When the cast of ‘The Force Awakens’ was first announced back in 2014, fans had no way of knowing how important any of these new characters would be. Sure, by the time the first trailer hit, it seemed clear that John Boyega, for example, would be a major player. But what of the rest? Some – such as Max von Sydow’s Lor San Tekka – would ultimately prove to be fairly minor characters, while others continued to be presented as major players despite having smaller than expected roles in the film. Now, with the release of ‘The Last Jedi’ placing us closer to the end of the new trilogy than to the beginning, we have a much better – if still incomplete – sense of which characters ultimately matter than we did two years ago.
Which brings us to Captain Phasma. Two films in and Phasma is very much shaping up to be the Boba Fett of the new trilogy. Which is to say, a cool looking character who is ultimately given next to nothing to do. Though her survival was left in question at the end of ‘The Force Awakens’, the confirmation that she would return in ‘The Last Jedi’ understandably left some expecting that she might have a larger role this time around. Unfortunately, it was not to be. Speaking to IGN, director Rian Johnson explained that the main reason for not giving Phasma a bigger role (at least in his entry) had to do with the balancing act of serving both the individual characters and the larger story:
“I mean, as you can see, man, we had a really full movie already. We had a big, big movie with a lot of characters we were trying to serve, and the God’s honest truth is, every character had to find their natural place.
“And Phasma supports Finn’s storyline, obviously, and there just.. until she shows up to fight him at the end, look through the story that we have, there’s just not a lot of space to go into a big Phasma storyline in it.
“So the truth is, it’s just a very big cast and you have to kind of pick your battles with it.”
Whether or not Phasma reappears in ‘Episode IX’ is a question that can likely only be answered by JJ Abrams at this stage. The rest of us may have to wait until 2019 to find out. But regardless of that, she has had a chance to shine in tie-in novels and comics alike. No doubt she will continue to do so, whatever her future in the films may be.
Be sure to check back with ScienceFiction.com for more news on ‘The Last Jedi’ and future ‘Star Wars’ films as it becomes available!
Directed by Rian Johnson, ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ is now playing in theaters. The film stars Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Anthony Daniels, Domhnall Gleeson, and Gwendoline Christie.