I had a meeting with a friend this weekend and saw a poster to be released of the black X-wing along with the name Poe Dameron on it. It looked like the kind of poster we might see in a kid’s bedroom to be sold at Target or Wal-Mart. For me, that’s a pretty good indication the ship belongs to Poe. Several products feature the new famous black X-wing Fighter we’ve all been discussing since those drones flew over the Greenham Common set and gave us a first look at the new spaceship. Different product lines show the black and orange X-wing as belonging to none other than Poe Dameron in addition to poster art.
In the last few weeks I have had the privilege of seeing some merchandise from Star Wars: The Force Awakens. I am sworn to secrecy about these products by a few sources. I’m not going to be specific on what products I’m discussing to make my sources comfortable and to obscure the sources of that information. We also learned a lot from the last Toy Fair too. I’m only talking about what seems relevant to the film itself and the information that pertains to Poe’s ship and not future products.
The interesting thing about the new X-wings is that they apparently do use BB droids as co-pilots. Poe does anyways and I can’t say the other pilots do for sure. At first it seemed BB-8 was just the carrier of the sword Poe was getting from the Vicar. In the end battle, BB-8 helps assists Poe as they jump from hyperspace to attack land-based targets (and BB-8 still leaves at the end of the movie with Rey though).
There is some confusion about the status of the ship itself. At the start of the film, Poe finds his ship compromised as flamethrower Stormtroopers torch his ride and I think it explodes. My assumption is that he starts out with a normal X-wing like we saw in the teaser and ends up with the black and orange one later in the film. In terms of shooting materials, there is absolutely no delineation between his X-wing at the start of the film and his X-wing at the end of the film.
An interesting thing about the black X-wing is that sometimes products just show Poe Dameron as the pilot and its his ship. But often times, products appear to show a pilot and an additional pilot (co-pilot?). I’m not entirely convinced there’s more room back there for someone else behind him in that cockpit on the new Force Awakens model. To me, it look like the same cockpit configuration as the single seat X-wing from the classic films.
There is a really interesting piece of concept art that depicts a two-seater X-wing by Ryan Church. This X-wing is principally the same as the new X-wings down to the Ralph McQuarrie inspired thrusters. The back window looks the same too. But Luke’s Red 5 X-wing cockpit looks nearly identical to Poe’s. The reason I bring it up is it might indicate a need to put two people in an X-wing based on the story itself. We can’t find a reason for that in the film as we know it so far though.
From the documents detailing shots and bits of script, it does not appear there is anything making it appear Poe Dameron flies with a buddy to us. The only person he talks to in the ship itself to the best of our knowledge is BB-8 as he tells him to stand-by after a hyperspace jump to the Evil Castle. Maybe his ship has the extra seat for a passenger and he simply don’t use it in the film and it was put there to not inhibit future story possibilities? Or maybe the products are simply upping the play value? Where is BB-8 stored? Does he just roll up into the ship?
I’ve also learned that two different sets of toys feature the black X-wing with a white guy, a black guy, and BB-8. Both guys are wearing orange X-wing pilot flightsuits. This does not appear to fit in the film at all after talking to many sources about it (of course things could have changed since last Summer). It is a plot point in the film that Finn doesn’t know how to fly, however. After Finn leaves the infirmary does he become Poe’s co-pilot? Of course this is pure speculation, but does BB-8 leaving Poe to adventure with Rey mean that Poe needs a co-pilot and that’s Finn’s first official gig in the Rebellion against the Empire? It could be cool to see him end as a co-pilot and then become a pilot in the sequels. Or are the licensees attempting to hide the pilot of the ship and when the toy releases, Finn will wear his film brown jacket without the X-wing outfit? Seems possible.
Sorry to open up more mysteries than solid explanations here. But at least we know now that the new X-wing Fighters do in fact use droids as co-pilots and there a lot of additional confirmation that the black X-wing belongs to Poe Dameron. It has been suggested that the black X-wing might be apart of The Sledgehammer weapon, but Poe doesn’t fly it, he simply observes it in one sequence. I’m working hard on the answers to this one and hopefully we get some solid explanations very soon.