Spoilers follow. You have been warned.
I have been kicking this around for a while, since the very first scene of The Force Awakens, but I think it is solidified for me:
Poe Dameron is my favorite character in Star Wars. Not in the Force Awakens, in all of Star Wars.
Most of you know my affinity for ‘bucketheads’- Phasma, Fett. I like characters with mystery. Phasma was a bit of a letdown, I think, but maybe she had to be- Fett worked because there was so little known about him, you can create your own mythos.
But Poe, damn. I love flying, so pilots are characters I tend to like. Poe is just that, brashly so, and loves it. The Han Solo parallels are obvious, so why Poe and not the in-four-films-and-is-classic Solo?
One of my favorite things about TFA is the subtle changes to parallel characters, and where Han learned to care about others over the course of the OT, it is part of Poe’s soul. He cares about BB-8, even more so than we saw people care about R2. He instantly cares about Finn- “Yeah, well, I’m not calling you that.” He refuses to accept that this person doesn’t have an identity. And when he sees Finn again, this bad-ass, tough-as-nails smartass almost cries. And when that person asks for his help, he barges in on his boss (who clearly likes him and respects him, but still) to make sure that happens.
To me, that sets him apart. For all my love of a lot of ‘bad’ characters, I love that Poe so genuinely cares about others more than himself. Combine that with everything else he is, and he takes the top spot for me.
Oh, and that hair? Just look at that hair.