Star Wars Character Review: Poe Dameron

*Warning: This post contains spoilers about the new characters that were introduced to audiences for the episodes seven and eight in the Star Wars franchise. Read at your own risk if you have not seen The Force Awakens Or The Last Jedi.

There is something to be said about a well written, human character. They leap off the page and speak to us as if they were right in front us, as flesh and blood human beings, instead of fictional creations.

In this series of weekly blog posts, I will examine character using the characters from Star Wars to explore how writers can create fully dimensional, human characters that audiences and readers can relate to.

Becoming a hero is a wish that many have. Saving the day and receiving everything that comes with saving the day is a fantasy that has been the backbone of storytelling since the beginning of storytelling. But there is an unspoken reality of becoming a hero. Besides the danger that is involved, there may also be an ego trip and the inevitable fall that comes after the ego trip.

In the newest Star Wars films, Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) is a hero of the rebellion. The spiritual son of General Leia Organa (the late Carrie Fisher), he is not only one of the best pilots within the rebellion, but he is also being groomed as General Organa’s future second in command. In The Force Awakens, Poe is one of the core characters that is front and center in the war against The First Order.

Brash, passionate, emotional and a little reckless, Poe is everything the rebellion needs to prevent The First Order from taking over the entire galaxy.

In The Last Jedi, Poe is still the hero, but his recklessness becomes a negative attribute instead of a positive one. Disobeying orders, he leads a strike against the First Order that costs the lives of many and is promptly demoted. But even his demotion is not enough  when he disagrees with the choices of his replacement, Admiral Holdo (Laura Dern). When he is working with Rose (Kelly Marie Tran) and Finn (John Boyega) to help the rebellion survive, his actions bring out the opposite result.

In the end, Poe redeems himself as a hero in the battle on the planet Crait, but not before having a few bumps and bruises along the way.

To sum it up: Being a hero and saving the day is not all fun and games. There is a reality to being a hero that is often not explored. When creating a character who wants to be a hero, making that character earn that hero title is in my opinion, necessary. It not only creates a realistic character arc, but it also keeps the audience or reader in their place, questioning when the character will become the hero they want to be.


Putin Comes To America

No one goes through life without making at least one mistake. The hope is that most people learn from their mistake and try to prevent it from happening in the future.

But you know who is not most people. After the reaction of the American public to the speech in Helsinki earlier this week, a smart person would have thought twice about how to deal with Putin and the Russian government.

But you know who isn’t exactly the stable genius he publicly proclaims himself to be. After trying to save his skin by walking back on his speech, he decided that the smart thing would be to invite Putin to visit America in the fall.

If there was anyone else sitting in the Oval Office, this would be just another meeting between two world leaders.

But with you know who, this is not just a meeting between two world leaders.

Why don’t we just give Putin the American Presidency? Tear up the Bill Of Rights and throw the Constitution in a bonfire?

What Putin wants is to destroy the American democracy as we know it to be and you know who is stupidly playing into his hands.

Good job America, we really did vote for the best person for the job.



Jane Lives On

201 years ago yesterday, Jane Austen left this Earth.

In her lifetime, she published four completed novels: Sense And Sensibility, Pride And Prejudice, Mansfield Park And Emma. Persuasion, her last completed novel and Northanger Abbey, her first completed novel were published posthumously.

I sometimes wonder if she had any inkling of her pending immortality. Though her mortal bones have long since returned to the Earth, her name lives on. She is as famous as any contemporary author. Her books are read for pleasure and for academic purposes. There have been more than a few film, television and stage adaptations of her works (some which are better than others) and while many modern authors have tried to replicate Jane’s style as a writer, only a handful have succeeded in doing so.

Her work lives on because they still speak to us 200 years later. Above all else, she wrote about the human condition and the ordinary experiences that we all live through.

Wherever you are Jane, thank you.

Throwback Thursday-No One Would Tell (1996)

The statistics about spousal/partner abuse can only be defined as scary. 1 out of every three women and one out of every four men have been physically abused by their spouse or romantic partner.

In the 1996 television movie, No One Would Tell, Stacy Collins (Candace Cameron Bure) is a shy teenage girl who somehow attracts the attention of Bobby Tennison (Fred Savage), one of the most popular boys in her high school. What starts out as a fairy tale high school fantasy come true turns into a nightmare. Bobby becomes possessive of Stacy and starts physically abusing her. Can Stacy walk away from Bobby before it’s too late?

While there are some “message” movies that get on their soapbox instead of using the narrative to get their message to the audience, this television movie does not fall into that category. Spousal and partner abuse is an epidemic that has existed for most of human history. The message in the movie reaches the audience in a way that hits home without said soapbox.

I recommend it.

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