There was an outcry for more Captain Phasma (Gwendoline Christie) after her lackluster debut in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Her dazzling armor and imposing figure were displayed for all to see in the trailers and merchandising, but when it came down to her story within the film — there wasn’t much to get excited about.The way she allowed Finn, Han Solo, and Chewbacca to get the better of her at Starkiller Base was also disappointing. By the end of The Force Awakens, Phasma felt more like a bad joke than a real threat to the resistance. Perhaps The Last Jedi could find a way to redeem her character?
In terms of action, the film did a wonderful job showcasing her skills as a warrior when she fought Finn on Snoke’s ship, but her time on screen was short lived and we still didn’t get any significant character development. This is the problem with having too many characters to flesh out in a short period of time. If this were Game of Thrones and Rian Johnson (writer/director) had 10-episodes to work with, then Phasma could have an entire hour dedicated to her own story. Sadly, there wasn’t enough time to give her a compelling arc. So, where can you go to get the best Phasma story?
There are currently two excellent stories focusing on Phasma’s life. Firstly, there’s the 4-issue Marvel Comic series, titled “Star Wars: Phasma.” Written by Kelly Thompson and beautifully drawn by Marco Checchetto, this limited-series follows Phasma immediately after the events of The Force Awakens, which includes how she escaped from Starkiller base.
Without relying on long flashback sequences, Thompson’s well-written script gives the reader more insight into Phasma’s character than the two films that she’s been featured in combined. Even Checchetto’s art deftly portrays her emotions in subtle ways. While her face is never revealed, the placement of her head and how she holds her shoulders are gateways into her psyche. There’s no denying her cold nature, but she does possess some humanity underneath all that armor.
If you want the most extensive story about the First Order’s top soldier, then check out Delilah S. Dawson’s novel, “Phasma: Journey to Star Wars: The Last Jedi.” Much like James Luceno’s “Tarkin” novel, the story examines Phasma’s formative years as she attempts to create a better life for herself. There is a rival stormtrooper that wants to uncover her past and use it against her, but Phasma is no easy prey. Throughout the novel, you will discover not only where Phasma came from, but also learn more about other popular characters from the films.
After her fight with Finn, it’s difficult to say for certain whether or not we’ll see her in Episode 9. In Dawson’s novel, we learn more about the construction of her armor, which easily deflects blaster fire in The Last Jedi. Maybe there’s a chance she survived the fall?
In a surprising turn, Johnson chose not to close the movie on a shot of Rey or one of The Last Jedi’s main characters, but instead on the young orphan Rose and Finn met on Canto Bight. This ends up being one of the most important scenes of the movie.
We see that this young boy is part of a new Force-sensitive generation following Rey and Kylo Ren. The orphan lightly summons his broom to his hand instead of just picking it up. This signifies to the audience that he has burgeoning Force powers. With Rey and Kylo Ren both being the most powerful of their kind moving forward due to the deaths of Luke Skywalker and Snoke, this being the final shot of The Last Jedi hints that a new generation of Force-users could be a key part of Episode IX.
Additionally, this young orphan reveals that he kept Rose’s secret Resistance ring. Considering none of General Leia’s allies showed up to assist the final few Resistance fighters on Crait, this small reveal proves that there is a group of downtrodden individuals across the galaxy who now look to the Resistance with hope, as was Leia’s intent.