Cover Image: Star Wars Poe Dameron: Free Fall

Star Wars Poe Dameron: Free Fall

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As a huge fan of the Poe Dameron character, I was of two minds when I saw this book was announced. The first was being ecstatic about a YA story with Poe Dameron as the main character! The second, well I was one of the people who really did not like the spice runner backstory that was given to us in The Rise of Skywalker, and I knew this story would settle around that time, which meant that I was biased against the book's premise, really before I started reading. 

That said, I was still excited to download and read it. This book provides an entertaining and adventurous story with Poe Dameron and Zorii Bliss at the center. There's plenty of Star Wars action, ships, planets, and the pilot that we know and love, while also holding a fair amount of emotional center, coming of age, and showing us how Poe got involved with spice runners in the first place, and conflicts and ethical quandaries along the way. 

This story did not sell me on the necessity of this backstory for this character, but it did present a canon version of a backstory that had already been declared elsewhere that I can live with, and it did so in a way that was aware of other canon already present with this character. One of the book's strengths, in my opinion, was an expansion upon what we know about Zorii Bliss, the spice runner we meet for the first time in The Rise of Skywalker. Her backstory and characterization was one of the best parts of this book, and I very definitely would love to see more stories or comics written with her character. She reminds me a great deal of my favorite Star Wars character (Mara Jade) in the best ways. 

This brings me to one of my main book quibbles, which is that I feel like the book would have benefited from Zorii as a POV character earlier in the story. I feel like you could have done this without giving away any reveal, and that it would have been nice to have the outside perspective of Poe's actions and challenges, and generally added depth to Poe's story as well. At times Poe's characterization felt a little bit off to me although in most cases I connect this to the backstory itself and the fact that I struggle to really buy it from the character in the first place and that's not necessarily an author issue, but a wider canon issue. 

Generally speaking, this book earns a solid three stars for taking a throw away backstory that I hated, and turning it into a book that I overall enjoyed. This book is likely to be enjoyed by casual Star Wars or Poe Dameron fans, and I think if you didn't have strong feelings about the backstory, it's a really fun romp. I appreciate the author taking time to give Zorii a backstory and history that made me want to read more about her and hope to see more of her in future stories and media.
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Coming out of The Rise of Skywalker, my favourite new character by far was Zorri, and I'm so glad we have this book to establish more of her character! This is one of my favourite of the new Star Wars books; the story is engaging, and the author really understands Poe and gets his voice across exactly right. Thew new characters, while not given much depth, are all enjoyable and likeable, and while the plot is predictable it is very much a Star Wars adventure. I did have a few issues with the writing, particularly how in dialogue they seem to always use the characters' full names, but overall this was a great read.
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this was such a fun ride! coming from someone totally new to the star wars universe (i know, dont judge me) i was super curious. i loved this from start to finish and will be picking up more star wars related books.
also, obviously for fans of poe....then again, who doesnt love him
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"I'm going to be the best pilot the galaxy's ever seen. Bank on it."
- Poe Dameron

Poe "Cutie-Pie" Dameron is currently by far one of the most explored main characters in the Resistance era storytelling. We've had three movies, lots of Star Wars Resistance episodes, an entire comic line, and lots more, but there's a pretty big gap in there.

A pretty big, spice running gap.

The shady times.

If you've kept up with Poe's story in other media there are a few familiar faces. From a bit more info about his family to his days as Poe Dameron: Runner of Spice. There is plenty of space piloting, ship-battling, and blaster shootouts for that classic Star Wars adventure feel. While we are all familiar with who Poe becomes, this is an interesting exploration of a ginormous misstep along that path.

For Poe Dameron diehards this is a must-read. Seeing this early adventure unfold and learning the choices that lead him back to finding his true path is illuminating. Poe shows us what it's like to find yourself in a life that you feel trapped in. The details that I especially enjoyed were L'ulo, the A-Wing, Boshek, the Guavians, Obah Diah, Kessel, hyperspace skipping, Sorgan, the Pyke Syndicate, a Y-Wing, chaka-root, the Dai-Bendu, iced mocoa, and Babu!!

