Star Wars 7: “I’m very excited about Captain Phasma”

Gwendoline Christie on why she’s proud to play Star Wars’ first female villain

Star Wars 7 The Force Awakens Captain Phasma Gwendoline Christie

If we’re ignoring The Clone Wars and Rebels, Captain Phasma is Star Wars‘ first female villain – and judging by what we’ve seen from her so far in the various pictures and clips from The Force Awakens, she’s not to be messed with. Game Of Thrones star Gwendoline Christie, who plays her, was clearly psyched about getting to make history.

“I’m very excited about Captain Phasma,” she explains. “Not just because she’s Star Wars’ first female villain, but a little bit more than that is, in a new film from a series of films that is iconic, we have a female character, and we judge her not on that random bunch of elements that comes together when we’re being formed and dictates the way that we look, but we judge her on her choices. We judge her on her character, and it isn’t about her being typically or stereotypically female; it is about her being a villain. We form a relationship with a woman based on her actions rather than the way that she looks.”

Christie went on to praise director JJ Abrams and producer Kathleen Kennedy for the way in which The Force Awakens blends old with new. “I think JJ has been open about the fact that he wanted to preserve the authenticity of the first three films while bringing the franchise into the modern world.

“And one of the ways they’ve done that is to have progressive female characters. Kathleen Kennedy asked me if I’d ever Googled female heroines, and I hadn’t. She showed me what the image results are, and they’re very conventional – if somewhat sexualised – images of women. One of the things that they’ve done that’s been incredibly progressive with this franchise is that you have a character like Captain Phasma, and we form that relationship with her due to her actions and due to her character rather than it being about the way that she looks. And I think the way that she looks is fabulous, but it also isn’t conventionally female.”

Star Wars: The Force Awakens will be released in cinemas on 17 December 2015. Read our bumper Force Awakens special in issue 113 of SciFiNow, on sale now. You can download our Complete Manuals to the Original Trilogy and Expanded Universe from