Star Wars: The Actors Who Almost Played Poe Dameron | Screen Rant
Oscar Isaac may have been the face of the best fighter pilot of the Resistance in the Star Wars sequel trilogy but the character could have turned out a lot different. The actor joined the franchise as Poe Dameron after Disney revived the saga with J.J. Abrams in the director's chair. Poe served as one of the newcomers introduced in 2015's Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which featured a mix of new and legacy caracters.
The Force Awakens was set 30 years after Return of the Jedi and focused on General Leia Organa's Resistance face-off against her son, Kylo Ren, and the rest of the First Order. Leia sent Poe on a special mission alongside his trusty droid, BB-8, to retrieve a map that held the location of Luke Skywalker. During the mission, Poe befriended Finn before while evading capture. Though he was presumed dead in a crash, Poe emerged with his fellow X-wing pilots to lead an attack on the First Order's ground forces at Maz Kanata's castle. Poe continued serving as a key member of the Resistance in Star Wars: The Last Jedi and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. Even though he often had trouble when it came to orders, his loyalty to the Resistance made him a key asset and helped his team get the final big victory.
Even though Star Wars made Isaac into a household name, the actor already had several notable roles under his belt by the time he was cast. Isaac starred in films like Inside Llewyn Davis, A Most Violent Year, and Ex Machina before appearing in the epic franchise. The casting for the new trilogy didn't start emerging until early 2014, nearly a year and a half before The Force Awakens would release. Not many names have been released when it came to who auditioned for the role of Poe, but there was immense speculation that Michael B. Jordan and Michael Fassbender were considered (Fassbender has confirmed that he discussed a role with Abrams, and Jordan has said that he auditioned for an unspecified role).
Jordan and Fassbender might not seem like fits for the role of Poe in Star Wars, but technically the part wasn't fully developed until just before filming commenced. In the development stages, Poe was referred to as "John Doe" and he was meant to be a Jedi-like character. Later on, Abrams and his team envisioned that the character would be a bounty hunter with a Wookiee sidekick. He then transformed into Poe, the heroic X-wing fighter pilot.
Since the writing team had ever-changing visions when it came to Poe, the casting was probably wide open. They weren't set on age or race, so there was most likely a diverse range of actors considered before Isaac was cast. Even after the actor agreed to take the gig, there was a belief that Poe wouldn't survive an early sequence of The Force Awakens. If Abrams had stuck with that plan, Poe's role in the Star Wars trilogy would have been less significant to the bigger picture. Thankfully, Isaac was given an opportunity to stick around for the long-term by having a major role in the galactic war.