– Sal P.

Full review will be up after release at: http://theroguerebels.com/2020/07/04/star-wars-poe-dameron-free-fall-review
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Star Wars Poe Dameron: Free Fall is a fast-paced, deadly, adventure that feels perfect for the character of Poe Dameron. Alex Segura's writing style compliments the planet-hopping journey that includes plenty of moments of suspense, humor, and action. Poe Dameron manages to learn a lot about himself in this coming of age story. 



You can find my full review here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xdvkgJwut8Q
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Poe Dameron: Free Fall introduces us to a teenage Poe Dameron — listless, rebellious, and unfulfilled on Yavin 4. Poe’s father, Kes Dameron, is a sympathetic yet stern, figure. Like all of the relationships in this book, theirs is messy. His father loves him dearly, but is still haunted by the death of his wife and Rebellion hero, Shara Bey. The weight of their shared grief hangs heavy over the Dameron household and she serves as an ever-present figure. Poe Dameron: Free Fall is an intriguing piece of backstory that found me ready for a sequel. Although this is a book intended for ages 12+, there is enough darkness and layered morality here to make for a juicy read.

Note: I am an editor for Basic Stuff Magazine and collaborated on this review.
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Generally, I thought "Poe Dameron: Free Fall" was a really solid book. It did fall into the YA trap a couple of times, especially with how the relationship of the two main characters inevitably developed into something of a romance. Their bond, frankly, was compelling without it. 

The book examined themes of family, of how their expectations shape a person, fairly well with a number of its characters. Grief (at a loss of a parent and of family, as well as the ramifications of such a massive loss) is also touched on. 

As an educator, I will be recommending it to our kids during our Reading Adventure challenge. As a Star Wars fan, it was a great reminder why Poe Dameron is one of the best characters to come out of the last couple of movies.
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***Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me with a digital copy of this book in exchange for an honest review***

I cannot stress this enough: I love Poe Dameron! Anything and everything about him.
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I have read my fair share of Star Wars novelization and extended universe content and have been disappointed in the past.  Poe Damron:  Free Fall was even better than I expected!  The novel begins with Poe starting trouble and grappling with his failing relationship with his father.  The first chapter had me hooked and I couldn't put this down!

After a brief joy ride in his deceased mother's ship, Poe lands in confinement, fights with his father, seeks advice from a mentor, and eventually ends up getting himself a job as a pilot for Spice runners!  This is backstory that was alluded to in The Rise of Skywalker, but readers will really get a feel for the interplay between Poe and Zorii Wynn.  This relationship was one of the things I was most curious about when I watched the latest Star Wars film.  I am so glad that Disney/Lucasfilm is releasing this book to provide that backstory!  

Having never read anything by Alex Segura, I was a bit cautious, but from the opening scene, I could tell that he really understood the elements of Poe's character.  Throughout the narrative, we see that hotheaded, excitable, but prone to leadership person that Leia mentored and attempted to temper during the latest round of films.  I felt like the conflict both internal and external was really well done and softened just enough for a YA audience to digest and be able to relate to.  Though many teenagers don't have a fight with their parent and take off to live a life as a smuggler, but many do have struggles with their parents.  

This novel presents all of the things a reader wants from a Star Wars story:  high flying space battles, emotional conflict, a struggle between right and wrong, and fantastic characters.  This is a well written book I would recommend to YA readers and general Star Wars fans alike.  

