There’s a lot we can pick on in the new Star Wars movies, but one of the glaring oversights that seems to have riled up fans up the most is the way Captain Phasma’s character is portrayed. She’s shiny, chromey and looks awesome, but she’s also a useless captain, with her lowest point coming in The Last Jedi. That happened due to a very specific reason, according to director Rian Johnson.
Note: There are minor Star Wars: The Last Jedi spoilers ahead.
In a sit-down interview with IGN, Johnson opened up about Captain Phasma’s role in The Last Jedi and if her role was originally more expansive.
“No,” retorted Johnson. “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.”
It all boils down to the busyness of the movie. Running at a lengthy 2 hours and 33 minutes, The Last Jedi is the longest Star Wars movie to date. But Captain Phasma’s major breakout point never really developed in that extended time. You obviously have the major characters like Rey, Luke and Kylo Ren getting a lot of screen time, but there’s also Poe, Rose, and General Organa. There just wasn’t enough time to get more out of the mysterious First Order officer.
Making matters worse is that her character likely met her demise for good. In her climactic duel with Finn that ended up being just a quick minute-long battle, he bashes her helmet after which she falls into a fiery abyss. Phasma did manage to make her way out of the Starkiller base after she was locked up in a trash compactor in The Force Awakens, so there is hope of her return, but there wouldn’t be much point to it.