Films

How Star Wars 8 Director and Actress Created Phasma’s Backstory


Gwendoline Christie has revealed how she collaborated with Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi director and writer Rian Johnson to create Captain Phasma’s backstory. Debuting in 2015’s Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens, the loyal First Order commander was one of the new characters – including Rey (Daisy Ridley), Finn (John Boyega), Poe (Oscar Isaac) and Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) – introduced to usher the resurgence of the epic space opera to a brand new generation.

Already known for her gig on HBO’s popular fantasy series, Game of Thrones, many wondered what Christie would bring to the Star Wars franchise. Due to her cool aesthetic, Phasma became one of the most anticipated stars of the J.J. Abrams’ film only for fans to be let down when she was in just a few scenes and didn’t even remove her shiny helmet. So after confirmation that she indeed survived the trash compactor, fans started hoping that they’ll finally get to see her in action and take on a bigger role in The Last Jedi. Fortunately, it appears that will be the case as the much-anticipated saga movie is expected to delve a bit deeper to Phasma’s backstory – giving her character more than just cool looking armor.

Talking to IGN during summer 2017 TV Critics Association press tour, the actress shared how collaborative the process was in crafting her character’s backstory with Johnson:

“Rian and I did have long conversations about this character and who she was, and I was utterly delighted in how willing he was to listen to my ideas and really thrilled to exchange them with him and hear his. He really is a master writer and director, and I think we’ve seen that in the films that he’s made but I think that we truly will see that in the depths to which he goes in The Last Jedi.”

Further, Christie expressed her excitement for people to learn more about Phasma outside of the Star Wars films especially with the upcoming release of The Last Jedi companion novel centering on the Chrome Trooper written by Delilah Dawson, as well as, a separate comic book about her:

“It fascinates me to be involved in something that also resonates in other incarnations of books or of merchandise, whatever it is, because people are connecting with the material that’s outside just literally watching it. They’re connecting with it in a way that’s tactile, that’s in their lives, that stimulates different parts of their brain, different part of their soul.”

On the big screen, however, aside from exploring more of her backstory, another big thing fans are eager to see is the culmination of the brewing tension between Phasma and her former subordinate, Finn. While The Force Awakens did not delve into this specific subplot, there were hints of the two’s shared history peppered throughout the film – something that is expected to be revisited and discussed more extensively in Episode VIII.

The unmasking of Captain Phasma is only one of several other narratives that fans can look forward to in Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi. This includes Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) finally getting back into the thick of things after his years of isolation on Ahch-To, the possible resolution of Rey’s and Supreme Leader Snoke‘s (Andy Serkis) real respective identities and the reveal of General Leia Organa’s (Carrie Fisher) ultimate fate.

KEY RELEASE DATES
Star Wars 8/Star Wars: The Last Jedi release date: Dec 15, 2017
Untitled Han Solo Star Wars Anthology Film release date: May 25, 2018
Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: Episode IX release date: May 24, 2019

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