Per the synopsis of the upcoming Star Wars novel Phasma, the book will explore the villain’s past in great detail. While The Force Awakens earned widespread positive reviews and broke nearly every box office record in the book, the film wasn’t without its noticeable flaws. Despite her prominence in the marketing campaign, First Order stormtrooper leader Captain Phasma was severely underserved in the actual movie. The character had roughly 90 seconds of screen time, didn’t partake in any action sequences, and was tossed into the garbage chute by the end. Many felt the role was a waste of actress Gwendoline Christie’s talents, and Lucasfilm seems to be taking the necessary steps to rectify the situation.
Phasma is returning as part of the villainy in this December’s The Last Jedi, with the promise of a turn that’s more action-orientated. At some point, she will be going toe-to-toe with her former student, Finn. The story group is also hard at work on finding ways to flesh Phasma out via other canon materials, unveiling plans for a comic miniseries and prequel novel that will be part of the “Journey to The Last Jedi” publications. With the latter hitting shelves on September 1, an official synopsis has now been revealed.
Appearing on Penguin Random House’s pre-order page for Phasma, the summary hints at an intriguing rivalry between Phasma and another stormtrooper called Cardinal. A Resistance prisoner may hold the key to Cardinal getting an upper hand on Phasma within the First Order hierarchy. You can read the full synopsis below:
One of the most cunning and merciless officers of the First Order, Captain Phasma commands the favor of her superiors, the respect of her peers, and the terror of her enemies. But for all her renown, Phasma remains as virtually unknown as the impassive expression on her gleaming chrome helmet. Now, an adversary is bent on unearthing her mysterious origins—and exposing a secret she guards as zealously and ruthlessly as she serves her masters.
Deep inside the Battlecruiser Absolution, a captured Resistance spy endures brutal interrogation at the hands of a crimson-armored stormtrooper—Cardinal. But the information he desires has nothing to do with the Resistance or its covert operations against the First Order.
What the mysterious stormtrooper wants is Phasma’s past—and with it whatever long-buried scandal, treachery, or private demons he can wield against the hated rival who threatens his own power and privilege in the ranks of the First Order. His prisoner has what Cardinal so desperately seeks, but she won’t surrender it easily. As she wages a painstaking war of wills with her captor, bargaining for her life in exchange for every precious revelation, the spellbinding chronicle of the inscrutable Phasma unfolds. But this knowledge may prove more than just dangerous once Cardinal possesses it—and once his adversary unleashes the full measure of her fury.
This certainly sounds like a compelling mystery, and it will be interesting to see what secrets await readers when the book comes out. Those who have been following Star Wars canon know that in their earliest incarnations, the First Order had deep ties to the Unknown Regions. The Aftermath trilogy by Chuck Wendig ended with a young Hux and presumably young Phasma setting out to explore the uncharted territories with former Imperial officers, so hopefully Phasma contains more information about the Unknown Regions. The novels in particular seem to be placing an emphasis on them, as they were also mentioned throughout Timothy Zahn’s Thrawn. Fans should not go into this new book expecting confirmation about the latest Supreme Leader Snoke theories (which probably is being saved for the movies), but it will still be fun to read about Phasma’s history, especially since there’s a lot to unpack in regards to her character.
With even hot topics like Rey’s parentage said to be “less important” than originally thought in Episode VIII, it looks like Last Jedi is going to be focused more on the present and telling that particular story, rather than lingering on backstories. As such, the Phasma novel is a great illustration of how the various corners of the Star Wars universe can come together and compliment one another to present a more complete picture. Reading the book won’t be required homework for those looking forward to seeing Last Jedi, but curious minds interested to discover more about Phasma will definitely want to pick it up and find out where the chrome-domed soldier comes from.
Phasma will be released on September 1, 2017. Pre-order now clicking here.