CBR – The latest Star Wars: The Last Jedi was released late Monday night, and as fans hoped, it included many, many new details about the highly-anticipated sequel. It offered us glimpses at a dark turn for many characters as they embark on the next chapter of their respective journeys, without mentioning many new locales, aliens and spaceships. In a trailer that was already quite filled with intrigue, we received what appears to be genuine confirmation that Gwendoline Christie’s Captain Phasma will get a proper chance to shine.
Though she’s not in the trailer for very long, what little we did see promises a showdown between the chrome-clad Captain and her former underling Stormtrooper, Finn — a showdown John Boyega himself hyped shortly thereafter via Twitter. The Force Awakens neatly established a relationship between the two, a boss/employee rivalry that was spurred by FN-2187 defecting to the Resistance where he secured a name and identity for himself outside of the white and black armor. With Finn having left Phasma trapped in a trash compactor to die, she has more than enough reason to want him dead, and it looks like The Last Jedi is set to take that boiling feud even further by having the two face-off in combat.
Before The Force Awakens was released, fans were excited about the prospect of Captain Phasma being the franchise’s next breakout villain. The design of her costume, from the chrome to the cape, made her instantly stand out, and she looked set to have a big role in the film as one of its main antagonists — a strong and fearful female presence. But while we did see quite a bit of her in the film, it turns out she didn’t have the presence many had hoped she would. In fact, with so much happening in Episode VII, Phasma didn’t get the chance to raise her rifle, her fists or even her voice. Her introduction was so lackluster, some fans even feared she had been killed off-screen in the destruction of the Starkiller base.
StarWars.com READ AN EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT FROM THE UPCOMING NOVEL IN WHICH PHASMA FIRST ENCOUNTERS THE FIRST ORDER.
Soon, Star Wars fans will see the rise of a legend.
Delilah S. Dawson’s novel Phasma, coming on Force Friday II, September 1, as part of the Journey to Star Wars: The Last Jedi publishing program, will chart the journey of the deadly First Order captain. StarWars.com is excited to release a special excerpt from the book, offering our first glimpse at Phasma’s desolate homeworld of Parnassos and her initial encounter with the First Order.
Phasma and her warriors began making preparations the moment they saw the explosion high overhead. As the ship’s remains streaked across the sky, Phasma tracked it with her quadnocs, taking careful note of the direction in which it fell. At the very least, ships like this could be pillaged; at most, there was always a hope that they could be salvaged and used to get offplanet. No one alive had seen such ships do anything but fall and crash, but they were evidence of the larger galaxy beyond Parnassos, of a future that had been denied them. It was painful, living on such a treacherous planet with so many reminders of the ease and technology that had once been taken for granted. At the very least, there would be metal, tech, clothes, medicines, food, and possibly working blasters scattered around what was left of the ship. These were the greatest riches in Phasma’s world.
But they had to hurry. Other groups in other territories would also be watching and preparing for the journey. Falling stars, as they called them, were rare, and this ship was the shiniest thing the Scyre had ever seen—so bright that they had to shield their eyes as it arrowed down toward the planet. Part of the ship popped off and floated down separately, headed for the area where the Scyre lands bordered the enemy Claw clan’s, which made it all the more important to hurry.
The journey was not easy, for no journeys on Parnassos are. The Scyre territory was mostly spires of black rock, jagged cliffs, ledges, caves, and occasional tide pools when the ocean was at its lowest. Within their accustomed living area, they maintained a series of ziplines, rope bridges, tethers, nets, and hammocks, and even the least nimble Scyre member could get from place to place without too much trouble. But beyond their nesting place, along their border with the Claw, the terrain grew even more dangerous. The bridges weren’t sturdy, and one never knew when a support spike might be rusted through or a stone spire crumbling away to nothing. Phasma’s warriors were lucky that the ship had crashed during a time of low tides, so they were able to traverse the terrain far more easily than if the tides had been high, not to mention that during high tide, the ship might’ve been swallowed by the sea—or a monster in it.
Continue reading “Press: “Phasma” Excerpt: The First Order Captain’s Journey Begins”
/FILM – It’s clear to everyone who watched Star Wars: The Force Awakens that Captain Phasma – the chrome-armored First Order officer played by Game of Thrones‘ Gwendoline Christie – got the shaft in that movie. And I mean that metaphorically as well as literally: not only was she barely in the film, but the last we saw of the character, she was being unceremoniously dumped into a garbage chute.
