Given the sheer magnitude of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, it was only fitting that J.J. Abrams opted to kill off a character or two for emotional impact and what not. We already know of one seriously major death (we’re still not saying his name because, well, it hurts) but it turns out that one of the new stars was originally set to meet an early demise.
That character was Oscar Isaac’s Poe Dameron. In the movie, Poe and Finn (John Boyega) escape the First Order by stealing a TIE Fighter and crash-landing on Jakku. Then, we see Finn pop up in the middle of the planet’s desert, dazed and confused, while there’s no sign of Poe. Assumed dead, we don’t get to see him much again until much later…
Director J.J. Abrams has previously revealed that Poe was supposed to die at that stage, but – thankfully – Isaac managed to convince him otherwise. We eventually see Poe later in the film, leading an exhilarating X-Wing attack, helping to bring the First Order to its knees: “Originally Poe was going to die early on in the film, and that was the script that Oscar saw,” Abrams says in the upcoming documentary on the making of The Force Awakens.
“One of his issues was that he had made four movies in which he had died early on. And he was sick of dying early on.”
Isaac elaborates: “A week or so later, JJ wrote to me and said ‘We’ve got it figured out, Poe’s in the rest of the movie now’. And so this idea that Poe comes back was added later. Which obviously for me was incredibly exciting and fantastic, I get to live.”
Thankfully, he did live on and we still harbour hopes of that Finn/Poe bromance blossoming even further. Meanwhile, Star Wars: Episode VIII is currently filming, with Kylo Ren actor Adam Driver saying revealing a “really great script” while also discussing what it’s like working with Rian Johnson in comparison to Abrams.