Rian Johnson explains why we saw so little of a certain character in 'The Last Jedi'

LucasfilmCaptain Phasma in ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi.’
  • “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” director Rian Johnson explained why Captain Phasma doesn’t get a lot of screen time.
  • The fan favourite also had a small amount of scenes in “The Force Awakens,” so s he may be headed to the Boba Fett-level of “Star Wars” fan obsession.

Warning: Spoilers below if you haven’t seen “Star Wars: The Last Jedi”

One of the major knocks about “The Force Awakens” was that stormtrooper leader Captain Phasma (Gwendoline Christie) had very little screen time. Well, we’re sad to break it to you, but she has even less in “The Last Jedi.”

She’s a character that instantly became a fan favourite when unveiled – chrome stormtrooper armour and all – leading up to the release of “The Force Awakens.” But so far we haven’t been able to learn much about her in the two movies other than she doesn’t like First Order deserter, Finn (John Boyega).

At the end of “The Force Awakens,” she was thrown into Starkiller Base’s trash compactor, and in “The Last Jedi,” she literally shows up for just one scene to fight Finn. Things don’t turn out well for Phasma again; she loses the fight and falls into the fire that’s consuming the massive First Order ship,”Supremacy.”

“The Last Jedi” director Rian Johnson wasn’t coy about it when Business Insider brought up the lack of Phasma in the movie.

Lastjedi3 lucasfilmLucasfilmFinn and Phasma battle in ‘The Last Jedi.’

“There wasn’t a ton of Phasma that we shot for this,” he said. “The God’s honest truth is, if you take a look at the movie, it’s so full already. There are so many characters to serve already, and it’s tough because Phasma really enters the movie when she needs to, and she does exactly what she needs to do in it. She’s someone at the tail end of Finn’s journey that represents his past for him to have this cathartic moment of being on the side of good and fighting her. The notion of having a side plot of Phasma throughout the course of the film – look, I love Gwen [Christie]. I love Phasma. It would have been fun. But it just wasn’t the story we were telling. There just wasn’t a place for it. We already had quite a full plate to deal with in terms of all the other characters.”

Johnson has a point. The movie already has a final running time of two-and-a-half hours – the longest “Star Wars” movie ever – and it’s because there are a handful of new characters in the movie that have to be explored. But many fans are disappointed that Phasma didn’t get much of a story arc in either movie.

“Look, I’m bummed about it too,” Johnson said. “I wish we could have more Phasma. Just the truth of it is there wasn’t room for her in this movie. She’s so badass, I wish it was her story. But it isn’t. Maybe there will be one eventually at some point.”

It’s hard to tell if that’s wishful thinking or if Johnson is dropping a hint. But at the very least, it would be nice to learn in “Episode IX” that Phasma survived the fire and is involved in more of the plot in the trilogy’s finale.

If not, Captain Phasma will stand alongside Boba Fett as the most underused (and fan-obsessed) “Star Wars” characters of all time.

“Star Wars: The Last Jedi” is currently playing in theatres.

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