Poe Dameron is a hero of the Resistance, but before that he was a Commander in the New Republic Defense Fleet.
He commanded Rapier Squadron, and the recent Age of Resistance comic showed us a mission that the Squadron once rushed into – and on the last page of the issue, it featured a significant revelation: Poe Dameron had actually come into contact with Amilyn Holdo before he ever even joined the Resistance.
At the Brooksdion New Republic Space Station, Poe Dameron dreams of being out among the stars when an alarm sounds, calling Rapier Squadron to the hangar bay immediately. Someone had snuck aboard the station, stolen the head of Admiral Mathieson’s protocol droid (which contained recordings of every conversation of the past five years), and escaped aboard a shuttle. The shuttle hadn’t yet jumped into hyperspace, however, so Dameron and his squadron rushed out to find it.
It didn’t take them long to do so, and Dameron took out the ship’s hyperspace systems so they couldn’t escape. The ship communicated with Poe and stalled before making some maneuvers that force Rapier Squadron into combat. The ship eluded them, however, and headed for the Lost Souls asteroid field – somewhere that pilots don’t come back from. Dameron ordered his squadron to stay back while he headed into the fray in pursuit of the ship.
He narrowly avoided a sudden asteroid (that BB-8 couldn’t detect due to the field’s gasses hindering communications and sensors), then narrowly avoided a giant space slug thanks to the enemy ship firing upon it. The two ships then avoided dozens of mines that had locked on to them thanks to the advice of the other ship, and after avoiding a few more asteroids and slugs, they escaped the asteroid cluster… only for the enemy ship to fire at Dameron’s X-Wing, disabling it.
But Poe took the chance to ask this mysterious ship as to why they stole the protocol droid head. “There’s been something growing out there,” the person on the other responded. “Something evil. And a Resistance is rising against it. It’s had to. The New Republic command hasn’t been acting. We were after further confirmation of this inaction. The New Republic Defense Force. Do you know what you’re defending? The only people afraid of words getting out are people with something to hide, flyboy.”
After a few more words, and with the ship’s hyperdrive fixed, we then learn who was piloting the ship: Nien Nunb, under the command of Vice Admiral Holdo.
I actually really love this twist at the end; all throughout the comic, I was wondering who it was that stole this, and to find out at the end that it was not only the Resistance but was Holdo and Nien Nunb was really cool. We need more Holdo stories, and this shows her on a mission for General Leia Organa’s Resistance well before the events of the sequel trilogy. She was one of Leia’s most trusted advisors and leaders, so I’m sure there are plenty of great stories to be told.
But there’s obviously an added dimension here in that Holdo and Poe don’t exactly see eye-to-eye in The Last Jedi. It seems clear that Poe has heard of Holdo but never met her when she assumes command of the Raddus in the film, and I wonder if he ever found out that it was actually Holdo who was leading this mission. I also really like to think that this event helped push Poe even more toward joining the Resistance. We know that he eventually grows tired of the New Republic not doing anything about the First Order and is recruited to the Resistance by General Organa, but I think it’s likely that those seeds were being planted for a while before that. This event could be one of them, as Holdo informs Poe of the Resistance that is growing to fight the First Order in the wake of the New Republic inaction. And while Holdo’s mission was in part to make sure the New Republic wasn’t acting, perhaps it actually helped show Poe that it wasn’t doing its job either.
And if all of that is indeed the case, then Amilyn Holdo actually played a part in Poe Dameron becoming sympathetic to the Resistance, which eventually led to him joining them.