I received a galley copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review!
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Poe Dameron: Free Fall by Alex Segura gives the hero a clear arc — something significantly deeper than in the films. His parents, established in the comics and other tie-in works, get more establishment as well. Young Poe is struggling with his father’s expectations and mother’s legacy, as well as his determination to get offworld. As such, it follows many traditional hero’s journey steps. In this lively children’s novel, Poe teams up with Zorri Bliss and willingly joins the notorious spicerunners. Together the pair have youthful adventures, telling a fast-paced story while setting up events in Rise of Skywalker. As it introduces planets already seen in the larger universe, there are few surprises, but the book entertains well.
This straightforward story still offers some nuance. Poe has his first time comparing being a good guy and a bad guy as he finds the universe offers shades of grey. The book also establishes how one can switch from a law-abiding child to a Han-Solo-type criminal. It’s an interesting topic, approached with authenticity and soul-searching. It’s also a practical, realistic story instead of one of the mystical Force. Adding nuance to the larger universe, Poe’s desperation to escape his parents’ legacy as squeaky-clean war heroes mirrors Ben Solo’s — especially when his father poignantly pleads with him to come home. It’s a good establishing story for Poe, like several adventures in the comics. Though it does feel as if, since the theme park opened, too many books have the characters ordering off Disney’s food and drinks menu.
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I enjoyed getting to know more about Poe Dameron and his past, The Spice Runners of Kajimi were a very interesting faction, and seeing Poe’s relationship with them, especially Zorii was super interesting. The book jumped around a bit, going from one scene to a completely different one a little disjointedly, but over that, it was fun, and a nice, quick read to learn more about Poe. I also liked how Poe’s relationship with Zorii was handled, and now, the interactions of the two from The Rise of Skywalker make much more sense to me.
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I am one of the fans who were surprised about the not-so-clean past revealed in The Rise of Skywalker. He was a smuggler, one of the worst type of smuggler: a spice runner, which means he smuggled drugs. But if we think more and more about it, Abrams’ innovation fitted the character and connected to the Poe we got familiar in The Last Jedi. He was an autonomous, stubborn guy, not a compliant soldier. In Star Wars, we had an interesting romantic of spice smugglers since Han Solo, who played a character like this in The Force Awakens as well, but in The Rise of Skywalker Poe became this character. Poe is like a mixture of Han Solo and Wedge Antilles; he became a “perfect pilot”.

In Poe, however, the desire for freedom and action coincides with the need to do well. This duality and wrestling in character can be seen perfectly in Alex Segura’s Free Fall. Poe is only 16 years old in this story, his desire for adventure is boiling in him, he is fed up with his father’s protective love, he wants to leave a mark in the galaxy. Star Wars is about family, and in this novel, the parent-child relationship also plays an important role, especially between Poe and his father, Kes Dameron. Poe is longing for an adventure, away from their farm. He evokes Luke Skywalker of A New Hope, only here it is not Uncle Owen but Kes Dameron who wants to protect the boy from the horrors of the galaxy. The book is an excellent illustration of the tensions between the two generations’ misunderstanding of each other, the contrast between parental experience and youthful desire to act.

However, the expected adventure came too fast and too concentrated: Poe joins of the most dangerous teams in the galaxy, the Spice Runners of Kijimi, whose principles and actions he may not be able to identify with. Here he meets Zori, the other main character in the novel. And while Poe’s background and family are already known in the canon, Zorii Bliss character gets a real and deep background story, making me one of the favourite characters of the age of the Sequel Trilogy. The dynamics, care and conflict between the two main characters are lifelike, lovable and exciting. Although we know the end of their relationship in Episode IX, the novel guided this very nicely: mixing intimate moments with unspoken secrets, conflicting goals, and sources of tension caused by different family backgrounds.

Another advantage of the book is that we can get to know the New Republic in its full power, what the galaxy became more than ten years after the fall of the Empire. Well, it’s like in The Mandalorian: the central government only reaches the central planets, less the Outer Rim: here the underworld rules. An essential character in the book is an officer from the New Republic Security Bureau. In contrast, the other characters, except for Poe’s family members, are tied to the underworld. The book shows very well how the things changed after the fall of the Empire, how the Pykes were pushed back in the spice business, and how emerging bands like the Spice Runners of Kijimi emerged. Although the underworld of Star Wars movies seems to be romantic and bohemian, and Zorii’s spice runners also seemed like “Cheerful Boys” in The Rise of Skywalker, the book reveals that Kijimi is Nar Shaddaa of the Sequel Era: cruel, violent and sinful.

