When running a game, you should get to know your players well on a personal level.
So you can insert things into the game that you know will appeal to them based on their interests.
So you can keep them happily distracted while nasty things happen to their characters.
Commentary by memnarch (who has not seen the movie)
Wow, Pete's really changed over the years. I can't see him trying to keep the other players alive like this when he played as R2-D2. I can definitely see the sand suddenly getting a sinkhole like this too with the previous rumors of something lurking down here though, so geological causes need not even factor into it here.
Ok, it looks less likely now that Poe made it out of the fighter, but we haven't had this scene pay off yet, so I'm still pretty sure he's fine. Somehow. If it was a tabletop game, I'd say "whelp, that's just the result of bad decisions", but the movie wouldn't spend the time on the scene in order to just throw it away so soon. Then again, with how Lor San turned out, I feel a bit like Corey here.
So now all Finn's got on hand is a burnt jacket, the white armor, and whatever's still in the belt. And the plume of smoke is probably gone now too. Realistic odds of survival on the planet? Very low before and they somehow found a way to go even lower.
Commentary by Keybounce (who has not seen the movie)
Panel 1 reminds me of Dragon's Lair. A sudden sound effect, and a quick action. But then? No, you're supposed to use your earth-bending to keep the thing from sinking into the sand.
Poe/Jim is in the fighter. Is he planning on yet another character? Poe dying here would break all the laws of good storytelling. Which doesn't have that much to do with Star Wars, does it?
If the little insert face caps are from this part of the movie, then Poe is still trying to do something, and he's not out of it yet. Otherwise? Did it go under because a giant sand worm was passing by and dug a tunnel?
Possible title: Sink, sank, sunk.
GM: The sand sinks beneath your feet!
Finn: I jump clear!
GM: Dex roll.
GM: You desperately leap away as the PIE fighter sinks into the sand.
Rey: This seems... geologically plausible.
Rey: Why would you say that! I was using reverse psychology! You were supposed to say it’s impossible!
Poe: Nah, several ways it could happen.
Rey: You’re in the fighter!
Poe: Yah, cool way to go.