In the build-up to Star Wars: The Force Awakens, many viewers were excited by the presence of villain Captain Phasma, played by fan-favorite actress Gwendoline Christie. The stormtrooper leader was featured prominently in the marketing campaign and was heavily sought-after when merchandise became available on Force Friday. The idea of the first female Star Wars antagonist sounded great on paper, but unfortunately several did not enjoy the execution. Phasma was barely on-screen, and her impact in the film was extremely minimal. She had a rather unflattering fate, being tossed into Starkiller's trash compacter after lowering the shields.
Since even Star Wars 7's biggest fans agree Phasma was a letdown, the hope is the character can live up to the initial hype this December when she appears in Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Though there are rumors Finn will do battle with a new "executioner stormtrooper" (echoing his showdown with "TR-8R" in Force Awakens), there ideally will be room for Phasma to take part in the action as well. Perhaps writer/director Rian Johnson went into the film looking for ways to improve the character, since Phasma has a spiffy new weapon in the sequel.
Making Star Wars heard from one of their sources Phasma is in possession of a spear this time around, and allegedly "looks killer." Details were very brief, but the object was further described as "a weapon, a staff." There's no telling if this mystery spear is strictly for decorative purposes, or if it's something that can be used lethally. Phasma was seen in a Last Jedi sizzle reel shown at a Disney investors' meeting recently, so perhaps she'll be wielding the spear when the official teaser drops in April.
While it is cool to consider Phasma using a spear in combat, it's best for one not to get their hopes up too much. As stated above, Phasma was severely shortchanged in The Force Awakens, being relegated to an inconsequential side character. With all Episode VIII has to unpack (continuing the stories of the main cast, introducing new faces, etc.), it's difficult to see how Phasma's role can be expanded without things becoming forced in an effort to overcompensate. From a cynical perspective, Phasma's weapon could simply be to give her inevitable Last Jedi action figure a new accessory, rather than part of a crucial action sequence in the final film.
That said, Phasma could very well turn into a person of some importance as this new galactic war rages on. Prior to Episode VII's premiere - when Phasma was confirmed to return - Kathleen Kennedy stated she had "big plans" for the villain and referred to her as an "important character." Maybe Phasma's truncated turn in Force Awakens was a product of that film's need to set everything up, and now she can be more involved. After all, her former soldier Finn is going to be undercover on a First Order command ship, so there should be plenty of opportunities for the two to interact and come to blows.
Source: Making Star Wars
- Star Wars 8/Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) release date: Dec 15, 2017
- Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) release date: May 25, 2018