Star Wars fans rejoiced when it was announced that Gwendoline Christie was going to play a new character, Captain Phasma, as J.J. Abrams kickstarted a new trilogy in a galaxy far, far away. As The Force Awakens’ promotional material rolled out, the hype got bigger. Many anticipated the character, not just because of Christie’s popularity as Brienne in Game of Thrones, but also because her casting gave George Lucas’ universe something it was in dire need of — a female character who could break all the boys.
What made Phasma all the more appealing was that she was aligned with the First Order and the Dark Side, which haven’t really used female antagonists on the big screen. Furthermore, her chrome Stormtrooper look remains one of the most instantly-iconic the franchise has ever seen, which is frankly saying a lot. Phasma clearly had poise and a visual impact… which made it so disappointing when her character was literally thrown in the trash in the film! Rian Johnson promises a bigger role for her in The Last Jedi, but because there are so many things going on with the Skywalker legacy, it’s tough to anticipate Phasma’s backstory. However, Marvel’s ongoing comic series and the Phasma novel by Delilah Dawson allowed CBR to discover 15 deep, dark secrets of the character!
15. SHE ABANDONED KYLO REN
In Star Wars: Captain Phasma by Kelly Thompson and Marco Checchetto, we got to see just how she escaped after being forced into the trash compactor by the likes of Han Solo and Finn. An explosion ruptured the side of the vessel allowing her to escape and she immediately began covering her tracks after being forced to lower the Starkiller Base’s shields, which led to the First Order’s defeat in the latest film.
In her endeavors, we witnessed just how selfish and ruthless Phasma was because it was revealed that she actually did see Kylo Ren fighting Rey at the end of The Force Awakens. However, instead of helping, she shockingly ignored Supreme Leader Snoke’s apprentice and kept trying to cover her own tracks. Kylo Ren was not her priority and had he died, she surely would have not divulged abandoning him.
14. SHE KILLED HER MENTOR
Phasma was picked up on her home world, Parnassos, by Brendol Hux, who was recruiting Stormtroopers to train for the First Order. He spotted her potential to become elite and quickly honed her talents as a warrior. Phasma rose to the rank of Captain and even began taking over training from Brendol after he gave her half his workforce. She began mimicking his persona and surprisingly started scheming with his son, Armitage (played by Domnhall Gleeson in the movies).
What ensued was an act of treachery as she retrieved a poisonous beetle from Parnassos and used it to kill Brendol with Armitage’s help. It was clear that Phasma was willing to step up and take power just as much as she was willing to earn it. This act proved that not even her superiors were safe, which coincidentally felt very Sith-like.
13. SHE’S A HACKER ON THE DOWNLOW
When she initially joined Brendol’s unit, Phasma wanted to reach the top and quickly at that. Her upbringing was based on her “only the strong survive” mentality and as a result, she was willing to go the extra mile to be the alpha leading the pack. Her ambitions weren’t just limited to combat, though, because once officially signed up to the First Order, Phasma tried her best to become versed in things outside her comfort zone such as technology and hacking, which in the Star Wars universe is known as “slicing.”
Phasma was well and truly a do-it-yourself person, very willing and able to expand her skill set by learning about new and foreign ways of warfare, which led to Brendol realizing her full potential. This also inspired Armitage to use her in his own quest for power which resulted in the duo usurping his father.
12. SHE’S TRYING TO COVER HER TRACKS
When Phasma emerged from the trash compactor, she had to erase all evidence that she was forced to lower the shields on the Starkiller Base, which allowed General Leia Organa’s troops to emerge victorious. Phasma knew that she couldn’t let this be traced back to her but she realized that a Lieutenant Sol Rivas had access to the data which could incriminate her. Phasma quickly began framing him as the culprit and set out to kill Rivas to cover her tracks.
She even used Stormtroopers to hunt him, as she wanted to discredit him. Phasma also set things up so that when questions arose, all fingers would be pointed at a fleeing Rivas. She definitely painted him as a guilty man-on-the-run, emphasizing that Phasma holds no loyalty to anyone except herself and thus far, Armitage.