Alex Segura is excellent at drawing scenes, the book is teeming with action-packed moments, but it also leaves time and space to unfold the personality of the characters. The exciting and entertaining story is, moreover, nicely linked to other canonical content set in the era, be it the Shattered Empire comic series, The Mandalorian streaming series, or even the content related to Galaxy’s Edge. The book is a real masterpiece, one of the best of the canon!
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Star Wars Poe Dameron: Free Fall by Alex Segura is an amazing masterpiece that will make you cry, laugh and worry. I couldn’t stop reading it. The book is a part of a big Star Wars world but you don’t need to read other books and comics, where Poe Dameron appears, to understand the story. 

We saw adult Poe in movies and read about him in books and comics. Brave, stubborn pilot with huge life experience. But who was before that hero? “The Rise of Skywalker” told us about his shady past with The Spice Runners of Kijimi, but left untold how the son of the Rebel Alliance heroes got to criminal world. “Free Fall” answers this question perfectly.

The book is about Poe. He is a heart of this story. The brave heart that was broken by his mother’s death and father’s sorrow. Relationships of two Damerons touch you deep inside.  We have never seen Kes Dameron after Shara Bey’s death, and the book shows how even so strong man like Kes turns into ghost. She was the light of Dameron family. And even after her death her light still guides Poe. It lives in him. Poe tries to be closer to his mother through flying and adventure. I love how the author describes all moments of Poe with his parents. I cried. 

We saw L'ulo L'ampar in comics, his influence on Poe. And I was glad to see him in this book too. L'ulo wants the best to his late friend’s son, but he still doesn’t know how to help the boy. No one does. Poe needs to find it out by himself.

And all this accumulated anger, stubbornness and desire to run away and have an adventure lead Poe to Zorii Bliss and The Spice Runners of Kijimi. I like the way Poe got there. It was so in Poe Dameron’s style. The time with the Spice Runners shows us the criminal world of New Republic era. It was great to see so many gangs, the Crime Underworld. There was a classic Star Wars atmosphere. I got nice “Solo” and “The Mandalorian” vibes. But don't forget that this book is about Poe in the first place, not The Spice Runners of Kijimi and others.

Zorii Bliss has a huge part in this story. Through her and her actions Poe learns the complicated grey world, that not everything is black and white. But even grey world has its shades and borders. And Poe learns that too. I liked the dynamics of Poe and Zorii.

Poe Dameron is one of my favorite Star Wars characters. The most favorite in the sequel trilogy. And after “Free Fall” I love him even more! Teenage Poe is charming, smart, but stubborn, impulsive and very presumptuous. And sometimes I wanted to get into the book and just pop Poe in the skull. Well, Poe never was an ideal golden boy. He always was a scoundrel with a big heart. And the book confirms that. Also it shows Poe’s spirit. Poe is a really strong person who learns on his mistakes and is ready to do everything to keep his friends safe. Poe Dameron fans will be happy.

Some people told that criminal past of Poe was a mistake. That Poe should stay that perfect son of two heroes. But Poe never was perfect. And he needed that adventure. Nothing else could give him that experience and show Poe who he really was and what his purpose is.

This adventure was Poe Dameron free fall. A boy jumped into nowhere and the man landed.
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Free Fall is a much anticipated look into the formative years of one of the New Republic’s most talented pilots. It expertly showcases Poe Dameron’s rise from teenage delinquent, to revered smuggler, to a budding New Republic pilot. Plenty of dog fights, and light on the romance, this action packed story sports a plot dense, character driven narrative worthy of the big screen,
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Poe Dameron is an unhappy teen. He wants to follow the adventurous footsteps of his long gone mother, but his father won't consent to any of it. After an antic goes awry, a hot-headed Poe enlists with an organization with a notorious reputation, the Spice Runners of Kijimi.

