Marvel.com: Let’s pretend for a moment that you aren’t really a mild-mannered lawyer-turned-comic writer, and instead, you’re nefarious evildoer from a galaxy far, far away. How would you go about taking down Poe Dameron?

Charles Soule: I’d hit Poe right where he lives. I’d go after BB-8. And maybe his jacket.

Marvel.com: To wrap things up, can you give us any hints as to how you think Poe will escape the plans you’ve hatched for him?

Charles Soule: There’s a certain plotline we started the series with, related to a certain galactic explorer who possesses a key portion of a map leading to a certain lost Jedi warrior, and—I’m talking about Lor San Tekka. I haven’t forgotten about that story, and while Poe’s been on a million adventures since we last saw him dealing with all of that, we’ll be getting back to it soon. I can’t wait; I love exploring the weirder, Force-related corners of the galaxy. Should be a blast!

See more of Commander Malarus in STAR WARS: POE DAMERON #16, due out June 28 from Charles Soule and Angel Unzueta!

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Grounded, the ace Resistance pilot decides to visit a therapist.

Poe Dameron is an adult male who present as in above average physical health, a perception confirmed by his medical records.

While the client’s reputation precedes him, this is the first time this writer has seen Dameron in a professional setting. Given his status as arguably the best pilot of the Resistance and the numerous accolades he has received over the years, this writer does admit I experienced a certain level of celebrity gazing early in session. I did, however, quickly overcome this and was able to engage with the client in a therapeutically appropriate manner.

The client has been grounded by General Organa following a largely successful mission that nonetheless resulted in the death of a colleague and the loss, to the First Order, of the target they were pursuing. This therapist expected, therefore, that the presenting issue(s) would be related to grief and loss and possibly feelings of guilt and failure.

Initially, that is where the intake began. However, as session progressed, the client became more engaged and open and disclosed that actually what he found himself most concerned with was the General’s charge that he be more than the best pilot, that he find the one thing that would make him invaluable to the Republic and the Resistance.

Poe Dameron #15 cover by Phil Noto

We explored the notion of taking on a more active leadership role, of accepting himself as not just a man giving orders, but a figure of inspiration. The client confessed he had never seen himself in this way and even now struggled to see how others might. Additionally, it was not necessarily a role he aspired to. He loves being a pilot and being known as the best; why does he need to be more than that?

Together we discussed what it meant to him to be “the best” and what it would look like to, in some ways, sacrifice that for a new role—a role that would be both more and less than being the best pilot.

Overall, the client presents as smart and insightful. Although he does have some hesitance to disclose and was resistant at moments, overall he seemed engaged in the therapeutic process and open to the possibility of it being helpful to him.

Given my age and already heavy caseload, I referred Poe Dameron to my colleagues Doctors Charles Soule and Angel Unzueta, and Doctors Robbie Thompson and Nik Virella. His first session with them is scheduled for May 17 to be followed by a second session on June 21. The data for those will be uploaded to the memory units labeled POE DAMERON #15 and POE DAMERON ANNUAL #1 respectively.

Star Wars Tim Stevens is aware his continuity must be confusing. Just imagine that after the fall of the Empire, he found the Force, renounced his previous ways, and joined the Republic to make up for his past ethically dubious choices.

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The Resistance’s ace pilot takes on a bold new mission!

Each week Star Wars Spotlight combs through the digital archives of Marvel Unlimited to showcase one classic story from that distant galaxy filled with Jedi, Sith, princesses, scoundrels and droids.

For a guy who skipped out on a significant portion of “The Force Awakens,” Poe Dameron sure scored a lot of fans in his first big screen outing. Charles Soule and Phil Noto also saw the potential in the character, launching an ongoing series in 2016 that lead up to his appearance in the film.

To kick things off General Leia Organa sent Poe Dameron and BB-8 on a mission to find Lor San Tekka and get the information he had about Luke Skywalker’s location, which lead directly into the beginning of “Force Awakens.” To complete the task, Poe put together a team that included Snap Wexley, Karé Kun, L’ulo, and Jess Pava. They then traveled to Tekka’s last known location: the planet Ovanis. While Dameron and BB-8 tried to get information from the cosmic egg-worshipping, underground dwellers dubbed the Créche about Lor San Tekka, the others flew around above where they soon spotted a First Order ship that followed a tracker placed on Poe’s craft!

