From the moment when Finn, the charismatic new male lead of the Star Wars sequel trilogy, was granted permission by Poe Dameron to continue wearing his jacket ("Keep it! It suits you.") a vocal segment of the Star Wars fandom has been pretty big on the idea of those two characters getting it on.
That's not just because it would spawn a million Tumblr gifs and bring thousands of fanfics to life — it would represent a major milestone in the history of both Star Wars and cinema. But, let's be honest, it probably won't happen — we've already seen that Finn is interested in Rey (although of course there is a "B" in LGBT).
More likely is the possibility that it's Poe Dameron who occupies a space on the spectrum somewhere between straight and gay — but while that would be progressive, it would also be disappointing (and counter-productive to the LGBT cause) if Poe's sexuality were to become his defining character trait.
In the lively Resistance pilot, Star Wars has created a new character arguably more interesting than Rey (who, in truth, is kind of a Mary Sue) or Finn (who could also be great in a rogue-ish, Han Solo sort of way) — here's a refresher on why there's more to Dameron than first meets the eye: In the canon story Star Wars: Shattered Empire, Luke Skywalker recovers two branches from a tree grown on Coruscant. Their proximity to the Jedi Temple established on that planet gives Luke cause to believe that the saplings could contain traces of the Force.
Luke gives the saplings to the Rebel Alliance pilot Shara Bey, who plants them in front of the home on Yavin IV she shares with Kes Dameron — meaning a young Poe grew up with the Force quite literally residing in his garden. That makes a pretty strong case for the star pilot possessing some degree of Force-sensitivity, and might go some way to explaining his seemingly impossible escape from the TIE Fighter's crash landing on Jakku in The Force Awakens.
Don't get me wrong: I don't think his sexuality should remain unaddressed. One of the most frequent responses to a Star Wars character potentially being gay is that "Star Wars isn't about sex! It's about space, bloodlines and Jedi!", as though the two can't co-exist. Whether Poe is gay, straight or bi, he's an attractive man (unreasonably so, let's be real), and attractive people usually have sex at some point. Even Luke Skywalker did, y'all! (Probably.) Clearly, Poe's sexuality should not be swept under the rug, whatever form it takes.
But neither do I think Star Wars has missed the boat if it doesn't register him somewhere on the LGBT scale. If it takes a big gay reveal to satisfy fans that Star Wars has a plan for Poe, J.J. Abrams and the creative team going forward have failed at their job. Above all, Dameron simply has to bring something new to the table — and in his intrigue-laden backstory and presumed Force-sensitivity, he already has the tools to achieve that.
This is a character who was intended to die in The Force Awakens' first act, only for Abrams to change his mind and bring him back. That was the right call. Oscar Isaac is too talented an actor to waste as a bit-player. So, Rian Johnson: The ball's in your spacecourt now — let's do something really interesting with Poe Dameron.
Header art courtesy of Graphix17 on DeviantArt.