As an outcast and low level member of the cell he is part of, he only finds friendship in Zorii Wynn, another teenager, totally committed to the ideals of the organization. Together they acquire experience and improve their rank, through several missions.

Back on Yavin 4, his father works with Sela Trune, a talented but young investigator from the New Republic Security Bureau. She's been building a case against the Kijimi organization, and will do anything in her power to stop them. But will she be able to keep her personal motivations in check?

Raw action, intrigue and plenty of betrayals make this a really entertaining novel, who will let us understand better the Poe of the trilogy. Props to Alex Segura for his smooth writing and for weaving all the small or big canon connections with the movies, TV series, novels and comics.

Recommended!
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Slow quite a bit. I think this one tried but overall it needs a bit more backstory to the character and his origins than it had. Maybe I am wrong, but I wanted so much more than it had.
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Poe Dameron before the resistance.  A prequel book can be hit or miss, Alex Segura manages to not only pull it off but also gives readers a great addition to the new star wars cannon. Poe Dameron yearning to be among the stars off on wild adventures much to the dismay of his father who along with Poe`s deceased mother fought the empire in various battles with the Rebellion.  This story brings us to the connection shared by Poe and Zorii before the events of episode 9 The Rise of Skywalker.

Adventure awaits a younger poe as he sets off on adventures through the galaxy meeting new characters along the way experiencing many things that will test his loyalties and his moral fiber. Will poe manage to make the decisions needed to save himself from the path he is on? Find out August 04 2020.

This like all good star wars books is a page turner at times I couldn't put it down even when I knew I had to this will stay within my collection of really good star wars reads.
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“Poe Dameron, spice runner. Runner of spice.”

The surprising revelation of Poe Dameron’s checkered past in The Rise of Skywalker is now a novel for every Star Wars fan to discover. Star Wars Poe Dameron: Free Fall, written by Alex Segura, takes the reader on a planet-hopping adventure to tell the story of young Poe—from his brief, mundane life on Yavin 4 with his father Kes Dameron and his friend L’ulo Lampar to his life as a Spice Runner of Kijimi.

Free Fall focuses on the family theme—that is at the core of Star Wars. Poe Dameron’s parents were heroes of the Rebellion who experienced the fall of the Empire first hand. Although Kes Dameron and Shara Bey retired to Yavin 4 to raise their child—the stories of adventure far away from home shaped Poe’s personality, especially his passion for flying. Shara’s death created tension between Poe and his father—pushing Poe to follow his mother’s footsteps and become a pilot, far away from home. That’s when young Dameron joins the Spice Runners of Kijimi.

Alex Segura stays true to Poe Dameron’s character—from hot-headed nature to mad piloting skills—but one thing that stands out in Free Fall is Poe’s good heart and determination to stay true to himself despite the choices that led him to become a scoundrel.

Poe Dameron isn’t the only main character Free Fall develops around; Zorii Bliss’ origin story enriches the character in a way The Rise of Skywalker never could. Not only does the novel delve into the emotionally complex relationship between the two—shining the light about Zorii’s grudge against Poe in The Rise of Skywalker—but it also dives deep into Zorii’s devotion as a member of the Spice Runners of Kijimi and the reason why her journey led her to eventually become the leader of the criminal organization.

The novel also introduces a variety of new characters—from fearless criminals to a hyper-positive, yet hilarious droid—but the most remarkable one is a New Republic Security Bureau officer who is desperate to bring the Spice Runners to justice. Her determination and methods almost resemble the Imperial days. It’s fascinating to see the “good guys” dealing with bringing order to the galaxy without crossing the line as the Empire did.

