Rian Johnson Almost Accidentally Killed Off Captain Phasma in The Last Jedi

Image: Disney
Image: Disney

Captain Phasma’s exit in The Force Awakens is one of the movie’s most questionable scenes. If you’ll recall, Finn, Han Solo, and Chewbacca dumped her into one of Starkiller Base’s trash chutes, and then destroyed the planet. It was an ignominious moment for Phasma, and one that Last Jedi director Rian Johnson nearly made much worse.


It’s no spoiler to reveal that Phasma (Gwendoline Christie) faces off again with her former underling FN-2187, otherwise known as Finn (John Boyega), in The Last Jedi. Johnson felt his original idea for how the scene was going to go down was killer:

“When I was first writing, I got really excited because I’d written a line where she said ‘I was stuck in that garbage thing for three weeks’ and he gives her a look and says ‘What did you eat?’” Johnson explained to io9.

...but then he had the realization you probably just had.

“Then I realized, no, [Starkiller Base] blew up,” he said. “If she was in the garbage chute, that means she blew up with the planet.”

Of course, that didn’t happen. Her escape from Starkiller Base’s trash bin was chronicled in Marvel’s Captain Phasma comic book series, but more to the point, Johnson and Lucasfilm had bigger plans for Phasma than getting trashed and exploding. “We needed her alive here,” Johnson said. “Mostly because I wanted to hang out with Gwendoline Christie.”

Now Phasma is back, and eager to get revenge on the ex-Stormtrooper who almost made her eat dianoga for dinner for three full weeks. The Last Jedi is out December 15.


Entertainment Reporter for io9/Gizmodo. Formerly of Premiere, EW, Us Weekly, and Slashfilm. AP Award-Winning Film Critic and CCA member. Loves Star Wars, posters, Legos, and often all three at once.


I am sticking with my hope that they do something similarly questionable to her in this film too. Then try to rebuild the hype only to do it again in Episode IX. It’ll be a running gag, it is the only way I’ll care about this character personally as all the build up and hype to have her literally thrown down the trash kind of destroyed the characters credibility with me.