– by Joseph Jammer Medina

Disclaimer: This post contains spoilers for Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

At this point, it’s almost fair to call Captain Phasma the Boba Fett of this trilogy. She has some badass, instantly-recognizable armor, but at the end of the day, her memorability kind of ends there. In The Force Awakens, she gave up vital First Order without a fight, and while she does give Finn a bit of a fight in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, her screen time isn’t very extensive.

Speaking with IGN, director Rian Johnson discussed the reasoning behind the lack of Captain Phasma in the movie.

“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.”

“So the truth is. It’s just a very big cast and you have to kind of pick your battles with it.”

While I’m one of the folks who was ultimately disappointed with the character Phasma ended up being, it’s hard to dispute with what he says here. As it stands, the movie was already around two-and-a-half hours long. To add a lot more would have made a lot of audiences restless.

That being said, a part of me still wishes they had left Phasma for a more fulfilling part in Star Wars: Episode IX, but obviously, those are the breaks when dealing with a cast of many characters.

Were you bummed that Captain Phasma never got a chance to do much before falling to her fiery death? Let us know your thoughts down below!

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  • Ian Finnimore

    Did Rian channel this “story” for some otherworldly entity?

    He talks as though the script was set in stone & whilst he saw the lacking in certain areas there was nothing he could do.

    He told the tale he wanted to & there were characters he really didn’t care for by all evidence otherwise … he’d have rejigged some things.

    I understand story structure if scenes have been shot but we are talking about writing on paper or text on a screen.

    Luke must die – Rey must evolve – OK they are your essential plot points but holy hell some of the fuel storyline or whatever is just lazy.

    • Rad4Cap

      For him, it was. He came up with a very particular way to approach the film: REVERSE Empire, beat for beat (right down to placing Hoth last instead of first). And Phasma is simply the Boba Fett of this episode. Except reversed – instead of having to chase the quarry, the situation is reversed and they are brought TO Phasma. And, instead of keeping them alive, the situation is reversed and they are to be executed. And all of this is because, instead of going to a working city in the clouds, the reverse occurred and they went to a resort city on the ground – and instead of being betrayed by the suave leader of the city, the reverse occurred and they were betrayed by the stuttering captive of the city. etc etc.

      It ALL was written in stone – the stone being the script of Empire. As JJ’s TFA was a slavish repeat of A New Hope, Rian’s TLJ is a(n even MORE) slavish reversal of Empire (with a part of Return thrown in, also reversed).

      Rian was basically being “‘The Opposite’ George Costanza”.

      I haven’t seen this reported or complained about anywhere else. Am I the ONLY one who has noticed this fact? Or have others made this point and I’ve just missed it?

      • CrystalClearTruth

        No, it’s called crappy story telling.

        • Rad4Cap

          “No” it is not the Reverse Empire Strikes Back? Or “No” I’m the only one who has noticed it is the anti-Empire?

          Because noting that slavishy reversing someone else’s script is “crappy story telling” is a given.

          • Kindofabigdeal

            And instead of cool snow speeders we get janky sand scrapers?

      • Ian Finnimore

        So at the start of Ep9 Luke & Snoke are resurrected then that would indeed be the opposite to Jedi’s Ending .. God help us when they introduce the 6ft tall hairless Ewok substitutes .. yuk ..

        • Rad4Cap

          Well I suspect that Rian was doing that gimmick just for 8 (and he isn’t doing 9). And it fits the theme as well – learning from failure.

          Of course that theme was taken directly from the Hero’s Journey. It is what happens in the middle part of the Hero’s Journey. So he was being extremely literal about everything – right down to making the middle trilogy episode the literal failure episode (in every sense of the word).

          He is really hitting everyone over the head by following every trope. The thing that makes me laugh is how so many people consider what he did ‘original’ and ‘daring’. LOL

  • Kronx

    Maybe the casino trip could’ve become something a little more relevant and entertaining, like dealing with Phasma?

    • Rad4Cap

      Nope. That would have been straying from the Reverse Empire Strikes Back template.

  • Rad4Cap

    ” a part of me still wishes they had left Phasma for a more fulfilling part in Star Wars: Episode IX”

    Rian couldn’t do that. As The Opposite George Costanza, because Boba Fett lived to be in the next film after Empire, Rian had to do the opposite. Phasma (the Boba Fett of this movie) had to die in this one.

