'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' release date, plot news: Poe Dameron to become Leia's protégé; Porgs were inspired by puffins

The teaser poster for the upcoming film, "Star Wars: The Last Jedi."Lucasfilm/Disney

Despite the passing of Carrie Fisher, the upcoming "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" will still prominently feature her character Princess Leia as a guide and mentor to Poe Dameron, played by Oscar Isaacs.

Dameron did not have much screen time with Leia in "The Force Awakens" but that will change in the sequel. In a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, Isaacs explained, "Poe is in some ways a surrogate son for Leia. But also I think she sees in him the potential for a truly great leader of the Resistance and beyond."

Just as Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) will seemingly pass the torch to Rey (Daisy Ridley), Leia will in similar ways mentor Dameron on leading the rebellion and will inspire him to persevere and never give up on the cause.

Isaacs stressed that Poe will be evolving from a brave soldier to a seasoned leader. He will be seeing the bigger picture of not just winning single battles but what the struggle means for the future of the galaxy.

"I think Leia knows she won't be around forever and she, with tough love, wants to push Poe to be more than the badass pilot, to temper his heroic impulses with wisdom and clarity," the actor added.

In related news, the creatures known as porgs have been revealed to be the animals that inhabit the island of Ahch-To, the place where Skywalker is in hiding. According to director Rian Johnson, these adorable creatures were inspired by the puffins that inhabit the island of Skellig.

"When I was first scouting there, I saw these guys, and I was like, oh, these are part of the island. And so the Porgs are in that realm," he explained.

"Star Wars: The Last Jedi" is the second film in the sequel trilogy and will be arriving in cinemas on Dec. 15.

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