Exactly three months ago today, Star Wars: The Force Awakens hit theaters, and fans haven’t been the same since. This global sensation has earned a record-shattering $917.3 million at the domestic box office and $1.1 billion internationally, for a global total of $2.029 billion. While many fans enjoyed seeing beloved characters such as Han Solo (Harrison Ford), Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) and Leia Organa (Carrie Fisher) for the first time in over 30 years, many were intrigued by a slew of new heroes and villains in this galaxy far, far away. One of those new additions was the villainous Captain Phasma, played by Gwendoline Christie, and during a new interview with Entertainment Weekly, the actress shed new light on this character.
Captain Phasma is the First Order commander who Finn (John Boyega) worked under before he escaped with Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac). Last month, we reported that Phasma’s now-iconic mask and armor were originally designed for Kylo Ren (Adam Driver), but director J.J. Abrams didn’t think it was the right look for this villain. After producer Kathleen Kennedy was drawn to the design, J.J. Abrams created the Captain Phasma character, who, in the movie, never removes her helmet. When asked about why we never see Phasma’s face, Gwendoline Christie had this to say to Entertainment Weekly.
“I thought it was a really interesting opportunity because as an actor I’m interested in transformation and different kinds of roles. What’s the role about? Who is the character? What does the character mean in the function of a project or story? I thought it was a really interesting opportunity to play a female character where we formed an opinion of her based on her actions rather than the way she has been made flesh. And that concept within a Star Wars movie, a mainstream phenomenon, was very modern and interesting and exciting. I made no secret of the fact I wanted to be in the film, I campaigned hard to be in the film, but to be in it as that kind of character – she’s a woman, she’s in armor, the armor isn’t sexualized, and in the film we don’t see the actor’s face – I thought that was an exciting, modern concept. And obviously, I’m delighted to be in another film [Star Wars: Episode VIII].”
It was confirmed last month that Phasma will be a part of Star Wars: Episode VIII, which just started production earlier this week. Unfortunately, the actress wouldn’t divulge any details about the sequel, which is written and directed by Rian Johnson. Since there is very little we learned about Phasma’s back story in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the actress was asked if she came up with any sort of history for her character, like how Oscar Isaac decided to make Poe Dameron from Yavin IV. The actress admitted that she did craft a background for Phasma, but she isn’t sharing any details yet.
“I went about preparing for that part the way I would for any role – to make some decisions about who the character is and why they do what they do. I think everybody would like to find out more about the character in the future.”
Star Wars: The Force Awakens cast members Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong’o, Domhnall Gleeson, Anthony Daniels and Andy Serkis are returning for Star Wars: Episode VIII. New cast members will include Academy Award winner Benicio Del Toro, Academy Award nominee Laura Dern, and talented newcomer Kelly Marie Tran. Do you think there’s a chance Phasma will remove her helmet in Star Wars: Episode VIII? Or do you think she doesn’t need to?