    • Broian

      I can for sure see it in a couple places. Instead of fleeing Hoth they hide at Crait, instead of training Rey he refuses to, instead of helping DJ sells them out.

      I feel you with Phasma. Should have shown back up in IX, although if she is Boba Fett that fall didn’t kill her.

      • axebox

        They fled D’Qar in the first act of the film. The arrival at Crait was the departure from ESB as in ESB the rebels never arrived anywhere, but they did escape Hoth and Bespin. So maybe there’s a parallel with Crait and Bespin.

        • Rad4Cap

          Actually Crait is Hoth – and the Casino City is Cloud City.

          See my response to Broian (above) for more details.

      • Rad4Cap

        “I can for sure see it in a couple places”

        It is in everything. Crait is Hoth, but it’s the opposite of fluffy snow – hard salt. It was in the first act, so now its in the last act. Instead of fleeing from Hoth, they flee to Crait. Instead of a rebel canon shooting the Empire, its the opposite – a first order canon shooting the Resistance. etc

        Instead of “I know” said to a lover, we get the reverse – said to a stranger.

        The whole slow speed chase is the opposite of the fast paced chase of the Falcon. The whole lightspeed is the way to escape the empire is now reversed – they can’t escape through hyperspace.

        Instead of a working (mining) city in the clouds, the solution to the hyperspace problem is to be found in its opposite – a resort (gambling) city on the ground. They are betrayed by a stuttering captive of that city, rather than the suave leader of that city.

        Instead of Yoda wanting the Jedi to return, we get the opposite – Luke wanting the Jedi to die. Instead of Yoda training Luke to be a Jedi, we get the reverse – Luke refusing to train Rey as a Jedi. Instead of a Dark tree cave, we get the opposite – get a hole and Dark sea cave. Instead of Luke following in his father’s footsteps (toward the Dark side), we get the reverse – Rey is her own past and future. There is no destiny, there is the opposite – making one’s own path.

        Instead of the scoundrel softening the leader, we get the reverse – the leader teaching the scoundrel to follow orders.

        The list goes on and on (and even throws in the final Emperor sequence from Return of the Jedi, also reversed).

        • Broian

          This does explain why when I saw it nothing went the way I thought it would, which is why I liked it.

          Using this logic, where does Episode IX go? Or is it all out the window with JJ back in charge…

          • Rad4Cap

            “Using this logic, where does Episode IX go?”

            Since Rian claimed he had no plan for any action after this (the same way he says JJ had no plan for anything after HIS movie), there is NO CLUE where they will go.

            All I know is that the Skywalker Saga ultimately had to end, and Star Wars as a franchise had to open up to others beyond the Skywalkers (because Luke and Leia – and even Rey [since Daisy says she doesn’t want to go past the next film] – simply won’t be around much longer). So that was one of the things Disney wanted – and got from this film (which is why it hearkens back at the end to a force sensitive slave boy – ala The Phantom Menace). Now they can do anything they want and the last disjointed episode of the trilogy can wrap up the ‘in-betweener’ trilogy that finally leads in whatever direction Disney wants to go.

            I think the real problem is that no one at Disney/Lucasfilms has a vision of WHERE they want to go.

          • Broian

            It’s odd, I thought I remembered them announcing Johnson would write and direct eight and nine. Then it turned into he’s just directing eight but writing night, and now he has nothing to do with it at all. Maybe that’s because he got his own trilogy but I seem to recall that

        • Broian

          Also kudos. I had not seen anyone point this out yet.

          • Rad4Cap

            That’s bothering me though. I don’t see how I’m the only one to have noticed this.

          • Broian

            There are a lot of people who are probably like me and spotted a couple of them but never put it all together

  • claudiomario

    I hope snoke is darth plagious the wise and rises … dark rises thus light must as well and we get luke back for a trilogy.

    • Rad4Cap

      I heard about this Stone which can bring people back from the dead. Perhaps the new Jedi (or Sith) could find it and resurrect Luke.


      • claudiomario

        Is this true? That would be a hell of a twist.

        • Kindofabigdeal

          He’s talking about an Infinity Stone.

