Now We Know How Captain Phasma Escaped Starkiller Base at the End of The Force Awakens: Very Quickly

Image: Marvel Comics. Art by Marco Checchetto and Andres Mossa.

There is nothing Star Wars canon loves more than relentlessly filling in the gaps between the movies. But sometimes there are pretty big questions left by the films that need explaining... like Marvel’s latest comic answering how Phasma survived being tossed in the garbage on the exploding Starkiller Base to appear in The Last Jedi.


Today sees the release of Captain Phasma #1—by Kelly Thompson, Marco Checchetto, Andres Mossa, and Clayton Cowles— the latest Marvel Star Wars miniseries and part of the “Journey to The Last Jedi” initiative. Although it’s the length of your average comic book, the timeframe it takes place over is a meagre six minutes within The Force Awakens’ finale. Specifically, the six minutes before this happens:

That framing makes Phasma’s journey from out of the trash compactor Han, Chewie, and Finn chucked her into and off Starkiller Base all the more wildly absurd, because a lot happens in that six minutes. Seriously, an alarming amount, at an alarming speed. First, she gets out of the compactor thanks to the Resistance’s bombing runs blowing a hole in the side of it.

Then, she wipes the record of her using her security codes to disable Starkiller Base’s shields at Finn’s request. Then she has time to find double back and check to see if anyone else recently accessed the shield systems—and would’ve seen her authorization codes—so she can actually blame them for the base’s destruction. Luckily, she finds someone in the form of a Lieutenant named Sol Rivas who did just that.


What happens next—which, it must be stated again, takes place over the course of six minutes—is so jam packed it almost needs the Benny Hill theme laid over it. Phasma darts through the exploding bowels of the base, trying to hunt Rivas down (who, like everyone else with a brain, is trying to get off the soon-to-be-itty-bitty-bits planet) while also throwing herself around explosions and ziplining across chasms like the action hero she never got to be in the movie.


In a hilariously cruel moment, she orders a bunch of Stormtroopers to stay at their posts until they’re ordered otherwise, condeming them to their deaths. As she treks out across the snowy surface, she also just happens to casually witness the climax of Rey and Kylo Ren’s duel, giving zero shits about what’s happening, and then trekking on regardless after making a mental note for her reports.


Phasma can’t catch her quarry before he flees in a TIE Fighter though, so she commandeers one of her own with a pilot still working to repair his, where a newly familiar face crops up: what appears to be BB-9E, the “evil” BB-Unit we officially met in the new Last Jedi toys revealed last week.


And there you have it. Six minutes after the issue began, Captain Phasma has ziplined, rolled, leapt, and ran from a literal pile of garbage, across the surface of Starkiller base, past a goddamn lightsaber duel, and to a TIE Fighter—off in pursuit of the man she’s now attempting to persecute for the treachery she committed.

What an delightfully silly, ruthlessly efficient addition to Star Wars canon. And yet somehow still only half as weird as that time we learned how C-3PO got his red arm.


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James Whitbrook

James is a News Editor at io9. He wants pictures. Pictures of Spider-Man!