Gwendoline Christie’s character in the Star Wars sequel trilogy, Captain Phasma, was originally planned to have less screen time in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The first installment in the Star Wars sequel trilogy introduced audiences to new characters from both the light and dark side of the force, such as Rey (Daisy Ridley), Finn (John Boyega), Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac), Kylo Ren (Adam Driver), and Captain Phasma. All of these players will be returning in Star Wars: The Last Jedi next month.
While most of these new characters got a fair amount of on-screen time that allowed audiences to know them a bit better, Captain Phasma didn’t get as much on-screen time as fans would have wanted. Still, the commander of the First Order’s force of stormtroopers made quite an impression, leaving fans wanting to know more about her in the process. Surprisingly, Christie’s character was originally planned to have even less screen time than she actually got.
In an interview with Empire, Gwendoline Christie shared that she was only supposed to be on set for a few days, but thankfully her role was expanded, giving Phasma more on-screen time in The Force Awakens - enough to introduce her and leave fans wanting more from the commander with the chrome armor. Christie explained:
“When I was cast I was only supposed to be in the film for a couple of days. But then things evolved and the part expanded. It’s easily one of the best things that happened to me."
Phasma’s introduction in the first minutes of the film, when the First Order’s stormtroopers are attacking Jakku, immediately established her as an authority figure and an important element within the First Order. Her short appearance in the film ended with Finn, Han Solo, and Chewbacca taking her hostage, in order to remove the Starkiller Base’s shields, and then dropping her in the trash compactor. Luckily, Phasma found a way out before the Base was ultimately destroyed.
Her backstory was explored in Phasma, a novel by Delilah S. Dawson as part of the Journey to The Last Jedi series. Although the novel explores her origins, it is not told from her perspective - instead, the story is narrated by a captured Resistance spy named Vi Moradi, who got all this information from an old friend of Phasma’s. The comic book miniseries Star Wars: Captain Phasma is set after the events of The Force Awakens and explains how she escaped from the Starkiller Base.
Unsurprisingly, plot details about The Last Jedi will remain a mystery until the film is released, so it’s unknown if Phasma’s backstory will be addressed or if her escape from the base will be explained. It’s worth noting that not everyone is familiar with the tie-in stories from Journey to the Last Jedi, so hopefully her escape and other details will be explained in The Last Jedi, giving her more screen-time than in its predecessor.
- 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
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: Episode IX (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019