11. SHE’S AN INSOMNIAC
Phasma is never satisfied with the level she’s currently reached. As the Phasma novel showed us, she constantly wants to evolve and improve; as a result, she barely sleeps four hours a night. Her insomniac behavior is partly due to the hard life she endured as a child, but also because she’s on constant guard and wants to use this time to learn more military tactics, history and strategy.
This shows just how strong she is because this lack of sleep has never affected her ability as a soldier. It also illustrates her dedication to her craft and just how driven she is to become a better warrior. What Phasma also makes very clear here is that she knows battles aren’t won by brawn alone, but by brains as well, which made Brendol and Armitage take note.
10. SHE KILLED A FELLOW CAPTAIN
When Brendol split his Stormtroopers, some went to Captain Cardinal and the other went to Phasma. Cardinal wore crimson red stormtrooper armor and designed and conducted the training regiment for the young children being raised to be Stormtroopers, while Phasma was responsible for the older troopers, educating them in the art of war and leading them on missions. However, after Brendol died, Cardinal, who was always jealous, became suspicious of Phasma and her dark past.
This led to her stabbing him, as Phasma wanted to ensure anyone who obstructed her rise to the top was removed. This also protected Armitage because Cardinal had uncovered the entire truth about Brendol’s murder. Phasma was all too eager to end Cardinal’s life because that meant full control over the Stormtrooper training program, which allowed her and Armitage to improve the army that Brendol developed.
9. HER HOME WAS A NUCLEAR WASTELAND
Phasma’s planet Parnassos was once lush and green, with a plethora of wildlife for food and acres of land ripe for farming until the arrival of Con Star Mining. Set several hundred years before the events of the Star Wars movies, Con Star ended up ravaging the planet and after a mishap on the job, a nuclear explosion occurred that left the planet a nuclear wasteland.
The planet then became poisoned, with plant and animal life basically rendered extinct. The Con Star employees who were left behind, as well as Parnassos’ remaining inhabitants, attempted to survive by attaining the little resources still existing. However, the nuclear fallout meant a lot of disease and infection, which combined with extreme hunger to severely reduce the population and leave almost everyone alive in a very tough spot. This hardened folks like Phasma who desperately wanted away from this life.
8. SHE’S A SNIPER
If you observe closely, you’ll see that Phasma is always carrying around her rifle. While The Force Awakens didn’t allow her to cut loose with it, the Captain Phasma comic gave her the chance to show that she’s not just a shooter, but a sniper. In chasing Lieutenant Sol Rivas and trying to frame him for Starkiller’s destruction, she attempts to snipe him a couple of times.
She wounds him, but Rivas was quite slick in escaping, especially as the base’s landscape was frozen and falling apart. This made her job all the more difficult but Phasma was clearly willing to shoot someone from afar as opposed to chasing them. Phasma doesn’t believe in confrontation if you can get the job done from a distance. We’re not sure Rivas can escape her crosshairs any longer because she’s growing really impatient for his blood.
7. SHE GREW UP WITH SAVAGE TRIBES
Because of the nuclear fallout from Con Star disaster on Parnassos, the folks who were left behind struggled to return to a normal way of life. Con Star employees and the Parnassos inhabitants had no choice but to try to coexist as tribes. Given that plants and animals were more or less non-existent in this nuclear wasteland, the tribes ended up becoming savage and fighting each other.
Phasma’s family holed up in a cave called the Nautilus but tribes such as the Scyre and the Claw constantly attacked. Phasma actually wanted her family to side with the Scyre as she viewed them as the stronger tribe. This was one of the first examples of how strategic and tactical she was as she was totally about self-preservation.
6. SHE HATED HER PARENTS
Nautilus was one of the few havens scraping by after Parnassos became a nuclear hellhole. However, Phasma, being intuitive when it came to battle, recognized that they needed to team with a strong tribe and wanted her parents to lead a partnership with the Scyre. This would help them take out the Claw tribe. After finding resistance with her proposal, she made a secret pact with the Scyre.
