Spoilers from The Last Jedi ahead. There are so, so many reasons that the Star Wars fandom has been shaken by Episode 8, but one major shocker comes as a result of a teensy, fleeting moment between two characters who somehow managed not to meet in The Force Awakens. In The Last Jedi, Poe is into Rey the second he meets her. Like super into her. There is absolutely zero question about this, folks. And if you've just finished The Last Jedi and you're certain that this is total bollocks, prepare to get schooled with some serious science (or, intense analysis of furtive, fleeting glances, and any piece of context I can get my hands on).
First, let's run a play-by-play on the moment in question in excruciating detail: The remaining Resistance members have escaped the First Order and Kylo Ren thanks to a diversion from Luke Skywalker. Earlier in the battle, Rey served as a momentary savior when Poe led his crew of pilots in dilapidated speeders across salt fields towards the First Order — she (with Chewy's help) swooped in in the Millennium Falcon and successfully drew off a crew of attacking Tie Fighters. And you betcha Poe took immediate notice (he literally exclaimed into the sky that she drew them off, ICYMI). The film also establishes early on that Poe has a thing for powerful women with his many sexual-tension-filled confrontations with Laura Dern's Admiral Holdo.
Cut to one of the film's final scenes: Poe is running aboard the Millennium Falcon as Rey uses the Force to lift a pile of boulders blocking the rebels' exit. Check our boy's face as he moves to safety: he is not just amazed at Rey's abilities, he's completely enamored by her. Once aboard the ship, these two characters finally meet for the first time — after Poe's buddy Finn has now spent two movies going on and on about how important Rey is to him. In that moment, the look of joy and amazement on Sir Dameron's grinning face says it all: Poe is so into our newest Jedi leader.
And in case you're still not convinced, when Rey introduces himself, Poe says the most meaningful two words in the Star Wars franchise: "I know."
Is that not what Han Solo said to Princess Leia the first time she professed her love in The Empire Strikes Back? Are Star Wars scripts not built with the most excruciating attention to detail? Do you really think any Star Wars scribe would put such an exchange in a film without expecting it mean a whole hell of a lot? (The correct answer here is a big ol' "no.")
All that said, this pairing is like, right out of left field. I practically jumped when it happened because seriously, where did this come from? But with Finn effectively paired off with Rose Tico (please, please don't let that dear sweet woman get friend-zoned by our boy), that leaves the human smolder that is Poe Dameron to work his magic on someone else. And who's better for him to shower with affection than the one member of this crew who's got piloting skills for days, a pure heart, and oh, just a ridiculously strong command of this thing called The Force? Our dear Rey.
But, this 'ship comes with some downsides. Firstly, it would seem that the Poe-Finn 'ship is officially sunk. In fact, in an interview with Bustle, The Last Jedi director seemed to effectively prime fans for that reality. "Right. (Laughs) Well, I think that these films we have to just kind of follow what's going to make sense with these movies. I think you know eventually in the Star Wars world it’d be a wonderful thing to see a storyline like that," he says. That sounds like a big ol' fancy "no" to me.
The other thing to consider is that though we can be certain Poe is in it to win it, we can't be certain that Rey is on the same page. Our girl kinda has some bigger fish to fry (big, Kylo Ren-shaped fish) than figuring out if she wants to smooch a pilot who looks a hell of a lot like Oscar Isaac, but, if she has a spare minute, maybe she should give it a try. Just sayin'.