In The Force Awakens, Poe Dameron was referred to as Black Leader a couple times during

the raid on the First Order's weapons facility. The name was no doubt code for use during combat.

But why that name? Is there anything in the novelization or elsewhere explaining how he got that name?

  • 5
    Because he was the leader of Dark squadron? Dec 23 '15 at 6:25
  • I did notice that the X-wing which was destroyed in the beginning had x's or something on it which typically indicates enemy kills. That explains the 'Leader' part. 'Dark' may have something to do with his colour choice for his X-wing ...or that could have happened after his call-sign or squadron assignment. "<<Squadron>> Leader" or "<<Squadron>> One" appear to be typical convention call-signs for the leader in the Star Wars universe.
    – aneroid
    Dec 23 '15 at 6:36
  • I thought it was "Black Leader" Dec 23 '15 at 6:38
  • @ThePopMachine wins
    – aroth
    Dec 23 '15 at 6:39
  • 3
    So ... you're asking why they still use the same call-sign system as in Episode IV? What in particular puzzles you about that? (The question made far more sense before the edit, IMO.) Dec 23 '15 at 9:37

From Black Squadron

His name comes from “Black Squadron,” the name of a special squadron appointed by General Organa to locate Lor San Tekka, as described in the comic of the same name:

Poe and BB-6 look at the newly assembled group of Black Squadron gathered around them; from left to right: Snap Wexley, Kare Kun, L'ulo, Jess Pava and Oddy Muva. A caption reads: "...make sure they're people you can trust."

He was the leader of this squadron (having been given authority by General Leia Organa to pick his team):

Poe climbs into his black and orange X-wing; looking back he says: "You are my team, you are my firends. We are black Squadron...". We then get a close up of Poe's face now sat in his X-wing and putting his helmet on; he continues to say "...and it's an honor."

He was thus “Black Leader,” much as other members were, say, “Black Two”:

Poe looks down at BB-8, both having just gotten out of the X-wing and are moving away from it; Poe says "I'm gonna check in with the others. Let 'em know we made it." BB-8 beeps in response and Poe replies "Sure. Go for it. Track down that signal you were so worried about.". We then see Poe holding his mic up to his mouth saying "Black Two, come in", the radio replies "I read you, Black Leader. You make it through all right?". In the background BB-8 whirs off underneath the X-wing.

Note that this is not the same as the Black Squadron from Legends, which was commanded by Vader, and most certainly not affiliated with the Resistance or Leia Organa.

As to why the squadron was named “Black Squadron,” I’m not sure. Perhaps it was after the color of Poe’s ship (which, as can be seen in the pictures above, is black and orange), or the covert nature of their mission, or perhaps that was simply one of the colors that was available.


Poe Dameron is has the rank and callsign "Black Leader". Unfortunately, at this point, we don't know specifically how he achieved that rank.

In the previous movies, we see squadrons of rebel fighters designated by colors like Red Squadron, Gold Squadron, Blue Squadron, and Yellow Squadron. Each squadron has a leader, referred to as "[color] Leader".

In the EU/Legends canon, Black Squadron was a squad under Vader's personal command.

From the novelizaton:

“Roger, base.” Hitting the controls necessary to alter course within a lightspeed run, Poe addressed the rest of his flight. “Red squad, blue squad— follow my lead.” At his touch, their revised vector entered the flight computer of every ship in every squadron, and the X-wings promptly adjusted as a single unit.

“Copy, Black Leader,” Wexley replied, as his own craft changed direction.

As of now, we know nothing about Poe's previous accomplishments or exploits, but he is apparently a very skilled pilot, and highly regarded amongst the Resistance.

  • I can't quite remember how the movie intro described him, but I think it was something to the effect that he was the best pilot in the resistance. (Though it might have been "boldest" or something. A superlative, at any rate.) Dec 24 '15 at 23:22
  • @HarryJohnston Leia has sent her most daring pilot on a secret mission to Jakku, where an old ally has discovered a clue to Luke's whereabouts...
    – phantom42
    Dec 24 '15 at 23:23
  • @CodeMed you'll notice that the bit of about it not being based on a squadron is completely unsourced. additionally, the squadron names are typically related to the colors on the x-wings. e.g. red squadron in ep4 had red stripes on their x-wings, and gold squadron had gold.
    – phantom42
    Dec 31 '15 at 12:50
  • in the movie, he argues with majors and generals. "highly regarded" seems a severe understatement. Jan 19 '16 at 4:21

His name is Black Leader to accommodate his X-wing, Black One. He doesn't command a "Black Squadron."

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