As one of the newest figures in Star Wars, Captain Phasma still has an air of mystery about her. She’s Supreme Leader Snoke’s master of ground troops, but it was clear from her introduction that Star Wars’ newest villain is much more than that.
The Disney overlords hear our cries and intend to offer more with a series of novels and comics featuring Phasma as the titular character.
What do we know thus far, and what do we still have to learn? Here are eight things you didn’t know about Captain Phasma.
Who Is Captain Phasma?
Image via Flickr
Before we dive in, let’s take a brief rendezvous down memory lane.
Phasma, played by Gwendoline Christine, first appeared in 2015 when the Star Wars universe announced her role via a Vanity Fair spread.
She debuted as a stormtrooper captain of the First Order, but she really worked alongside General Hux and Kylo Ren as part of the triumvirate.
Since her debut, she became a point of frustration. The creators promised much but delivered little of her, which explains why the mystery remains.
Captain Phasma’s Ruthlessness Was Her Salvation
Phasma may seem difficult to please, but it’s only because becoming a warrior was the only way she could survive.
Phasma joins us from Parnassos. Although wiped out in the nuclear event caused by the Con Star Mining Corporation, life began to rebound after two hundred years. Those who came back—including Phasma—started with nothing. She had no medicine, clean water, or technology. Her only defense was her ability to fight.
Despite a lack of everything, Phasma’s tribe continued to defend a scrap of the planet left from other tribes. Phasma became the best of these primitive warriors. If she could build excellence from nothing, so can her warriors.
Captain Phasma Would Prefer We Didn’t Know About Her Past
How did Phasma leave Parnassos behind if she never encounters technology?
Brendol Hux (and a couple of stormtroopers) crash-landed on Parnassos and opened up a new way out for Phasma. She was the keenest fighter and the smartest cookie. With a way to a better life standing right in front of her, she enlisted the help of Brendol and the stormtroopers in completing a genocide.
Phasma murdered almost every remaining member of her tribe—bar one. The one survivor lived to tell the tale. But we know little else about the event.
The death of her entire tribe wasn’t a fresh enough start for Phasma. Rather than let anyone share the tale of the murder of her entire family, she joined forces with General Armitage Hux to poison his father, Brendol, and wipe out the last of those who knew her history, or so she thought.
Captain Phasma’s Armor Will Bear Mortality
It comes as no surprise that Phasma, like Kylo Ren, has bigger plans for her life. Her armor is a symbol of her ambition: she is clad in the chromium once used to plate Emperor Palpatine’s yacht. Her armor protects her from radiation, but enemies have other reasons to fret. All those who she slays will watch their death reflected in the chromium plating.
The statement makes it sound simple. But Phasma’s armor is more than just the material it consists of.
When Brendol and the First Order stormtroopers crashed into Parnassos, they arrived on a Naboo yacht—the same one that once belonged to Emperor Palpatine.
When Phasma needed armor, she returned to Parnassos to retrieve it from the wreckage. She dragged it to the Con Star Mining Corporation facility, the same group that destroyed life in her home, and turned the wreck into her armor.
Her armor is more than her ambition. It’s a statement: she came from a literal nothingness, and she won’t stop until she destroys everything.
Captain Phasma Gets Her Name from Her Armor
JJ Abrams gave our newest villain her name because of the design of her armor. Michael Kaplan’s wardrobe team mocked up a suit of armor that reminded Abrams of the silver ball found in the film Phantasm.
Another interesting Phasma fact: the team originally designed her armor for Kylo Ren, but the finished product’s destiny was Phasma.
Captain Phasma’s Blaster Is as Unique as She Is
Phasma’s armor is a work of art forged in the fire of the death of her planet and eventually her people. Her blaster isn’t far off.
Her chromium-plated armor matches her chromium-coated blaster. The reflective chromium is more than just a look. It lets enemy combatants know there’s something harder about her than other stormtroopers.
In addition to the chromium-coating, her custom blaster features upgrades like:
Of course, her tricked-out blaster wasn’t enough for Abrams and Kasdan. She’s as comfortable with her blaster as she is driving a speeder, flying a starship, or expertly handling other small arms.
Captain Phasma Won’t Be Captain for Long
Image via Flickr
Captain Phasma’s sights are higher than we can give her credit for even now.
It’s simple to say that Phasma wants to stay alive. Survival is her driving ideology. She murdered her entire family to make her burden just a little easier.
Still, the girl has ambition. She joined the First Order, but she won’t stay long. Phasma attaches herself to the most potent force at the time, and she won’t put her life on the line for anyone.
She was more than happy to prove her willingness to abandon anyone in The Force Awakens.
The truth: Phasma is willing to risk more than absolutely anyone else. Who could win against that?
Captain Phasma Isn’t Here to Make Friends
In case you didn’t notice, the writers played into approximately zero female character tropes when writing Phasma’s lines.
Phasma is one of the commanding triumvirates of the First Order. Her work includes ensuring she produces the finest soldiers ever seen in the galaxy so that they might bring back the Empire. She fosters fighting skills and stamps out disobedience like a bug.
Phasma dedicates zero time to building relationships with anyone. Her one track mind focuses solely on survival and how to achieve it. She memorized her troopers’ serial numbers, and even though she oversaw FN-2187’s training directly, she had little to say bar:
“FN-2187 has the potential to be one of the finest stormtroopers I have ever seen…But his decision to split the fire-team and return for FN_2003 is problematic. It speaks to a potentially… dangerous level of empathy.”
She engages with others to the point of observation so that she can identify personal and professional weaknesses and see how she might worker those weaker than her against each other.
Other than that, the highest compliment she ever uttered was “adequate.”
Captain Phasma Was a Man
When the Star Wars universe conceived the character, she was actually a he. The team intended the role to be yet another male villain. But Star Wars fans changed all that.
No one knew much about the original character. J.J. Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan created a new villain with a similar backstory. Even Gwendoline Christie had no idea that her character was formerly male until the days before the first press screening of The Force Awakens.
According to an interview with Kasdan, the team had no option but to fly through character conceptions. They made each character up as they cast and created costumes and little fore- or afterthought.
A photo from the table read of already casted characters hit the internet, and fans shrieked in delight—and disappointment.
The photo featured Oscar Isaac, John Boyega, and only one new woman: Daisy Ridley. Peeved fans wondered what could be so difficult about adding more women to the cast?
At the time, Abrams and Kasdan had yet to fill Phasma’s role. Rumors suggested they reached out to Benedict Cumberbatch. In an instant (and as a reaction), Kasdan decided to make Phasma female. With Phasma’s gender set in stone, they began to cast. Christie reportedly fought hard for the part, a perfect next step from her Game of Thrones of character. The casting agents got her on the phone. The rest, as they say, is history.
You Can’t Keep a Parnassos Girl Down
Beating Phasma remains to be seen. Marvel’s mini-series depicts Phasma as surviving her adventure in the trash compactor. We won’t spoil her escape for those who have yet to read it. But one thing is sure – you’ll have to do much better than a mere machine to take Phasma out for good.
Will Captain Phasma Continue to Beguile and Disappoint?
Captain Phasma’s story arc is equal parts exhilarating and depressing depending on your interest in the character. She pops up to great acclaim only to suffer defeat. Considering her formidable backstory, you might think she wouldn’t be sent out with the trash.
Still, deleted scenes and comics suggest that there may be more in store for the She-Wolf promised to us.
Do you still have hope for more Phasma, or do you think we saw the last of her? Share your theories in the comments below.
Featured Image via Unsplash