Lead by Agent Terex, a squad of Stormtroopers descended below the surface to track down Dameron. Captain Phasma herself ordered this mission after Poe intercepted sensitive information in the pages of the “Before the Awakening” novel. As his friends flew interference above, our hero tried getting the upper hand on Terex, but he had his Troopers start fire blasting the egg. To everyone’s surprise, the object of worship opened to reveal a giant, blue, winged creature who didn’t seem to appreciate being hatched. Dameron used the distraction to gain the upper hand, though that went out the window when another giant creature, this one black, also appeared in the cavern.

Poe Dameron (2016) #1

Poe Dameron (2016) #1

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The two giants took off into the air, crashing through the ceiling of their underground dwelling where one killed the other. The timing could not have been better as Black Squadron had been running low on fuel from their battles with the New Order’s TIE Fighters. In the end, the Créche gave Poe the information he needed about where Lor San Tekka headed after staying with them and then took off on their newly hatched god. Black Squadron left Agent Terex and his men in the cavern, but alerted their ship upon leaving for the next location.

And that’s just the first three issues of STAR WARS: POE DAMERON!

From the Jedi Temple Archives

Temmin “Snap” Wexley not only appears alongside the title character in POE DAMERON, but also in “The Force Awakens” as portrayed by longtime J.J. Abrams collaborator Greg Grunberg, and in Chuck Wendig’s “Aftermath” novels. The first installment of the latter takes place between “Return of the Jedi” and “The Force Awakens” and introduces the reader to Snap’s mother, a Rebel pilot named Norra Wexley, and a younger version of Temmin on his home planet Akiva. Norra continued leading her squadron on missions in “Aftermath: Life Debt” while young Temmin also continued to embark on adventures.

Next time, Ron Marz chronicles the connection between STAR WARS: JANGO FETT and STAR WARS: ZAM WESELL with Tom Fowler and Ted Naifeh!

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Get familiar with some of Star Wars’ most elite pilots!

The newest bad guy network set on controlling the galaxy is on the rise and it’s up to the Black Squadron to outsmart them in STAR WARS: POE DAMERON #13, written by Charles Soule with art by Phil Noto and coming out April 19. Want to know more about these selfless heroes? Let’s take a look!

Poe Dameron – This dashingly debonair pilot fearlessly leads Black Squadron with his own blend of high stakes decisions and cheeky one-liners. Following in his parents’ footsteps, Dameron left the Republic’s Starfleet to join the rebellion after General Leia Organa recruited him. He quickly became one of her most skilled and trusted operatives and assumed the task of putting together an elite team to track down Lor San Tekka and smooth talk his way to uncovering the location of Luke Skywalker, who has taken over the role of Leia’s only hope.

L’ulo – The grandfather of the group, but don’t let him catch you saying that. L’ulo is a battle warn hothead not afraid to defy orders if he thinks he knows better, which he usually does. He’s a bit of a grumpy gill but his years fighting in the Alliance have given him that right. During that time L’ulo became close with Shara Bey, Poe’s mother, and even stepped in to help raise him after her sudden death. Nothing like a somewhat endearing, semi-father-son dynamic to add a little tension to the group.

Temmin “Snap” Wexley – Poe’s right hand man and occasional comic relief, Snap, grew up on his own after Imperial forces captured his father and his mother left to join the Rebel Alliance. He learned to fend for himself working as a junk dealer on the streets of his home planet before rejoining his mother to fight against the remaining Empire forces. His combination of street smarts and fighting experience make him an invaluable member of the team. Plus he adds some adorable cheese ball moments romancing fellow squad member Karé Kun.

Oddy Muva – A classic case of a guy doing the wrong thing for the right reasons, Oddy works as the team’s mechanical tech with aspirations of becoming a pilot. Though the team might be better served finding a way to keep that mechanical genius on lock. Unfortunately, while he’s the last person Poe would suspect of being a First Order informant, it does sadly seem to be the case, as we’ve learned that the First Order officer Terex holds his wife hostage as leverage against Oddy.

Karé Kun – A seasoned Resistance fighter, Karé flew alongside Poe in the New Republic Navy as a member of Rapier Squadron and you can bet he’d trust her with his life—and has. She’s driven, remarkably talented, and one tough cookie who likes to let you know it, but don’t be surprised to hear her crack a joke with her teammates. After all, she does reserve all the teasing rights to Snap.

Jessika “Jess” Pava – The bad girl of the group, Jess likes to live on the edge and prepare herself for any situation. She has a knack for mechanics as her and Oddy like trying experimental modifications out on her ship. If it were her choice she would always have her weapons and never lose control of the situation at hand which makes for a great balance to Poe’s “make it up as you go along” attitude. And while she has an effective tactical mind and stands out as a great pilot, she also adds a needed sass to the group dynamic.

