In The Last Jedi,

Poe is seen arguing with Leia about wanting to destroy the Dreadnought - neither of them really win the argument. Then he says "Bring the bombs" and the whole bombing fleet starts advancing, as though they had already been launched.

Afterwards, Poe seems to take the blame for every loss they experienced.

Isn't General Organa in command? Doesn't that make her responsible for a decision like

launching the bombing fleet to begin with?

I'd prefer in-universe answers, but I'll happily accept answers that approach this from the perspective of "real-world military". (like if there's some exception to the chain of command when someone is a "lead pilot")

  • 5
    Well, didn't he disobey her orders? Wouldn't that render him responsible?
    – Adamant
    Dec 20, 2017 at 23:47
  • 4
    @Adamant - I think the question is why they accepted his orders and not hers. Why didn't she simply order the bombers to break off
    – Valorum
    Dec 20, 2017 at 23:50
  • I don't know, but at the very least surely he bears some responsibility for having given those orders.
    – Adamant
    Dec 20, 2017 at 23:53
  • 2
    I'm also wondering how the bombing fleet was even launched without the General's approval. That doesn't seem like something Poe could do without her noticing - so did she intend to blow it up and change her mind?
    – LevenTrek
    Dec 20, 2017 at 23:59

1 Answer 1


The squadron was (evidently) fielded with the explicit goal of stalling the First Order fleet until the transports were away. Due to Poe's conversation with Hux and the additional delay caused by his destruction of the dreadnought's deck cannons, there was sufficient time to get everyone off the surface.

Leia: You did it Poe, now get your squad back here so we can get out of this place.

At that point, sensing an opportunity to deal the First Order a blow, Poe disobeys a direct order to disengage and then orders his squadron (which included several bombers) to attack the dreadnought.

The protocol seems to be that only Commander Poe can give direct orders to his squadron, presumably to prevent order-conflict. That being the case, the responsibility for sending them into battle, in violation of Leia's clear orders to him, rests solely and firmly with Poe. Additionally, he makes the fleet wait for his squadron to return to base before they can jump, again risking many lives.

  • 1
    Nice! I missed that "get your squad back here". Until then, he was on a solo attack, so it only makes sense to say that if he's in charge of the whole fighter/bomber fleet.
    – LevenTrek
    Dec 21, 2017 at 0:32
  • @LevenTech - I get the impression he was supposed to be attacking the fleet with his squadron but got a little creative and decided to stall them on his own.
    – Valorum
    Dec 21, 2017 at 2:17
  • @Valorum Wouldn't that mean Leia's Plan as intended was to use the bombers with the deck cannons intact? That would make her moral high ground seem less reasonable. If we add in that Poes decision in the end saved the fleet during the chase, She is quite lucky he disobeyed orders twice.
    – Andy
    Dec 21, 2017 at 9:20
  • @Andy - She presumably left the fine details to Poe. "Leia: You need to buy us time to get our transports away". "Poe: Leave it to me and my squadron", etc
    – Valorum
    Dec 21, 2017 at 9:23
  • 2
    @delinear - Also, having some follow Poe and some follow Leia is a sure-fired way to get everyone killed.
    – Valorum
    Dec 22, 2017 at 13:24

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