**Major spoilers ahead**
So, riddle me this: The Rebellion dramatically blew up Starkiller Base in “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” and yet, it seems all the major baddies managed to make it out in time. We know that Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) will resume his Dark Side training with Supreme Leader Snoke (Andy Serkis), and General Hux (Domhnall Gleeson) scooted off the death ray planet too. But it seems they aren’t the only ones who somewhat miraculously will live on to “Star Wars: Episode VIII.”
Speaking with the LA Times, Kathleen Kennedy confirmed earlier this month that the cool-looking Captain Phasma, played by Gwendoline Christie, will be back for more. “She’s an important character, a baddie in the best sense of the word,” the Lucasfilm honcho said.
Presumably, this means the character will have a lot more to do in ‘Episode VIII,’ because in ‘The Force Awakens’ Phasma doesn’t really get to show what makes her a villain to be reckoned with. She lets Finn (John Boyega) slip out from her grasp right before he launches his escape plan from the First Order with Poe (Oscar Isaac). And later, Finn gets one over on her again, when he forces her to lower the shields around Starkiller Base at gunpoint, with help from Han Solo and Chewbacca. Not a great look. Still, Christie is excited about the character, and speaks enthusiastically about the broad role she fills in the makeup of the diversified “Star Wars” galaxy.
“We see women in a different range of roles in the film,” Christie said. “And the reason I love my character so much and I feel so enthusiastic about Capt. 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.”
All great stuff on paper, to be sure, but let’s hope we see it in action the next time around.