          • claudiomario

            Thats what i thought but was hoping it was simoly something i missed

          • Broian

            Or is he talking about the thing from Splinter in the Minds Eye…

          • armyof100clowns

            Harry Potter

        • Rad4Cap


          It is indeed true. It’s part of a trinity of ancient relics. They are said to give the bearer of them control over death itself, so I suspect they are related to Darth Plagueis. Unfortunately, one of the relics, a short staff, was destroyed. Another has been passed down for generations in a powerful family. But the Stone was lost in a vast, forbidden Forest on a far, far away planet. So it would likely take great effort in order to find it and then resurrect Luke with it.


  • Ryan Fink

    Then, obviously there were too many characters and some should have been cut or merged. This makes it even more obvious that Phasma was really created to sell toys, not to serve a distinct purpose in the new trilogy. Lame.

  • Kindofabigdeal

    Explaining? More like defending, making excuses.
    If you’re script is overloaded why did you make a new character that could have just been done by Leia?
    Why introduce that Shrek girl when she served no purpose except allow the Empire to blow open the base doors.

  • Bill_Goodwin

    No, he couldn’t do anything with Phasma, because the fans WANTED to see more Phasma. Rian Johnson didn’t miss a single opportunity to spit on the fans.

    • Kay

      Feeling personally attacked much? I feel like fans are feeling a little to important…

  • axebox

    Fans are upset that a second string side character with no motivations beyond the needs of a couple scenes and a cool design, had another couple of scenes with no motivations and characterizations?

    Just pointing out the hypocrisy.

    • Joseph Jammer Medina

      It’s a fair one.

    • Tonk99

      How is that hypocritical? Do you even understand what hypocrisy is? Phasma was criminally underutilised. There were plenty of opportunities in TLJ to make more use of the character.

      • axebox

        A supporting character was underutilized? Typically that judgement is reserved for primary characters. You could make the argument that maybe Finn was underutilized, as he’s a main character. I think you’re just sad Phasma died before you wanted her to.

  • Brafdorf

    Phasma is the shining example of everyone building up character expectations for no reason and being disappointed because of their own preconceived notions.

  • newscynic

    Finn’s whole story was just there so that Poe could be taught the lesson that he should never question authority – even though he was an epic hero and Holda could have easily shared the plan with him. Meanwhile the First Order lost two ships because their officers were afraid to question General Hux.

    • newscynic

      And Luke had rebelled against Ob-wan and Yoda and Rey rebels against Luke and the whole Rogue One story, but Poe needs to learn blind faith in Holda.

    • Rad4Cap

      “Finn’s whole story was just there so that Poe could be taught the lesson that he should never question authority”

      Yes. Like all the other story and plot points, it was the exact reverse of Empire. Where it had the rogue temper authority (Han temper Leia), here we get the opposite – the authority tempering the rogue (Holdo temper Poe).

      There was NO logic to anything in this film. There was only a reverse blueprint that was mindlessly followed.

  • Moby85

    I think it’s clear Rian Johnson just didn’t care for Phasma as a character. Neither did JJ Abrams when it came down to it either. In the end she represents the worst of a character thrown into a film(s) for political reasons…Toklenism.

    Disney wanted a feminist “badass” character except there was one small problem: she wasn’t a fit with the story. So she’s given a token role with very limited screentime and a quick death. Gwendoline Christie has a right to get pissed off.

    • Rad4Cap

      She’s just Boba Fett.

  • SnokeYou

    More BS. You edited in the Finn love story and edited out Phasma.
    Ya done messed up A-A-Ron.

  • Deathstroke936

    Who decided to use Phasma in the first place…??? I’m tired of these having cake and eating it too answers… If there was no need for the character in the first place, just then leave her in TFA stuck in a garbage compactor or home sick from food poisoning…

    Fett was smart enough to follow Han when the Empire could not… small but important part in ESB… (good writing)

    Phasma … it’s better to be fireproof than cool looking…??? (great story telling… right…)

  • Fluke Skycrawler

    Would have rather seen more Phasma and less Finn.

Joseph Jammer Medina is an author, podcaster, and editor-in-chief of LRM. A graduate of Chapman University's Dodge College of Film and Television, Jammer's always had a craving for stories. From movies, television, and web content to books, anime, and manga, he's always been something of a story junkie.