Captain Phasma is a fictional character in the Star Wars franchise, portrayed by Gwendoline Christie. Introduced in Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015), the first film in the Star Wars sequel trilogy, Phasma is the commander of the First Order’s force of stormtroopers. Christie returned to the role in the next of the trilogy’s films, Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017). The character also made an additional appearance in Before the Awakening, an anthology book set before the events of The Force Awakens.
J. J. Abrams created Phasma from an armor design originally developed for Kylo Ren and named her after the 1979 horror film Phantasm. The character was originally conceived as male. Phasma appeared prominently in promotion and marketing for The Force Awakens, but the character’s ultimately minor role in the film was the subject of criticism. Nonetheless, merchandise featuring the character found success, and her figure was the best-selling of all Force Awakens action figures on Amazon.co.uk.
Captain Phasma Character
The commander of the First Order’s stormtroopers, Captain Phasma is described as a “tough veteran commander” and one of a “commanding triumvirate” of the First Order alongside Kylo Ren and General Hux. Christie compared Phasma to Boba Fett in the sense of being a character who, while not “at the forefront of the action all the time”, still has “a lot of impact”. The actress called the character “a malevolent force” who takes pleasure in her cruelty, something she attributed to a perceived difficult journey to becoming the only female stormtrooper of rank. To contrast with other stormtroopers in the franchise, Christie portrayed Phasma with both some femininity and sassiness. Glen Robert Gill, writing for Bright Lights Film Journal, saw Phasma as “the demonic or negative emanation of the maidenly anima”.
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