All through the promotion and build-up to the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the mysterious chrome-armoured First Order Captain Phasma was a firm fan favourite, and one of the characters we most looked forward to seeing brought to life on screen. Then we saw the movie, and…. well, she didn’t really do anything except chastise Finn and then get flung down a garbage chute – off-screen.
It’s possible this was done purposely to try to replicate the fan-furore surrounding Boba Fett (who despite only appearing very briefly in the original trilogy, remains one of the most well-loved characters), but whatever the reason, there’s no doubt that many fans were disappointed.
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Recently, EW reached out to actress Gwendoline Christie to try to find out why Phasma remains under that helmet, and has so little to do in the movie. Among other things, the Game Of Thrones star said that the fact that she stays hidden behind that shiny exterior is what drew her to the role in the first place.
I thought it was a really interesting opportunity because as an actor I’m interested in transformation and different kinds of roles. What’s the role about? Who is the character? What does the character mean in the function of a project or story? I thought it was a really interesting opportunity to play a female character where we formed an opinion of her based on her actions rather than the way she has been made flesh. And that concept within a Star Wars movie, a mainstream phenomenon, was very modern and interesting and exciting.
I made no secret of the fact I wanted to be in the film, I campaigned hard to be in the film, but to be in it asthat kind of character – she’s a woman, she’s in armor, the armor isn’t sexualized, and in the film we don’t see the actor’s face – I thought that was an exciting, modern concept. And obviously, I’m delighted to be in another film [Episode VIII].
So, there you have it. Her comments make sense, but hopefully we’ll see a lot more of the ruthless Captain Phasma in the still untitled follow-up to Star Wars: The Force Awakens.