In the months leading up to the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Disney made a point to plaster its promotional campaign with the image of a powerful, silver-clad stormtrooper named “Captain Phasma.” This mysterious moniker, coupled with the promise of a menacing performance by Game of Thrones star Gwendolyn Christie, sent hype for the character shooting through the metaphorical roof at hyper-speed (sorry, had to squeeze in a reference there). Kids and adults alike snatched up action figures, posters, and all manner of merchandise portraying the character and her bad-ass getup, their faces betraying more than a hint of eagerness at the idea of watching a stormtrooper FINALLY match the Sith in the villainy department.
To be honest, I wanted Captain Phasma to be the film's most formidable villain. I wanted her to shoot her way through tight clusters of Resistance troops and prove to be a real nuisance for Rey, Finn, and the others. I even wanted her to outdo Kylo Ren in the villain department. I wanted to see the baddy we'd all been promised.
Imagine how betrayed, angry, and outraged I felt (hooray for intentional hyperbole) when I realized that The Force Awakens would NOT give this seriously cool character the attention she so obviously deserved. Everything she needed to be awesome was already in place; you'd think it would be easy for J.J. Abrams to wedge in some much-needed backstory and develop a character we've waited months to see.
However, my beef with Lucasfilm and their ham-handed villain-handling stretches far beyond the petty quibbling to which I usually resort. This has transcended annoyance and devolved into straight-up disappointment. I loved the movie, but I feel like it cheated viewers out of a killer antagonist. I think she suffered a worse fate than Boba Fett did, and that's saying something. At least Mr. Fett got some screen time.
I realize that Christie herself has assured us that we'll see more of Phasma in Episode VIII, but I don't think she'll have the impact that she could've enjoyed had Abrams and his team given her a bit more love. After all, her first extended scene in The Force Awakens put her on the receiving end of some reputation-ruining jokes that basically guarantee audiences never taking her seriously. We hear her utter a few words, order Finn to put his helmet back on, and then she vanishes until the film's heroes tackle her and threaten to throw her in a trash compacter (which also goes unexplained).
This could be bitching without basis. It could be me whining about something that really couldn't have detracted from the experience that much. I just really, really wanted to see a villain that wasn't a Sith (or a Knight of Ren) kick ass.
Oh well. Here's to hoping she breaks some necks and cashes some checks in Episode VIII.
Please note: Before you bash me as a writer and attempt to argue with my opinions, remember that they're just opinions. I'm not hurting you. I'm not insulting your mother. I'm just contributing my two cents on something that actually bothered me. I've seen some nasty-ass comments on this website, and I'd appreciate it if those prone to such obscenities would chill out.