Free Fall did not disappoint with the inclusion of the iconic planet of Kijimi and one of its most fascinating inhabitants from The Rise of Skywalker: Babu Frik. The little Anzellan droidsmith serves the same purpose in the novel as he did in the movie, with the exception that Free Fall provides the missing link of his friendship with Zorii and his acquaintance with Poe Dameron.

The cinematic structure of Free Fall makes it a smooth and enjoyable read—and gives hope for an eventual comic book adaptation (the cover art was created by Phil Noto, the artist behind the Poe Dameron comic series). The constant planet hopping gives the reader an opportunity to feel like you are on a space cruise, but it never takes away the focus from character and story development. The novel feels fresh for its standalone nature while satisfyingly linking the events from The Rise of Skywalker.

From hyperspace skipping to romance to epic fights, Poe Dameron: Free Fall is an essential read, whether you are a fan of the flyboy wonder or not. Pre-order your copy today!
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Poe Cameron: Free Fall fills in the gray area between Poe growing up as a child on Yavin 4 and when he joins the resistance movement. It explores the mysterious life of "Poe Dameron Spice Runner" referenced in The Rise of Skywalker. While Segura does a brilliant job exploring Poe's familial connections and complications within his novel, the overall plot feels a bit unfinished. There is a lack of clear motive for Poe to continue going on the missions he does and unclear rewards/repercussions to the characters' actions taken throughout the novel. Zorii and Poe's relationship is the heart of this novel and while there are moments where you see the chemistry that's on full display in The Rise of Skywalker, here it seems moody and bipolar with little explanation for the sudden mood swings present within the plot line. I appreciated that this novel did fill in some background for one of the sequel trilogy's main characters, but I wish there was more purpose and weight to what ultimately happens.
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An adventure only Poe Dameron could give you!

In his debut Star Wars novel, Alex Segura paints a young Poe Dameron that lives up to his on-screen presence. We find Poe living in a quaint settlement on Yavin IV, but dreaming of traveling the galaxy and making a name for himself, just like his Rebellion hero parents did. Not cut out for a tranquil life on a planet without much happening, Poe takes the first ride off of Yavin IV. Literally, the first group of people that need a pilot. Poe seeks adventure, and we are along for the ride!

This book gives weight to the interactions we see in The Rise of Skywalker between Zorii Bliss and Poe. To me, their relationship seemed more intriguing than Poe’s previous life as a spice runner. Segura brings them both to life and creates a bond that drives the story in a unique way. Their complexities and histories make their relationship feel just as vital to the story as being shot at by multiple crime syndicates. 

Poe’s adventure makes him conscious of the consequences of his choices. Not just how his actions affect his life, but how their ripples affect those around him. Poe finds out what decisions he can live with and which ones cross the line. 

Alex Segura gives us a fun ride with characters we already know, new characters, and a story that fits right into A Galaxy Far, Far Away… The action sequences are easy to visualize, and the characters are understandable. This novel has the human touch that defines Star Wars. We see characters, their flaws, and the series of decisions that turn farm boys into ace pilots, sometimes with skeletons in the closet. The author does a stellar job showing the essence and desires of each character. I constantly felt sucked into each characters’ wants, feelings, and opinions. 

I would have liked a bit more lore and in galaxy reference throughout the book. The book had lots of references near the beginning but fell off a bit once Poe leaves Yavin IV. That being said, I would rather have a compelling story than a history lesson of A Galaxy Far, Far Away, so I am not turned off by the lack of lore. 

This book is for Star Wars fans, especially those who enjoy Poe Dameron (even those turned off by his spice running past). It adds color to the character and the galaxy as a whole. The novel also appeals to fans of Star Wars novels and is not too heavy on the romance for those who get queasy because of a YA designation. 

This book is well worth your time to pick up and enjoy when it comes out on August 4, 2020.

-- I was given an advanced copy of this title from NetGalley and Disney Lucasfilm Press to provide an honest review.
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