We’ll find out how she escaped that unfortunate situation in an upcoming Marvel comic series, but let’s take a quick look at how she came to be such a fierce warrior fighting for the First Order to begin with. A Star Wars novel fills in much of Captain Phasma’s backstory, and a new excerpt has provided us with some insight into Phasma’s origins.
StarWars.com has published an excerpt from author Delilah S. Dawson‘s forthcoming novel Phasma, which hits shelves on September 1, 2017. (That’s Force Friday II, for the Star Wars diehards among you.) You can read the whole excerpt there, but here are five things about Captain Phasma’s backstory that are worth pointing out.
IGN – Captain Phasma is a Star Wars character who didn’t get explored to great depth in The Force Awakens, but one who fans will get to learn much more about in the coming months. In addition to the December release of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, the chrome Stormtrooper will be at the center of an upcoming companion novel, Phasma, and a comic book series — and no one is more excited about this than Gwendoline Christie.
IGN had the chance to sit down with Christie at the summer 2017 TV Critics’ Association press tour while she was promoting her role in Top of the Lake: China Girl, and she was bursting with excitement about the upcoming releases which will explore her Star Wars character more. She hasn’t had the chance to read the novel or comics yet — “I haven’t been allowed entry to it” — but she did admit, “I have been following [Phasma author] Delilah Dawson, who I’m following on Twitter just to say, ‘Remember me? Do you think about me?'”
Captain Phasma was one of the most anticipated and popular new characters to be introduced in The Force Awakens, in no small part because of Christie and her Game of Thrones fame. When speaking about the role Phasma has to play in The Last Jedi, Christie said she and director/writer Rian Johnson worked together to develop her character’s backstory and what her motivations are.
“Rian and I did have long conversations about this character and who she was, and I was utterly delighted in how willing he was to listen to my ideas and really thrilled to exchange them with him and hear his,” said Christie. “He really is a master writer and director, and I think we’ve seen that in the films that he’s made but I think that we truly will see that in the depths to which he goes in The Last Jedi.”
Though Phasma’s backstory didn’t get explored in The Force Awakens, Christie said she develops her character’s origin and motivations regardless of who she’s playing, be it a captain of the First Order or Brienne of Tarth or Miranda in Top of the Lake: China Girl.
While the character became a fan-favorite character even before Star Wars: The Force Awakens bowed in 2015, Captain Phasma was only briefly explored in the seventh installment of the Star Wars franchise. However, the chrome-plated Stormtrooper is expected to get more screen time in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, with rumors swirling that the character played by Game of Thrones star Gwendoline Christie, will even be unmasked. Either way, Christie says director Rian Johnson will be delving “deeper” into all of the characters in The Last Jedi, with the actress revealing she played a role in developing Phasma’s backstory.
“I was just so delighted to be in The Last Jedi, and for that to be directed by Rian Johnson, who is another director I’ve long admired since I watched Brick, actually; I thought that was a really brilliant piece of work,” Christie told EW at the Television Critics Association’s press tour on Saturday, where she was promoting Top of the Lake: China Girl. “When I met him, these are huge things to me and things I never thought would happen in my career, so when Rian invited me to read the script, have my thoughts and then to come and discuss it with him — as he did all of the cast members — I was really thrilled to have an opportunity of a forum where I could put my ideas forward and have some back and forth about where we felt things were and where we felt they can go. What I can tell you about the next Star Wars film is I think Rian does an exceptional job of going deeper, of going further, and really exploring what these relationships are.”
I’m hoping there will be more pictures later and maybe an EW group photo as they usually do. If so I will post them as soon as they appear.
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VANITY FAIR – Star Wars devotees who can’t wait for December need look no further. With exclusive access to writer-director Rian Johnson, plus interviews with Mark Hamill, Daisy Ridley, and others, V.F. presents the ultimate sneak peek at The Last Jedi—and Carrie Fisher’s lasting legacy.
I. “We’re Going Back?”
The first trip to Skellig Michael was wondrous: an hour-long boat ride to a craggy, green island off the coast of Ireland’s County Kerry, and then a hike up hundreds of stone steps to a scenic cliff where, a thousand years earlier, medieval Christian monks had paced and prayed. This is where Mark Hamill reprised his role as Luke Skywalker for the first time since 1983, standing opposite Daisy Ridley, whose character, Rey, was the protagonist of The Force Awakens, J. J. Abrams’s resumption of George Lucas’s Star Wars movie saga. The opening sentence of the film’s scrolling-text “crawl,” a hallmark of the series, was “Luke Skywalker has vanished.” Atop Skellig Michael, at the picture’s very end, after an arduous journey by Rey, came the big payoff: a cloaked, solitary figure unhooding himself to reveal an older, bearded Luke, who wordlessly, inscrutably regarded the tremulous Rey as she presented to him the lightsaber he had lost (along with his right hand) in a long-ago duel with Darth Vader, his father turned adversary. It was movie magic: a scene that, though filmed in 2014 and presented in theaters in 2015, is already etched in cinematic history.