Catch the whole team back in action April 19 in STAR WARS: POE DAMERON #13 by Charles Soule and Phil Noto!   

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Chris Eliopoulos takes on the dynamic droid with a special back-up story in Poe Dameron!

He rolled off the screen and into our hearts in “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” and now he’s parlayed that forward momentum into his own solo comic book story. BB-8, everyone’s new favorite Star Wars droid, rolls into a special back-up tale in POE DAMERON #1, written and illustrated by famed cartoonist Chris Eliopoulos.

Here’s a little sneak-peek behind the scenes of BB-8’s first big adventure on his own:

Marvel.com: Chris, how did the BB-8 story roll out?

Chris Eliopoulos: I’ve been a long-time Star Wars fan. I’ve written and drawn a couple stories in the past and editor Jordan D. White, knowing of my love, felt it would be fun for me to do a back-up story for the new POE DAMERON comic. He basically called me up and asked if I was interested in doing a short BB-8 story—which, of course, I was. I wrote up a number of story pitches that he, assistant editor Heather Antos, and Lucasfilm looked [at] and decided which they liked. 

Marvel.com: So, roll the story up into a little ball; what’s it all about?

Chris Eliopoulos: It’s a cupid story. Our intrepid droid bring two people together in a way only a droid can.

Marvel.com: You’re really on a roll now—who’s BB to you? What’s the most important thing about his character to convey when drawing him?

Chris Eliopoulos: He’s a well-meaning child. He’s trying his best with everything, but, as we see in the movie, he can be a little petulant, but his heart is in the right place. So, I tried to think what a child would do in his place and convey that.

Marvel.com: Rolling right along, from a design standpoint, does he lend himself to your layouts or do you feel he’s a challenge to work with?

Chris Eliopoulos: He’s a wonderfully simple character to draw. The hardest part is just making sure the head and body dimensions are correct. If you’re off, even in a cartoony way, it looks wrong. Being more cartoony, I can use the animators’ idea of squash and stretch to convey emotions. But you can’t go too far—he’s a robot. 

Marvel.com: What other Star Wars droids would you love to roll into similar type tales?

Chris Eliopoulos: I’m a huge R2-D2 fan. I have close to a hundred astromech action figures, etc. My studio is filled with them. I’d love to do an R2-D2/BB-8 buddy story. I’d love to do a Gonk droid story. 2-1B, R5-D4, Captain Rex from the Star Tours ride, Treadwell—the list goes on forever. Heck, I’d love to do a Wall-E type book about the droids. I’m greedy.

Catch Chris Eliopoulos and BB-8 in the pages of POE DAMERON #1, coming April 6!

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Phil Noto shares his work in this Star Wars sketchbook!

Rocketing to your galaxy April 6, STAR WARS: POE DAMERON represents the very first spin-off from “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” OBI-WAN AND ANAKIN writer Charles Soule teams with CHEWBACCA artist Phil Noto to tell a tale of the Resistance’s greatest pilot before the events of the blockbuster film—and we’ve got an exclusive look at Noto’s art, as well as his thoughts on the series, right here, right now!

Marvel.com: Phil, you get to work with the new characters from “The Force Awakens”; how does that feel?

Phil Noto: I’m incredibly honored to be one of the first creators to work on these characters in the comics. It’s a bit intimidating since it was such a popular film and people really like the new characters. I’m happy to have drawn many of them for the young adult novels so at least I’ve had a little bit of practice. It’s all very close to my dreams as a 4th grader to some day work on Star Wars.

Marvel.com: When drawing Poe, what did you feel was the most important aspect of his personality to convey in his visuals? What stands out to you?

Phil Noto: I think his bravery and cockiness are a huge part of his personality and trying to get that across in his expressions and mannerisms was a priority. I should add though, that you will never come across someone harder to draw than Oscar Isaac. He has uncommon features that when put together just right make a very handsome leading man. But it’s also very easy to make him look like Gollum. [SPIDER-GWEN writer] Jason Latour [and I] had a lengthy test conversation about the near-impossible task of drawing a good Oscar. That being said, I think I’ve done a pretty good job capturing the essence of Oscar/Poe.

Marvel.com: You’re of course working a lot with X-Wing fighters; what do you enjoy about it and what did you find challenging?

Phil Noto: Between the Lucasfilm provided ref and the amazingly accurate plastic toy version it’s been quite easy. The biggest challenge is trying to simplify all the details on it.

