Next Friday isn’t just the day all the shiny new Last Jedi toys come out—it’s when the “Journey to The Last Jedi” begins, with a whole swathe of new books and comics ready to flesh out Star Wars canon... including the mysterious past of Captain Phasma.
Like Boba Fett before her, Phasma’s cool look and complete inability to do anything of note on screen (in what we’ve seen so far at least) makes her a tempting figure to explore in the expanded realm of media that surrounds and binds the Star Wars galaxy together. While Marvel Comics will be exploring just how she got out of that humiliating trash compactor incident at the end of The Force Awakens in their “Journey to” offerings, Delilah S. Dawson’s new novel Phasma will delve into the character’s past way before she appeared all shiny and chrome in the movies.
Speaking of shiny and chrome though, that past, revealed in a new extract from the novel posted to StarWars.com, seems to have given Phasma a very Mad Max-style background. Phasma grew up on the low-tech world of Parnassos, a warrior in the Scyre tribe who competed with rival clans to scavenge technology and materials from crash landed ships to survive and attempt to make their way off-planet—an opportunity that seems to arise for Phasma when Brendol Hux, General Hux’s father and the man behind the First Order’s brainwashed stormtrooper program, crash lands on her world:
Without a word, Phasma urged her people forward, motioning for them to be quiet and quick. When they stood on the edge of the plateau, behind the crowd of Claw folk so mesmerized that they hadn’t even noticed the interlopers, Phasma and her people finally saw the miracle occurring.
The Claw’s leader had pushed the man gently aside and reached for the next figure, a warrior wearing white armor streaked with gray sand over a thin suit of black. A gasp went over the Claw folk, and Phasma’s warriors, too—such armor would’ve given anyone on Parnassos a huge advantage over the elements, and the solid helmet seemed an improvement over their light leather masks. Two more white-armored soldiers followed, and lastly came a droid. It was shaped vaguely like a human and made of matte-black metal, and it took the longest to haul up, due, most likely, to its weight and its inability to climb. The people of Parnassos had seen the component parts of hundreds of droids and even used droid metal for their weapons, but no one living had seen a droid stand of its own volition and hold up an indignant hand, as this black droid did when the Claw attempted to touch it.
The droid spoke to the man in black with a mechanized voice. It was hard to hear on the plateau, surrounded by whispering and the sudden gusts of wind, but the language seemed both familiar and different. The man in black spoke back to the droid, and the droid spoke again, this time much louder, its voice projected by some sort of strange machinery.
“My name is Brendol Hux, and I’m afraid my starship was shot down by an automated defense system over your world. My language is a little different from yours, so this droid will translate to your more primitive dialect.
“My emergency pod has landed very far from my ship. I have lost several of my own people in this horrible tragedy. But if you are willing to help me, I can offer you the kind of technology and supplies that your world has lost. I come from a powerful band called the First Order that brings peace to the galaxy. I am tasked with scouring the stars for the greatest warriors, that they might join our cause. Our people are well cared for and well trained. Ask my soldiers, here. Troopers, is that not so?”
The three soldiers in white nodded and barked, “Yes, sir!”
“Each of these warriors was selected from a distant planet and trained to fight for the First Order. If your people help return us to our ship, I will take whoever wishes to join me back to our fleet. These soldiers will live in glory and wealth, never suffering for want again. Now, who will help me?”
It might be a weirdly low-tech origin story for the character, but hey, maybe that’ll explain why she’s opting for a spear alongside her blaster in The Last Jedi. You know, aside from the fact it looks cool, of course. Also, a technology scavenger? Phasma and Rey have more in common than you’d expect. You can read the rest of the Phasma extract at the link below, ahead of the book’s release September 1st.