I liked Star Wars: The Force Awakens, thinking of it as a solid B with problems but fun overall after that first viewing.
Captain Phasma vexes me, though. She is the most striking visual, a chromed out stormtrooper with a custom blaster rifle and a cape that screams swagger. I wanted to get an action figure of her to put on my desk. I wanted to adore and fear her, leaving the theater worried that Finn had her out there, looking for the traitor stormtrooper who dared take his own name.
She didn’t get to do anything. She was Boba Fett without a bounty.
When Finn took on the stormtrooper who called him a traitor, it was a faceless minion with a sci-fi police baton. I’m going to leave that easy piece of cultural criticism alone for now but c’mon, the first black protagonist in Star Wars movie history and he’s beaten with a sci-fi police baton. Really?
Finn is about finding one’s own voice, face and name outside of the stormtrooper’s cruelty and here’s Phasma, someone who has found a way to be an individual, someone who is allowed to take the uniform and make it her own. What terrible things has she done to be allowed to have a name and be an individual?
That conflict between Finn and Phasma should have been played out through laser fire, pew-pew-pew and quips. We should have gotten the first round of their battle started with more to come.
Instead, Phasma fell into a metaphorical Sarlaac Pit, probably on an editing room floor.
Well, the Sarlaac pit is a “Bye Bye, Boba Fett, we’ll never see you again”, whereas a garbage chute and trash compactor (particularly when recommended by Solo) is more of an improvised delaying tactic, to get her out of the way *for the moment*. I assume that she got clear, got to a shuttle with Hux and Ren (also not seen fleeing the planet, but you know they did) and will reappear in the next film, with more lines.
I saw a post elsewhere on the net that Phasma should have been the trooper who calls Finn a traitor. What a better story it would have been if, just as Phasma is beating down Finn, she gets blasted (perhaps hit in the shoulder or leg), Finn gets away and Phasma “shakes off” her bloody wound to board the ship with Ren as they evacuate with Rey.
Total. Missed. Opportunity.
Agreed, the character had potential . . . which was totally squandered. Another missed opportunity in FA.