The armor is intimidating and awesome. The character, evil and mysterious. It’s no wonder Gwendoline Christie’s First Order stormtrooper Captain Phasma became a fan favorite long before Star Wars: The Force Awakens hits theaters next week.

It’s a narrative many might remember from the late 1970s, when a similarly striking Star Wars character was introduced: Boba Fett. So, when we spoke to Gwendoline Christie about playing Captain Phasma last weekend, we asked her how she felt about the comparisons to arguably the most popular and recognizable Star Wars side character.

I think that’s fantastic. I mean, I think that Captain Phasma in this movie is a Boba Fett style character in that she is not at the forefront of the action. But she makes a huge impact. And I’m just so grateful to play a character that could possibly ever have that kind of comparison.

Besides the allegiance and mystery, the obvious reason for the comparisons are the armors. Boba Fett and Captain Phasma are both in head-to-toe beautifully designed armor, and it was a big deal when Christie first saw it.

So exciting. Michael Kaplan, the costume designer—I have been a fan of for a long time. Since I first saw Blade Runner. And I was super excited when I learned that he was working on this movie. So it was no surprise to me that the costumes would be spectacular. But I never expected to get the opportunity to play a character who looked so awesome. I really, really didn’t. And I was told what the character would look like, what she would be wearing. And I was told we’re going to do a costume fitting. But when I walked into the room, I just knew this was spectacular and there was something so striking about this. Something that felt very special. And it was so much fun to put it on for the first time.

I’d never dressed up as a Stormtrooper before. And that was really, really fun. But it was very empowering. The costume, because it’s so high functioning, inflexible, imposing, that gives you the actor a lot of qualities immediately to work with.

Minor spoilers follow.

And while Phasma isn’t in the forefront in this film, according to Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy, that won’t be the case moving ahead. When asked about this spoilery statement from the lady in charge, Christie would only say, “I have been told that by journalists.”


Contact the author at germain@io9.com.