For the last two weeks — okay fine, the last two years — I have spent much of my free time thinking about (and also Googling) Poe Dameron. Listen, he’s a cocky flyboy with a heart of gold who just wants to help his friends and save the galaxy, and I’m really into that. So while I’ve learned many, many things about Mr. Dameron, there’s one hole in this narrative I can’t pin down: How did Poe and BB-8 first meet?
When Star Wars: The Force Awakens opens, it’s immediately established that Poe and BB-8 are “buddies.” BB-8 is the droid unit for Poe’s X-Wing, so obviously the two have a close-knit bond, just like Luke Skywalker and R2-D2 in the OG Star Wars trilogy. Watching Poe and BB onscreen, it becomes clear that there’s nothing like the relationship between a boy and his droid, as these two are near inseparable — and when they are pulled apart, it’s like both their worlds have ended. Do you even remember how downright excited BB-8 was to see his human, after being separated back on Jakku? BB-8 literally pushes Finn out of the way to get to Poe faster. It’s adorable. I love it. I would live in this moment forever, if I could.
The Last Jedi only furthers this boy and droid connection. If I ever get a tattoo, it will probably just be one of Poe saying “BB-8, tell me something good!” And remember how when BB-8 shows up on Crait, he and Poe literally run/roll toward one another, and Poe greets the spherical droid like a dog? Poe literally rubs BB-8’s tummy. He does that.
While we’ve seen these adorable moments onscreen, it doesn’t answer the question as to how these two came to be. It might be something as simple and mundane as BB-8 was simply assigned to Poe first time he jumped into the cockpit of a ship, and they’ve been together ever since.
Or maybe, just maybe, BB-8 really is more like a loving and caring ‘lil buddy for Poe, because the droid is Poe’s comfort droid. Not comfort dog, but comfort droid.
Hear me out.
There are many Star Wars novels and comics that expand on the stories in the new trilogy, and a few of them deal with Poe during his younger years. Poe’s back story is both a happy and sad one, as his parents were pilots fighting in the war, and he rarely saw them as a child. The whole family eventually moved to Yavin 4, but Poe’s mother Shara (who FYI was a totally badass pilot) died shortly thereafter (also FYI, Poe wears his late mother’s wedding ring around his neck, waiting to give it “to the right partner”😍). On top of that, Poe’s father, Kes, wasn’t the best at being there for his son, and Poe took to one of his mother’s closest friends, L’ulo, as a father figure/uncle.
Eventually, Poe decided he wanted to follow in his mother’s footsteps, and became a pilot himself.
Where exactly does the comfort droid come in? Well, as Reddit user JediHedwig theorizes, the droid was given to Poe at a young age, to help him cope with his difficult upbringing. While this certainly makes sense, JediHedwig goes even further to explain that after the Empire fell, new prototype droids (and one named QT-9) were used to help soldiers recovery from injuries and were “designed to be friendly and familiar. Like a pet.” This QT-9 droid was “knee-high and having two ocular sensors. The droid had a square-like head and rolled around on a blue-and-gold spherical body.”
Change the square head to a half-circle one, and paint it orange and white, and WOW that sounds a lot like BB-8. Was the droid designed, and gifted to Poe to literally serve as a comfort animal, and then lo and behold, just also happened to be really good at flying an X-Wing, too? Maybe. Where’s this stand-alone Star Wars movie, Lucasfilm? “Poe and BB-8: The Beginning: A Star Wars Story.”
Honestly, this theory complete sense, and only further deepens the relationship between Poe and BB-8 (and my utmost love for these two buddies). Buddies that fight and fly in the Resistance together, stay together.