Alex Segura’s Poe Dameron: Free Fall illustrates the background of Poe as he, in an effort to escape his boring life on Yavin 4 jumps at an opportunity to be a pilot of what he believes are smugglers, finds himself falling into a seemingly inescapable void of joining the Spice Runners of Kijimi.
The main theme of this book deals with choosing to do what is right, no matter the consequences. This is something Poe struggles with throughout the story, and it’s especially difficult when his selfish and discontented desires get in the way. For example, while it is completely understandable why he would want to go out on his own and escape his (rightfully so) helicopter father, he quickly learns there may have been a better way to do it as he finds himself by accident in a life of crime.
Segura demonstrates a flawless characterization of every single role in this story, especially the lead. His words and descriptions provide the sarcastic, clever, stubborn, and impulsive Poe Dameron fans know and love from the films. Throughout the book, the reader will constantly see the wit and problem solving skills as well as the sass the character develops.
Fans will remember the first hints of Poe’s past in The Rise of Skywalker when he (begrudgingly), along with Rey, Finn, BB-8 and C-3PO, head to Kijimi, running into Zorii and Babu. In the book, readers experience the young pilot’s interactions with not only these but other characters that appear throughout the books and games of the Star Wars universe, such as BoShek, Caryn, and Tarand Crowe, to name a few.
Zorii is a crucial interaction for Poe, and one could argue she is the antagonist in the story, pushing him to change as he goes on his journey as they both strive for the same thing but go about it in different ways. Hinted in the movie, they have a past together with a deep relationship. Not only do we witness their banter, teamwork, and chemistry, but there are moments of reminiscence that are only made stronger and more powerful in the film with flipped perspectives. As an example, Poe suggests they run away together in the book, and in the movie, Zorii brings up the idea. In addition, readers also get a crystal clear idea as to why Zorii would kill Poe when she first spots him.
This story seems to provide additional background to specific moments in The Rise of Skywalker. For example, Poe is shoved into the hot seat to try the risky move known as hyperdrive skipping, and through Segura’s narration it is made clear how dangerous and deadly it can truly be. Another instance is the reasoning and history behind Zorii’s outfit, specifically her helmet.
Poe Dameron: Free Fall is a roller-coaster, perfectly paced read, filled with fun and suspenseful moments. If you’re a Star Wars fan, this is a definite must-read.