[UPDATE: Pablo Hidalgo has clarified these comments, stating that the photo from the Vanity Fair spread is “more BTS than movie” and he never mentioned anything about Phasma’s physical appearance. Original article follows]
@BethElderkin Didn't say that about Phasma's face; but I did say that the helmetless photo is more BTS than movie.— Pablo Hidalgo (@pablohidalgo) May 28, 2017
New information has been revealed about returning villain Captain Phasma in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, including the revelation that she will appear unmasked at some point in the film. Though many fans enjoyed how The Force Awakens kicked off the sequel trilogy, one universal criticism of the movie was that the First Order’s stormtrooper commander was severely underused. Despite casting Game of Thrones standout Gwendoline Christie in the role and hyping the character up in marketing, Phasma had very little to do in Episode VII. She was essentially reduced to a joke, lowering the shields on Starkiller base with no resistance before being tossed away in a trash compactor.
To their credit, Lucasfilm seems to have realized they came up short with Phasma and the filmmakers are looking to rectify that issue. The story group is coming out with a new novel and comic book to help flesh the character out, and Christie will reprise the part in Star Wars 8. Details about how she factors into the narrative are hard to come by right now, though Phasma was included on the “Dark Side” cover for Vanity Fair and will have a new weapon at her side. Now, fans curious to learn more about the captain will take great interest in the latest comments made by Pablo Hidalgo.
The studio’s chief creative executive was at Comic-Con of Chile over the weekend and had a panel where he of course discussed the Star Wars franchise. He was able to share some new bits about The Last Jedi, as reported by PrensalImperial (hat tip Star Wars News Net). One of the more interesting things Hidalgo said was Captain Phasma will appear unmasked in Episode VIII, although the photo of her alongside General Hux and Kylo Ren from the Vanity Fair spread “does not represent her appearance in the movie.” It was also confirmed Phasma is a human woman, something the story group did not agree on until Last Jedi was being developed.
This adds a new layer of intrigue to Phasma, and it will be fascinating to see her explored further in the sequel. Lucasfilm is obviously trying to preserve some kind of mystery about the character, hence the decision to have her look different in official images. Fans will now be generating theories about what’s exactly under that helmet. Since it’s not simply Gwendoline Christie as she normally appears, it’s safe to assume she has some scars or wounds from previous battles. Regardless, it’s probably something viewers will have to wait until the premiere to see, considering the studio is going to these lengths to keep it a secret. Phasma’s first unmasking could be a key moment in the film.
Keeping in mind Phasma was partially responsible for the destruction of Starkiller base (like the Emperor before her, overconfidence was a weakness), she has a lot to prove in Episode VIII and should look to bounce back. In the teaser trailer, she can be seen leading an assault on a Resistance base, with flames all around from the attack. Hopefully, audiences get to see Phasma in action this time around, redeeming her character and proving she’s a valuable antagonist. With Finn embarking on a dangerous mission behind enemy lines, the opportunity is there for the former FN-2187 to have a chance encounter with his old superior, which would make for a compelling scene.