This saw everyone in the Nautilus taken out, except Phasma’s brother Keldo. She saved the wounded boy and bargained for their future roles with the Scyre. Both eventually became leaders in the tribe but Phasma easily forgot about her parents and upbringing. This showed how far she was willing to go to be with a team she considered to be strong and just how quick she was to jettison what she considered to be dead weight.
5. SHE DOESN’T RESPECT STORMTROOPERS
While chasing Sol Rivas to ensure she cleared her name from wrongdoing after The Force Awakens, Phasma was very direct when speaking to her Stormtroopers as to what she would do if they didn’t help her. Not many were available but Phasma took what resources were present and manipulated them to her advantage. This included a pilot TN-3465, who helped her chase him to another planet called Luprora.
There, they fought monsters and were met by a quaint tribe they barely trusted but just before that, they had to disguise themselves. TN-3465 asked about using her name so that they wouldn’t be seen as enemies or Stormtroopers on the whole. Phasma was repulsed and told her she would just call her “pilot.” In their chase, Phasma made it clear she considered her soldiers beneath her and that they were to always treat her with reverence.
4. SHE SLAUGHTERED HER OWN PEOPLE
When Brendol and the First Order met Phasma’s Scyre on Parnassos, they also met the Claw, their rivals. Both wanted to help Brendol get his fallen ship back in order, but they also wanted to prove they were worthy of joining his army. To show who was dominant, Phasma led the Scyre to slaughter the Claw and showed just who was more powerful.
Her genocidal tendencies didn’t end there, however. As time progressed, she impressed the Stormtroopers with how merciless she was in the field of battle. She was winning over Brendol, which led to jealousy and a dispute with her own Scyre. Phasma then partnered with the Stormtroopers to raze her own tribe, which more or less cemented her place within the First Order.
3. HER HELMET IS A SYMBOL OF STATUS
Phasma’s helmet has become iconic to fans because of its chrome design. It stands out due to its intimidating glare. Many fans simply assumed it was just a cool design, or for the sake of looking different. However, it was revealed that when Brendol’s ship landed on Parnassos, it crashed and that’s what drew Phasma and all the tribes to his army. They came to help but to also escape from Parnassos’ nuclear terror.
Phasma, after establishing herself as a major force to be reckoned with in the First Order, went back, salvaging the chrome plates from pieces of Brendol’s ship, which she then used to craft her suit. It reminded her of her past but also of what she wanted to be in life. The chrome look elevated her status in her own eyes and painted her as truly elite.
2. SHE KILLED HER APPRENTICE
Phasma was trying to ensure that everyone who knew about her past on Parnassos was eliminated. In the Phasma novel, when she left the Scyre and took up arms with the First Order, she took a young girl with her. This was Frey, who she wanted to take under her wing and turn into a Stormtrooper on Phasma’s level.
However, as Phasma grew more and more power hungry, she began to conspire with Armitage to kill his father, Brendol, so that they could control all the Stormtroopers. This made her more paranoid and she wanted to erase elements of her past which could expose her untrustworthy ways. Frey was one of these remaining links and she mysteriously died in a training accident. Phasma alluded in the course of the novel that she orchestrated it, perhaps un-ironically, like a Sith would.
1. SHE KILLED HER BROTHER
When Phasma saw the opportunity to join the First Order, she grabbed it as soon as she could. She was already eyeing the death of Parnassos’ tribes to show Brendol that she was worthy of joining his squad and she quickly used the Scyre to her advantage. After eliminating the Claw, she then turned on the Scyre.
In the midst of using her new posse of Stormtroopers to kill off her people, Phasma did the unthinkable: she killed her brother, Keldo. He was with her through thick and thin but she didn’t care anymore. This highlighted just how selfish she was and proved that Phasma was a monster ready to sacrifice anyone to advance her position. She did so without hesitation or remorse, making her a perfect fit for Brendol and his son, who saw her as a key asset in running Supreme Leader Snoke’s legion.
Let us know in the comments what other secrets Captain Phasma keeps under that helmet!
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