Marvel.com: How are you approaching the covers for this series? What did you really want to achieve with them?

Phil Noto: I’m just trying to find that happy place between the old Star Wars paperback novels and the later Drew Struzan novel covers. I just want to live up the standard of quality Star Wars publishing art that has been set throughout the years.

Marvel.com: Looking at Charles’ scripts for the series, what kinds of things did he do that you really loved? Where are the places that really set you loose as an artist?

Phil Noto: Charles has a great knack for conveying the personality of the characters in the script whether they’re human, alien, or droid. It really helps when I sit down to draw or design them. Also, being able to design First Order tech is quite a thrill.

Marvel.com: Single most favorite page or panel of POE DAMERON #1?

Phil Noto: I don’t want to give anything away but there’s a very cool flashback page of Poe pre-mission that was a lot of fun to draw.

STAR WARS: POE DAMERON #1 by Charles Soule and Phil Noto soars your way on April 6!

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Charles Soule and Phil Noto kick off an ongoing series with one of Star Wars' newest breakout characters!

Neither movie ticket nor comic sales records can stand before the power of Star Wars! And beginning this April, fans get the chance to learn more about one of the breakout characters from “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” Poe Dameron, in his very own ongoing series!

Industry veterans Phil Noto and Charles Soule will be leading the charge into this unexplored space, and we wanted to see what this creative team has in store for General Organa’s favorite ace pilot!

Marvel.com: Charles and Phil, before we get underway discussing your work on the upcoming series, STAR WARS: POE DAMERON, I’m curious: How many times have you seen “The Force Awakens” and what did you think of it? Any parts of it that you enjoyed the most?

Phil Noto: I’ve seen it four times now. I loved it. Honestly I think my favorite parts are the introductions to the new characters. They were so exciting and real.

Charles Soule: So far, only twice, but I expect I’ll have seen it a third time by the time this interview goes live. I planned to use my second viewing as my “research” watch—you know, take notes and so on—and then I just got wrapped up in the story and didn’t write anything down. We’ll see what happens next time, maybe the third time’s the charm. I’m with Phil on the new characters, but I also have to say that it was amazing to see Harrison Ford bringing Han Solo to life with that much verve and vigor again. I didn’t realize how much I’d missed him until I saw him again.

Marvel.com: When did you first become aware of STAR WARS: POE DAMERON, and how did you come onto the project?

Phil Noto: I was actually in LAX waiting to fly home after doing some Force Friday promotional stuff for the YA novels I had worked on and [editor] Jordan [White] emailed me about working on another [Star Wars] project at Marvel. I was sold right there.

Charles Soule: I feel like it was a while back; in the summer, at least as far as being aware that there might be a Force Awakens-related project in the offing. I didn’t have any specifics at that point, and didn’t know it would be about Poe; all that came later. But I really didn’t need to know anything beyond the basics. I was on board from the jump.

Marvel.com: How much access were you provided with as you began your work developing this series? Phil, how much of the film’s concept and design work were you able to get ahold of, and how have you added your own flair to it?

Phil Noto: I’ve been soaking up the aesthetic of the new movie for a while as I was given a bunch of reference for the bookends of the character novels. Seeing the movie definitely helped picturing more of the universe and what I could use and/or redesign.

Charles Soule: Honestly, much more than I would have thought! Phil and I got to learn a bunch about the film’s story ahead of time, we saw a bunch of imagery, we got some of the tie-in materials early, and best of all, we got to go out to Lucasfilm ourselves with esteemed Star Wars editor Jordan D. White to meet members of the Story Group and discuss the story in person. That was a pretty incredible day; they’re all great people, and the key across all the Star Wars projects seems to be great storytelling. We’ve all got the same goal.

Marvel.com: Now, this won’t be the first time either of you have worked on a Star Wars comic series between Charles writing LANDO and OBI-WAN & ANAKIN and Phil handling art on CHEWBACCA. However, it seems fair to say you both are working in fairly known territory with those titles in the sense that everyone knows these characters and at least the major aspects of who they are and why they’re significant to the Star Wars universe. With Poe Dameron, we have a character that even the most devout fans are only just getting to know. Can you talk a little bit about what it’s like working in this relatively new and unfamiliar territory?

Phil Noto: It’s a bigger sandbox to play in since there’s less known about this version of Star Wars. It’s nice that Oscar Isaac is an amazing actor who’s been in a lot of films. It makes it much easier to get into character in terms of his mannerisms and expressions art-wise.

