Poe Dameron: Free Fall is a coming-of-age tale packed with the perils of teenage rebellion.
If you left The Rise of Skywalker with a lot of questions about the eleventh-hour inclusions to Poe Dameron’s backstory, then Alex Segura’s young adult novel, Poe Dameron: Free Fall is the book for you.
“You can love your family and still want to be far from them.”- Zorii Wynn
Poe Dameron’s upbringing is a familiar Star Wars origin story. In the years following his mother’s death, Poe finds himself feeling trapped at his family’s farm on the moon colony of Yavin 4, longing for a life among the stars.
Dameron’s mother, Shara Bey, was a heroic rebel pilot and that thirst for adventure and flight runs hot through the sixteen-year old’s veins. He’s a kid with big dreams that can’t be contained by his father’s wishes for a quiet reprieve from the Rebellion.
“He doesn’t want me to die like Mom did,” Poe said. “In space. Alone.”
Some of the best moments within Free Fall are the scenes between Poe and his still-mourning father, Kes Dameron. In the wake of Shara’s death, their relationship has fractured and the grief that exists between them is palpable.
So much of that strain is rooted in their inability to openly express their pain with each other. Kes desperately wants to keep Poe safe, to preserve his wife’s sacrifice by keeping their son sheltered.
Ultimately, that’s what drives Poe headfirst into an unplanned life of crime with the Kijimi Spice Runners.
The novel goes to great lengths to explain several plot points from The Rise of Skywalker; from Poe’s relationship with Zorii Bliss, his involvement with the spice running, and hyperspace skipping.
Babu Frick manages to steal every scene he’s in, just as he did in the film. It was exciting to see familiar planets appear throughout the story including Kijimi and The Mandalorian’s forested planet of Sorgan.
Some elements of the interactions with the Kijimi Spice Runners felt watered down to satisfy a young adult audience. They were certainly a group that had no qualms with associating with slavers and murderers and murdering their own.
At some points, I wished they leaned more into that gritty criminal underbelly, but it served its purpose by showing Poe the dangers that lay beyond Yavin 4.
Poe Dameron: Free Fall is Poe Dameron’s Solo: A Star Wars Story.
The novel is an exciting space-romp with all the makings of a classic Star Wars story. There are fast-paced starship chases, heart-pumping firefights, doublecrossing and betrayal, a smattering of romance, and a healthy dose of Senator Leia Organa inspiring the next generation with hope.
Alex Segura manages to put to the page all of the charm Oscar Isaac pours into his portrayal of Poe Dameron.
Your Money Geek thanks Del Rey Publishing & NetGallery for providing us with a free copy for review. Pick up your own copy of Poe Dameron: Free Fall August 4th, 2020.