Published September 18, 2017

Captain Phasma: Always Ready

Writer Kelly Thompson charts a path to “Star Wars: The Last Jedi”!

Image for Captain Phasma: Always Ready

In 2015, the world witnessed the debut of a ruthless captain in a shining suit of armor. And while she gleamed in “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” her story reaches new heights in JOURNEY TO STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI – CAPTAIN PHASMA.

Captain Phasma takes her destiny into her own hands, emerging from the embers of “The Force Awakens” to set herself on a new path ahead of “Star Wars: The Last Jedi.” On October 18, writer Kelly Thompson and artist Marco Checchetto bring the epic limited series to its conclusion with issue #4!

We spoke with Kelly to hear more about the Captain’s tale of resurgence and revenge. Before you got this gig, what’d you think of Phasma after seeing her in “The Force Awakens”?

Kelly Thompson: That the armor looked absolutely incredible and that actress Gwendoline Christie projects a force to be reckoned with in every scene she’s in. Even completely covered up, she manages so much charisma—you can’t take your eyes off of her! I wanted to know so much more about her character. And I never dreamed I’d get to be a writer that helped decide those things. Total dream come true. Describe your process for fleshing the character out. Where did you focus first?

Kelly Thompson: Well, I coordinated pretty heavily with the Lucasfilm Story Group because everything connects both between the two films—since our story basically links those films together—and also with the new Phasma prose novel. So there were some parameters and directives about who she could be in those opening discussions; when those directives came through, Phasma clicked almost instantly into place in my head. Her character and her motivations made so much sense and the story began to form very organically from there.

Who she is, what she wants, what she will do to survive—it all began to dictate our story in a really clear way. How much of Phasma’s appearance—her armor, specifically—informs your writing of the character?

Kelly Thompson: More than you’d think. It comes down to Marco Checchetto and Andres Mossa—our incredible artist and colorist, respectively—in creating that visual. Since we knew we were dealing with a character in full body armor—so no facial expressions and limited body language—and we weren’t going to be inside her head via narrative captions, we really had to be smart about every single thing we did. Phasma can be such an efficient and brutal machine, so we made sure that everything she did linked up with that idea. Fortunately, I had incredible partners in Marco and Andres for that mission. In the story, how would you define the common First Order opinion of Phasma? Does anything like that affect her?

Kelly Thompson: I think people are terrified of her and many of them don’t even know why. She’s a mystery—and she’s powerful and she’s unlike most other people—in that she presents no “human side,” no flaws, no obvious weaknesses. Everything Phasma does has been completely calculated. Even the lowering of the shields in “The Force Awakens”—in that moment her goal is simply to “not get shot,” and to do that, she lowers the shields. How she then deals with the ramifications of that decision can only be answered after she’s not shot—and thus not dead.

I don’t think Phasma cares at all what others think of her—unless it will either advance her or hold her back. She is unapologetically who she is, and she’s a chameleon that will do anything to survive. That currently means being the perfect soldier—the perfect leader for the First Order—and so she executes that directive as flawlessly as possible…with her eye always on what’s next. What’s Phasma’s general opinion of her enemies?

Kelly Thompson: One hundred percent, Phasma has a list in her head of every person she’s ever met, what their weaknesses and strengths are, and strategies for getting rid of them should that be necessary or amenable to her advancement. Phasma does not rest or take it easy. She’s always on, always ready. Last question—if you were able to meet Captain Phasma face to face, what would you say to her?

Kelly Thompson: I mean, I think I would just run. Yeah. As fast and as far as humanly possible. Someone that ruthless in their intent to survive…I’ve got no chance. None!

JOURNEY TO STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI – CAPTAIN PHASMA #4, by Kelly Thompson and artist Marco Checchetto, drops on October 18!