Do not read on if you’re avoiding spoilers!

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During the events of The Last Jedi, what’s left of the Resistance is holed up in a dilapidated hangar, and the full power of the First Order is about to come knocking at their door. A despondent officer laments that, though their distress signals have been received, no one is coming to save them. Behind the scenes there was a Resistance unit gathering the forces necessary to fight another day. That unit was Black Squadron, some of Poe Dameron’s most trusted allies. The final issue of the comic Star Wars: Poe Dameron, discusses what happened during that fateful mission.

General Leia formed the original Black Squadron with the express purpose of tracking down Lor San Tekka. You may remember him as that elderly gentleman from the beginning of The Force Awakens, portrayed by veteran Swedish actor Max von Sydow. Leia believed that San Tekka, an explorer and Jedi historian, may have known the location of Luke Skywalker.

She allowed Poe Dameron to hand-pick the members of Black Squadron, so, naturally, he recruited some of his closest friends:

• Karé Kun, reckless leader of the sickest-named flight unit in the Resistance: Stiletto Squadron.
• Snap Wexley, a seasoned flyer trained by Wedge Antilles himself. He and Karé form a playfully competitive friendship which soon becomes a romance and, eventually, a marriage.
• L’ulo Lampar, an A-Wing veteran who flew with Poe’s mother in the Rebellion.
• Jessika Pava, A.K.A. Jess Testor, a resolute pilot who feels most comfortable behind the controls of an X-Wing.
• Oddy Muva, a technician who dreams of earning his wings.

During the Poe Dameron series, L’ulo and Oddy are tragically killed attempting to save the lives of others. Suralinda Javos, an investigative reporter straight out of James Cameron’s Avatar, later takes up L’ulo’s place as the squad’s designated A-Wing pilot.

A new transmission from Jess Testor [whilst aboard the Millennium Falcon at the end of The Last Jedi], relays Black Squadron’s harrowing experience.

Black Squadron’s first mission to the garden world Pastoria was an utter failure. The king basically fooled them into killing his political rival and sent them packing, striking a major blow to their morale.

The furthest Black Squadron got was the planet Ikkrukk, where they received a garbled distress call from the surface. The First Order had already invaded the planet and was bombarding the capital, Grail City. If that wasn’t enough, First Order sympathizers on the ground were destroying the world’s defenses from the inside. Jess and Suralinda managed to fly through a hole in the city’s shields, which greatly impresses Poe. Upon finishing Jess’ first recording, though, he opens up her second entry, which paints Black Squadron in a far more dire situation.

After viewing this unsettling message, Poe somehow convinces General Leia to let him take on one more desperate pursuit and rescue his friends. He then borrows an antique fighter from his precarious ally Grakkus the Hutt and speeds away to Ikkrukk.

As Poe assists Snap and Karé in the air, Jess and Suralinda evade First Order insurgents in the caves of Grail City. The crowd has the two pilots outnumbered and outgunned, but Suralinda uses her, uh, special talents to put the radicals out of commission.

Read more here.