Poe Dameron is the best pilot in the Resistance for a reason. He’s always ready to jump into a fight, especially when spurred on by his leader, mentor, and mother figure General Leia Organa.

A new TV spot for Star Wars: The Last Jedi, “Darkness Rises,” premiered on Tuesday. While much of the footage is the same — Rey swings her lightsaber, Luke looks concerned and dramatic, and Finn goes up against Captain Phasma — one exciting new scene shows Poe and Leia collaborating to cause some real damage.

“Permission to jump in an X-Wing and blow something up?” Poe asks casually of Leia, to which she immediately replies, “Permission granted.”

The next scene is a combination of previous footage; Poe flies recklessly through space as BB-8 cheers him on. When Poe’s X-Wing barely manages to escape an explosion, he makes a sharp turn to go back on the attack and lets out a triumphant “Woohoo!”

This brief scene makes the “Darkness Rises” TV spot more victorious than previous Last Jedi trailers have been. If you feel a little jolt of excitement at Poe’s sheer joy, you’re not alone. But as the second film in the trilogy, The Last Jedi is expected to follow in the darker footsteps of the second film of the original trilogy, Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back. Canonically, the second episode is where things start to go sour for the heroes.

But that’s to make room for a truly triumphant ending in the third episode of the trilogy.

In Empire Strikes Back, Luke Skywalker loses his hand and learns who his real father is. Meanwhile, Han Solo is frozen in carbonite and the gang — Luke, Leia, Han, Chewbacca, and Lando Calrissian — is forced to separate as Chewy and Lando go looking for Han. The ending of Empire, while peaceful as Luke and Leia look out at the stars, is pretty bleak.

Last Jedi director Rian Johnson has previously told Entertainment Weekly that any correlation between Last Jedi and Empire is unintentional; that’s just the way good storytelling works, since you have to beat down your heroes before they can rise from the ashes in victory.

Whatever that victory is for our heroes, dark as it may be, at least Poe seems to be having a good time.


Star Wars: The Last Jedi premieres in theaters on December 15.

If you liked this article, check out this video of the two huge twists revealed in the Last Jedi trailer.

Photos via Lucasfilm