BDC also writes for Jackeduptales.com
With all of the success of Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens, there still seems to be one point of disappointment that we can not quite get over. Back when the characters were revealed and the buzz started, one character peaked our interest. Captain Phasma, adorn in her amazing chrome stormtrooper armor, had us all giddy inside. The Nerd Engine on the internet began cranking out, as it usually does, an amazing amount of hype for the character. Interest was peaked with headlines like “Is Captain Phasma the NEW Boba Fett?” and every source of fan-boy news spouting her 'Boba-like' future. Well, what happened? Anyone who saw the FORCE AWAKENS knows that this didn't happen. Whether they wanted it or not, Phasma didn't live up to ANY of the hype.
Point One: As is the case with online rage or hype most of the time, the weight of anticipation of Phasma was unfair and unfounded. Our excitement for the movie overclouded our judgment as fans and had us all going on unsolicited and unstoppable rants that had no source in any fact. We all wanted the First Order commander to aspire to the unattainable image we had built up for her.
This is, I am afraid, a symptom of the times. Boba Fett had just about as many lines (if not less) and didn't do a great deal in any of the movies, but, because it was new and we were all giddy fans, we took the character we were given and built an amazing mystique around him. Just the opposite of our treatment of Phasma. With Fett, our imaginations ran wild AFTER we had seen him. It was only after our fawning over a character that didn't get much time, backstory or fleshing out that the Star Wars engine began to pump out expanded universe novels and comics that made our dreams come true.
Quite the opposite is true of Phasma. Her cool chrome armor had us all swooning, but, either due to bad writing or time constraints, the Captain was delegated to few lines and NO action.
This brings me to...
Point Two: In hindsight, what could have or should have been done to make Captain Phasma a success. More dialog? I doubt it. The mystique that built Boba Fett rested on less dialog than Phasma had. No, the problem wasn't in how many lines she had but in her utter lack of action scenes.
Phasma should have been featured a few times in the combat in ways that would 'beef up her cred' as a badass. The look dictates this. I mean, the stormtroopers in this movie got more of a chance to show off than their commander did. And, I believe, it would have only taken one tweek in one scene already spawning an amazing amount of buzz. This scene was meant to be cool, but I don't think the Star Wars brains had any idea the internet energy that would be put behind this one simple scene. I am, of course, talking about the fight at Maz's castle on Takodana and the unnamed stormtrooper with the amazing Stun Baton!
This scene stole the show from many other elements of the movie and has gotten more buzz than some of the big names. The trooper, named by the internet at Tr-8r (taken from his ONE line: TRAITOR) has become a part of the Star Wars myhos much like Boba Fett did in EMPIRE.
My suggestion? Captain Phasma should have had this scene; this moment. Imagine the impact of Phasma saying the words “Traitor” and whipping out that weapon! After the battle with Finn against a lightsaber, there would be no question of her being the badass everyone had billed her as. That one moment would have cemented her place in the hearts of fans everywhere and we would not be having this conversation.
Now, before you start sending me links or long dissertations on Finn and Tr-8r's backstory, I know about the past history between these two. For more detail check out this CINEMA BLEND article.
My point is Abrams should have given Phasma something to do! And, if they don't rectify this in episode VIII, she'll be forgotten faster than that one guy in that scene doing something we can't remember. Lol...anyway. She still has a chance and I hope they do the actress, Gwendoline Christie, justice.