Though we know next to nothing about her, many people are already obsessed with Gwendoline Christie’s Captain Phasma. Following the exciting news that the ‘Game of Thrones’ star had been cast in ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’, fans were ecstatic to hear that the mighty Brienne of Tarth would be playing a villain in ‘Episode VII’ . When the first pictures of the character came out, it was like seeing Darth Maul or Boba Fett for the first time. The world cannot wait to see the mysterious leader of the First Order’s Stormtroopers in action. But after a history of seeing cool bad guys killed off prematurely, you’d have to wonder whether we’ll be seeing Phasma beyond her first appearance. Well, thanks to Kathleen Kennedy, we have an answer to that.
In a recent Los Angeles Times interview with the ladies involved in ‘The Force Awakens’, Kennedy shared that Christie would indeed live to see Rian Johnson’s ‘Star Wars: Episode VIII’. The Lucasfilm President shares that Captain Phasma is “an important character” and “a baddie in the best sense of the word”. Though they didn’t go into details regarding how the captain would live on, the actress goes on to explain that Phasma’s importance isn’t limited to a galaxy far, far away because they want “to try something different, to push the boundaries for female roles, both evil and benevolent, toward a more realistic depiction of women”:
“Kathleen Kennedy said to me, ‘Have you ever Googled ‘female heroines’? I said, ‘No,’ and she did it for me. If you do it, there are a lot of scantily clad women. Now women should be allowed to dress exactly however they choose, but the idea that you Google female heroines and there isn’t a diverse range of examples that come up, I find it a bit depressing.
The reason I love my character so much and I feel so enthusiastic about Captain Phasma is, yes, she’s cool, she looks cool, she’s a villain — but more than that, we see a female character and respond to her not because of the way she looks. We respond to her because of her actions. I think we’re a society that has promoted a homogenized idea of beauty in women — and in men — and I think it’s really interesting, modern and necessary to have a female character that isn’t about the way her body looks. It isn’t about her wearing makeup. It’s not about her being conventionally feminized. The idea of this enormous legacy and franchise embracing an idea like that, which of course to many of us feels logical, is actually really progressive. And long overdue.”
As we get closer and closer to the December 18th release date of ‘Episode VII’, it’s so good to hear that ‘Star Wars’ really is making an effort to be more representative of the world we live in while turning these long-established tropes on their heads. As long as the people in charge of this franchise continue with this approach, ‘Star Wars’ will certainly continue to grow and thrive long after Captain Phasma’s time onscreen has run its course.
Are you excited to hear that Gwendoline Christie’s Captain Phasma will survive ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’? How do you think she’ll factor into the overall scheme of things in the new trilogy? Share your thoughts and theories in the comments below.