Charles Soule: The biggest difference here is that I’ve had the “old” characters in my head for decades, in many cases. I don’t have to think about their voices all that much. The new guys are trickier, since it’s really been just the few viewings of the films that have let me understand the kind of characters I’m dealing with. That’s also sort of an opportunity though, because it means there’s a lot of shading I can help with, and fewer preconceived notions about things Poe is “supposed” to do or not do. Mostly, it’s a great excuse to see the movie a bunch of times.

Marvel.com: My understanding of STAR WARS: POE DAMERON is that it’s going to be a character study along the lines of the aforementioned series both of you are already working on. Even in the “The Force Awakens,” we see much less of Poe than Rey or Finn. Does this present a unique challenge for you given how much less you have to go on compared to the characters from your other series?

Phil Noto: Even though he doesn’t have that much screen time, he’s really fleshed out as a character. It’s really kind of nice to have the opportunity to add some details to him in this series.

Charles Soule: Poe actually has a fair amount of storytelling across the various Star Wars projects; we get some of his backstory in the SHATTERED EMPIRE comic from Greg Rucka and Marco Checchetto, and the “Before the Awakening novel”—also from Greg Rucka—has an entire section dealing with how Poe joined the Resistance. Maybe I should just give Greg Rucka a call.

We have enough, I think. I feel like I know how Poe would react to a number of scenarios, and from there, it’s about letting the story do its work. I’m really looking forward to it.

Poe Dameron by Phil Noto

Poe Dameron by Phil Noto

Marvel.com: Any movie or book about a hero is really only as good as the villain whom the hero faces off against. “The Force Awakens” had a host of supporting villains and leading bad guy, Kylo Ren. Any clues as to who you’ll be introducing to square off against the Resistance’s best fighter pilot and special operations officer?

Phil Noto: He’s going to have a great First Order nemesis who I think the readers will love.

Charles Soule: I spent a lot of time on the bad guy. I wanted someone who would feel new and fresh within the Star Wars universe, with a backstory that would make sense within the larger saga, but who could also stand up alongside Phasma and Hux and Kylo Ren and the other new antagonists we’ve seen. I don’t want to say too much, but while he’s new, he has a long history with dastardly deeds in the Star Wars galaxy, and should give Poe and [company] a run for their money. He’s one of my favorite parts of the whole thing.

Marvel.com: Looking at Poe’s distant past, Greg Rucka and Marco Checchetto’s STAR WARS: SHATTERED EMPIRE seems to provide some interesting hints about Poe’s heritage and who he could be. Is there anything you can say about that?

Phil Noto: I think that’s all de-classified at this point. With his parents both being in the Rebellion, I think it adds a cool dimension to his character and his relationship with Leia as she knew his parents.

Charles Soule: Agreed. We’re lucky to be building off storytelling from some of the very best in the business. All of it’s in play, and hopefully our stories will add some cool dimensions to the Star Wars universe that other creators can use down the road.

Marvel.com: The story itself is meant to pick up shortly before the events of “The Force Awakens.” What sort of stories will you be telling us about General Leia Organa’s star covert pilot?

Phil Noto: It’s going to be a story of him and his squadron at the start of their search for the whereabouts of Lor Sen Tekka, who they hope will lead them to Luke Skywalker.

Charles Soule: It’s not just one thing. It’s a series of stories that all link together to make a larger whole, related to Poe’s mission to track down Lor San Tekka, but that lets us go to some really interesting places. The Star Wars galaxy is a big place, with some weird corners—that’s part of why it’s so much fun.

Marvel.com: Phil, it seems like sci-fi comics can prove a difficult landscape for creating a believable and natural feel when the setting is anything but. I’m curious about how you plan to approach this series to “sell” it to readers?

Phil Noto: I’ve been in Star Wars mode for a while now working on CHEWBACCA and the YA character novels so it’s going to be more of seeing what I can borrow from the films and what I need/get to design outside of that while staying true to the look of the [Star Wars] universe.

Marvel.com: Additionally, there seems to be an added challenge given the strong visual associations readers and fans have with the world of Star Wars. How do you strike the balance of rendering characters that have living counterparts so that it looks pleasing to the eye without being overly beholden to the actor’s countenance?

Phil Noto: The actors have really become the characters in most people’s eyes so if I can get close to the likenesses, I think the readers will connect with the ones they know and by association, the ones they don’t.

Charles Soule: Just to add, I think Phil is absolutely amazing at doing exactly this. Everything feels like it should, but it’s also artistic and very much Phil’s. I couldn’t be more excited that we get to go on this journey together.

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