One of the main criticisms of The Force Awakens when it was released in 2015 was the lack of Captain Phasma, despite being one of the main characters heavily used to market the film. If Delilah S. Dawson’s book Phasma is anything to go off, fans will want to see as much of the character as they possibly can in the foreseeable future.
Rather than going the traditional route and giving the character an origin story, Dawson takes a different, unique approach. The story begins with Resistance spy Vi Moradi who has been captured by Stormtrooper Captain Cardinal. Cardinal is trying to expose Phasma and he believes that Vi could be the key to Phasma’s downfall.
Cardinal spends the majority of the story interrogating Vi, as he is certain she knows about Phasma’s past. In an attempt to avoid death, Vi tells Cardinal the story of Phasma’s life before the First Order.
The narrative is really strong and does a tremendous job of demonstrating the harsh conditions Phasma had to endure during her earlier years on the ravaged world of Parnassos, a planet so desperate for survival that it’s natives will cannibalise and go to war if needs be.
Despite being a story about Captain Phasma, there are three supporting characters in particular that shine in their own light. First of all, there is Siv, a native healer from Parnassos who has clearly suffered a lot during her life. Her tolerance for brutality also helps explain her societies attitude to life in more depth.
Cardinal is a character that provides insight to the inner workings of the First Order. Where Phasma is a person who doesn’t show emotion, Cardinal is the opposite he is portrayed as one of the more sympathetic members of the First Order. During his scenes he is perceived to be an intimidating figure, who is also honourable in his actions; he could also be seen as quite naive for believing in the First Order’s sense of justice, rather than seeing them for the monsters that they are, something Vi points out throughout.
The third character is Resistance Spy Vi Moradi. Her dialogue was fun and at times sarcastic, and it became very apparent how good she actually is at her job when communicating with Cardinal. The conversations between the two will make readers consider who deserves redemption. There are characters like Phasma, who are intentionally cruel and have no morals, whereas the likes of Cardinal are programmed to act a certain type of way whilst also being good spirited.
This can also be applied to Finn during The Force Awakens when the First Order invades Jakku looking for Lor San Tekka and BB-8, He chooses not to follow the orders of Kylo Ren and Phasma and doesn’t kill any of the civilians. After seeing first-hand how the First Order work, he realises he can longer be a part of it.
Although Phasma’s story is recounted via a third party, readers don’t really get a real insight into her though process, but as the saying goes, actions speak louder than words, and this is certainly the case for the cold-blooded brute. A book like Phasma will make the defeat of the First Order a lot more pleasant for viewers as it shows how sneaky and slimy the First Order leadership is.