(Note: This article contains spoilers, mostly about the relationships between characters, from Star Wars: The Force Awakens. They’re relatively mild, but still worth warning you about if you haven’t seen the movie yet.)
Poe Dameron is the best. He’s an incredible pilot, pulling off moves in Star Wars: The Force Awakens that even Luke Skywalker would be hard pressed to duplicate. He’s brave in the face of danger, loyal to both the Resistance and those he considers friends (even his droid, BB-8) and funny, to boot. Tell me you didn’t laugh the first time he spoke to Kylo Ren.
To top it all off, the character brought to life with so much charm by Oscar Isaac might be a trailblazer in another way: Poe might be gay, which would make him the first LGBT hero in a Star Wars film.
(He would not, however, be the first LGBT character in the current Star Wars canon, as Moff Mors, a lesbian Empire officer, was introduced in a novel earlier this year.)
The theory concerning Dameron’s sexuality has sprung up in multiple places, though none explained in as much detail as Natalie Fisher’s article on Hypable. Most of her evidence comes from Isaac’s comments during his appearance with fellow cast members Daisy Ridley (Rey) and John Boyega (Finn) on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. Asked about any romance between members of this group of characters, Isaac makes it sound like his performance might have some romantic overtones, as you can see in the video below.
The actor could be joking, of course, and there’s an obvious set-up within The Force Awakens for possible romance between Finn and Rey down the road. It’s also just as possible that Isaac was hinting that his character was attracted to Finn.
Here’s how Fisher reads one scene between the two male heroes later in the movie:
"Poe, very much not dead, comes swooping in to save the day, and his reunion with Finn is where all the pieces about him click into place. Poe, healthy and whole, is revealed to Finn in a total romantic hero shot — the aforementioned 1920s aviator moment — and both men, who thought the other was dead, realize all at once that they’re not. It’s a literal screaming-each-other’s-names, running-into-each-other’s arms situation. No shame, no restraint, just relief. But when Poe pulls back and notices Finn is wearing his old leather jacket, that’s the clincher, because unless you’re so heteronormative that you still believe that Hannibal and Will are just buds, it looks like Poe likes what he sees, in a way that’s more than friendly. He even bites his own lip while admiring Finn. Well, hello there."
She’s not the only one to interpret those interactions that way, as Joe Glass of Bleeding Cool also came out of the movie thinking Poe might be queer. Both writers state that it’s unlikely he’d end up in some kind of love triangle with Finn and Rey, something with which I agree.
And given how small a role sexuality plays in Star Wars in general, we might never get any confirmation on this front, meaning it could be the topic of some debate forever. It obviously doesn’t affect how badass and enjoyable Poe is as the best pilot in the galaxy, only that he might be notable for more than just that.