Un giovanissimo Poe Dameron sogna l’avventura e le stelle, ed è pronto a lasciarsi alle spalle Yavin 4 e suo padre. Ma che tipo di decisioni prenderà? Il nuovo romanzo di Alex Segura Poe Dameron: Free Fall esplora il passato dell’eroico pilota di X-Wing e del suo primo incontro con Zorii Bliss, nuovo personaggio incontrato in L’Ascesa di Skywalker.
Questo estratto rappresenta un punto di svolta sia per il libro che per la storia di Poe Dameron in generale. Qui conosce l’equipaggio con cui ha deciso di imbarcarsi, e iniziano i primi conflitti interiori che si porterà dentro per tutta la prima parte del romanzo. Ha fatto la scelta sbagliata nel lasciare suo padre? È andato troppo oltre? Chi sono queste persone misteriose con cui ha deciso di collaborare per un capriccio? È stato molto divertente caratterizzare tutti questi personaggi che affiancheranno Poe e Zorii, e questo è un primo assaggio su di essi.
Nel caratterizzare una versione più giovanile di Poe Dameron, Segura spiega:
Avevo bisogno di costruire una versione adolescenziale di Poe, che avesse comunque dei tratti di rimando all’eroe che tutti hanno amato nella Trilogia Sequel. Nelle pagine del romanzo si evolverà, per avvicinarsi a diventare l’uomo che conosciamo.
In questo momento nella storia di Poe Dameron: Free Fall, Poe è in conflitto con suo padre, Kes Dameron. La madre di Poe è morta da qualche anno, e il padre è in apprensione per il figlio: ha paura di perderlo così come è successo con la moglie, ed è contrario alla sua scelta di diventare un pilota.
A seguire, ecco il primo estratto del libro Poe Dameron: Free Fall in cui il protagonista incontra l’equipaggio di Zorii e si rende conto di chi sono realmente: dei contrabbandieri.
Poe Dameron: Free Fall, l’estratto
The temperature seemed to drop around Poe as he took a seat at the table with Zorii’s group, her hand on his shoulder.
“This is Poe Dameron,” she said after she’d introduced her comrades to him. “And he is a pilot.”
“A pilot? He’s just a boy,” the Klatooinian Zorii had identified as Vigilch said with a grunt. “A pilot of what? A landspeeder?”
The group laughed—the Twi’lek Poe now knew as Marinda Gan heartily, the Pau’an named Gen Tri softly. Zorii remained quiet, her hand still on Poe’s shoulder.
“I don’t see you rattling off any options that might help us get off Yavin 4,” Zorii said. “Unless I missed that while I was recruiting our ticket out of here?”
They want me to fly their ship, Poe realized. He swallowed hard. Was he ready for that? He’d soon find out.
Gen Tri turned to look at Poe more closely, their dark eyes probing Poe in a way that made him shiver with dis-comfort. It wasn’t their appearance—Poe had seen every type of species cruise through the Yavin 4 ports. It was something else. They made him uneasy in a way he’d not yet figured out.
“We do need a pilot,” Gen Tri said, their voice hollow-sounding and whispery. “But are you ready to do what’s needed?”
“If you need a pilot, I’m your man,” Poe said, not missing a beat. “Point me to your ship and I’ll get you where you need to go.”
Marinda Gan laughed dryly.
“That’s all well and good, Poe Dameron, but do you want to go where we’re going?” she asked. “That’s the big question.”
“Well, I mean, I can just drop the coordinates and plot a course. It’s not that compli—”
Zorii’s hand gripped Poe’s shoulder.
“It’s not getting there that’s the problem, Poe,” she said. “It’s what we’re doing. We’re not traders or members of the mining consortium. Our travels are a bit more . . . adventurous.”
Poe waited a beat before responding.
“Adventure’s what I’m after,” Poe said, the words reaching his mouth fully formed, as if coming directly from his heart instead of his brain. “I’m not afraid of that. I’m done with Yavin 4.”
Zorii’s grip loosened, and she took the empty seat to Poe’s right. Their eyes met.
“I’m not going to dance around what we are,” Zorii said. “Because you seem smart, and even if you do get scared and tell anyone, we’ll be gone before it can mean anything.”
Poe nodded. Vigilch raised a hand, as if to try to stop Zorii from continuing. She ignored him.
“We’re smugglers,” she said flatly. “And our pilot is dead. If you can get us off this moon, you will begin a life of adventure and uncertainty unlike anything you’ve imagined. This place will be a blurry memory before too long.”
Poe leaned back in his chair. He hadn’t considered the possibility. But the information revealed the fork in the road in front of him. The pounding in his chest grew louder, drumming through his veins into his ears and head. Was this what he wanted? Like he had said, he wanted adventure—a chance to fly free and leave Yavin 4 behind. But was throwing his lot in with smugglers the best way to get there? To achieve what he’d dreamt of? A chance at a life not mired in the ordinary and mundane?
He’d met his fair share of unsavory characters before—bounty hunters, arms dealers, and other smugglers. They’d wander through Gully’s from time to time. But those were fleeting encounters—and Poe could always keep his distance. This was very different. If he threw his lot in with this group, he wouldn’t just be in the same room as a band of criminals—he would be a criminal, too. What would Shara Bey think of that?
This would not be the kind of thing Poe could back-track from. Joining forces with a group of smugglers would mean he’d never see Yavin 4, L’ulo, or his father again. But it was the only opening that pointed toward the freedom Poe hungered for. Maybe he could make it a temporary stay? Find his way off the moon, then strike out on his own. The rationalization calmed Poe a bit. He still felt a pang of sadness at the idea of leaving, but it was soon replaced by a determination and desire he’d only grazed over in the past few months.
“I’m in,” Poe said with a quick nod.