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At the beginning of The Last Jedi Poe takes on the Dreadnought's cannons trying to destroy them all to clear the way for the bombers. After he's cleared all but one of them he get's orders from Leia to withdraw the attack so that they can all escape.

However, Poe ignore's this command and apparently shuts off communications by either pulling the mic up or flipping a switch (can't remember which).

Later on he is seen communicating with his team again.

Does his X-wing, or any, have more than one method of communication?

  • I'd presume he flipped the switch again. Showing that bit is far less important narratively. – ceejayoz Jan 2 '18 at 13:41
  • @ceejayoz That is indeed a possibility but in my opinion if he did Leia would then try to get in contact with him again. I'm pretty sure he also talks to the bombers almost immediately after as well. – TheLethalCarrot Jan 2 '18 at 13:44
  • As soon as he shoots the last surface cannon, he'd flip the switch and immediately broadcast to begin the bomber attack. – ceejayoz Jan 2 '18 at 13:47
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    We'll have to wait until the novelisations come out, but I'm reasonably certain that his comms system has different channels (squadron / base). He flipped the switch that turned off the base channel. – Valorum Jan 2 '18 at 15:12
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    @TheLethalCarrot - In the real world, such communications are also controlled by a switch; aviation.stackexchange.com/questions/9379/… – Valorum Jan 2 '18 at 15:18
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Poe's ship has multiple channels, one a general open channel (which includes his bombers)

Poe juked and weaved over the battleship’s hull, getting a sense of how much more lead time he needed to hit his targets. Once he had the timing down, a single pass over the topside reduced several of the cannons to smoking scrap. As Poe wheeled around for another run, he activated his comlink and switched over to the general Resistance channel.

The Last Jedi: Official Novelisation

And a private channel to Leia.

General Organa spoke over the private channel. “Poe, you did it. Now get your squad back here. We need to get the fleet out of here.”
Poe couldn’t believe what the general was saying. “No, we can finish this! How many chances do we get to take down a Dreadnought?”
“Disengage now—that’s an order!”
Poe pretended not to hear her last command and clicked off the comm. She’d reprimand Poe for what he was about to do, but crippling the Fulminatrix would be worth any punishment. He swerved Black One around the TIEs that had been chasing him and squared the last cannon in his targeting computer. “Beebee-Ate—it’s now or never!”

The Last Jedi: Official Junior Novelisation

Note that while Leia is fuming and practically fit to bust at his insolence, she appears to be aware that publicly countermanding his order and giving conflicting signals to the bombers is tantamount to murdering her troops.

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TLDR

  • My comment was becoming too long...
  • The switch was not a on/off switch for the radio
  • Poe had two radios in his craft
  • The switch likely controls who Poe's microphone transmit to

So it is doubtful the switch was an on/off switch. Poe only has one headset and microphone from what we can tell to communicate with. This means the one setup must be able to handle all communications.

With Poe being a unit commander he needs to have at least two lines of communication. One with the command channel (to Leia in the command center to work the overall strategy) and one with his unit channel (to all the craft he commands on the battlefield).

With only one headset and microphone he needs to handle communication between the two channels easily - i.e. at the flip of a switch. Flipping the switch he can easily control who his microphone is currently sending communiques to.

It is also important to note that Poe would have to be able to hear transmissions from either channel regardless of what channel he switched his microphone to. Switching to one channel would be very dangerous if you could not hear immediate updates from the other channel that may take precedence or change the information that needs to be relayed. While the switch handled his microphone his headset still heard the audio from both channels.

While on the command channel any updates or Murphy's Law adjustments that need to be transmitted between the unit commander and command center can be sent and received to progress or adapt the overall strategy. The subordinates that Poe commands have no need to hear these updates or discussions, because they are supposed to be carrying out the previous orders they have been given and/or keeping watch for the bad guys. (Thinking about the big picture takes away your attention and could cause you to miss something...)

After sending and receiving the necessary information with command Poe the switches over to the unit channel to relay necessary information they need to know or any strategy changes that affect their unit.

You might also recognize that Leia can still hear everything that Poe said to his unit, because the switch was just for his microphone. It had not connection to any other ship or craft. In the command center Leia could hear everything Poe said, because she would need multiple radios that could both hear and communicate with any channel in her army... That said, Leia could have easily been able to tap into the channel and rescind Poe's orders...

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