The second trip to Skellig Michael? Maybe less of a thrill for an aging Jedi. Contrary to what one might have reasonably expected, that Abrams would have kept rolling in ’14, recording some dialogue between Luke and Rey in order to get a jump on the saga’s next installment—especially given that Skellig Michael is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with access limited to the summer months, and only when the weather is cooperative—once Hamill and Ridley had nailed their epic staredown, that was a wrap. It fell to Abrams’s successor, Rian Johnson, the director of The Last Jedi, the eighth movie in the saga, which opens this December, to painstakingly re-stage the clifftop scene, with the two actors retaking their places more than a year later.
“When I read the script for Episode VIII, I went, ‘Oh my God, we’re going back?’ Because I said I was never going back,” Hamill told me when I sat down with him recently at his home in Malibu. He wondered, in vain, if they could drop him in by chopper this time, “which is so clueless of me, because there’s no landing pad, and it would mar the beauty of it all,” he said. Hamill is a youthful 65 but a sexagenarian nevertheless; whereas the fit young members of the crew were given 45 minutes to get up to the now iconic Rey-Luke meeting spot—carrying heavy equipment—Hamill was allotted an hour and a half, “and I had to stop every 10, 15 minutes to rest.”
None of this was offered up in the form of complaint. Hamill just happens to be a rambling, expansive talker—in his own way, as endearingly offbeat a character as his friend and on-screen twin sister, Carrie Fisher, who passed away suddenly and tragically last December. Like Fisher, Hamill was put on a diet-and-exercise regimen after he was reconscripted into the Star Wars franchise. (Harrison Ford was under less obligation, having retained his leading-man shape because he never stopped being a leading man.) Over a spartan snack plate of carrot sticks and hummus, the man behind Luke held forth at length on this subject.
“You just cut out all the things you love,” he said. “Something as basic as bread and butter, which I used to start every meal with. Sugar. No more candy bars. No more stops at In-N-Out. It’s really just a general awareness, because in the old days I’d go, ‘Well, I’m not that hungry, but oh, here’s a box of Wheat Thins,’ and you don’t put the Wheat Thins in the same category as Lay’s potato chips, and yet I would sort of idly, absentmindedly eat these things while watching Turner Classic Movies, and ‘Oh, I ate the whole box!’ ”
Hamill had been dieting and training for 50 weeks before he learned, via the Episode VII script he finally received from Abrams, that he would not appear in the movie until its last scene, and in a nonspeaking part at that. On this, too, he has a lot of thoughts. Though he grants that the delayed-gratification reveal of Luke was a narrative masterstroke, he’d have done things differently if he’d had his druthers. Han Solo’s death scene, for example. Why couldn’t Luke have made his first appearance around then? In the finished film, the witnesses to Han’s death, at the hands of his own son, the brooding dark-side convert Kylo Ren (Adam Driver), are his longtime Wookiee co-pilot, Chewbacca, and the upstart Resistance fighters Rey and Finn (John Boyega).
VANITY FAIR – As the Star Wars franchise prepares to celebrate its 40th anniversary this week, the next chapter in its saga will be very much front and center, thanks to a bountiful new shoot from the set of Episode VIII, The Last Jedi, by Annie Leibovitz for Vanity Fair. The relationship between Vanity Fair and Star Wars stretches back long ago and far, far away to when Leibovitz captured the cast of The Phantom Menace for the series’s return in 1999. The magazine has gone on to document each of the subsequent Star Wars episodes, including 2015’s blockbuster The Force Awakens.
Today, Vanity Fair debuts the cast of its follow-up, The Last Jedi, on four different covers, marking the first time we’ve released alternate Star Wars covers. Leibovitz’s full portfolio will be online Wednesday, along with our story on the making of the new film, written by David Kamp. The Summer issue of Vanity Fair will be on newsstands in New York and Los Angeles on June 1, and nationally on June 6. Readers in search of the full Vanity Fair-Star Wars experience, including all four covers, a commemorative poster, and early access, on May 24, to our digital editions, with lightsaber effects by Industrial Light & Magic, can purchase here.