Tag Archives: Captain Phasma

The New Characters of Star Wars

The names of Star Wars characters are a  kind of art form on their own. They have the cadence of real names, but they’re like nothing we’ve ever heard, they also tend to have deeper meaning that pushes subconscious buttons in our heads. Luke Skywalker is an obvious one: The last name is a bit on the nose for a tale about space adventure, but “Luke” also comes from the Latin lucere, which means light (although, remember, the devil started out as Lucifer).

Darth Vader, famously, comes from a variation on “dark” and the Dutch word for “father.” Han Solo, well… It suggested a roguish, loner quality, even if the smuggler was kind of a gadabout.

Below are the recently released promo character photo’s, I’ve also added excerpts from a recent interview Entertainment Weekly Star Wars: The Force Awakens had with director and co-writer J.J. Abrams, he was asked how he came to some of the new names joining the Star Wars universe, and here’s what Abrams had to say …


Turns out, Abrams sometimes does go out of his way to pay homage to unusual pieces of cinematic pop culture. The proof is Captain Phasma, a First Order warrior garbed in mirror-like armor, played byGame of Thrones actress Gwendoline Christie.

During preproduction, Abrams was reminded of Phantasm, a 1979 horror film that featured a gaunt, terrifying figure known as The Tall Man and a flying, silver sphere that bores into its victims’ bodies like a bullet crossed with a drill-tip.

“Phasma I named because of the amazing chrome design that came from Michael Kaplan’s wardrobe team. It reminded me of the ball inPhantasm, and I just thought, Phasma sounds really cool,” Abrams says, but as he was telling this story, I remembered the last time I’d seen The Tall Man actor, Angus Scrimm.

It was an episode of Abrams’ TV show Alias.

“He was in Alias!” Abrams says. “I think, maybe two episodes, but definitely in the pilot.”

Then, we venture far from Star Wars: The Force Awakens, but it’s a testament to Abrams’ love of old-time movies – and old-time actors. “I have a funny Angus Scrimm story, which is we were shooting at like two in the morning one day, and he’s a very tall, older guy, one of the sweetest people ever,” Abrams says. “His voice, he’s got this great sort of British accent. He sounds just like James Mason. He speaks like this,” Abrams says, breaking into a stately accent.

“I remember we were just sitting there, waiting for the cameras to be ready, and I said to him, ‘So, Angus, where are you from?’ And he goes, ‘Kansas City!’” Abrams says with a laugh. “It was just like, he had this [accent] of an actor, it turns out.”

He also learned during that downtime that the creepy Tall Man from Phantasm had a side career. “He won a Grammy award for writing liner notes for a classical music album!” Abrams says. “So he is a Grammy Award-winning scary guy.”

There probably isn’t a character in The Force Awakens named Scrimm, but maybe there should be. Either way, you can see that Abrams’ love of Phantasm runs deep enough to name his own scary stormtrooper after it.


Again, back in December, when Abrams debuted those Topps trading cards with the names through Entertainment Weekly, everybody’s first instinct was to try to divine some meaning from their IDs.

Poe Dameron, the X-Wing pilot played by Oscar Isaac, seemed especially confounding. Poe… Was that a reference to spooky old Edgar Allan? And Dameron… something about it was familiar. Like it was right in front of me.

Turns out, it was.

Others theorized that it was a warped spoonerism on Nicolas Cage’s hero from 1997’s Con Air — Cameron Poe. It’s an eerie coincidence, but it also didn’t make sense. Would J.J. Abrams really go out of his way to pay homage to a cheesy old movie?

Then I looked at the email of his assistant, who had sent the images of the Topps trading cards: Morgan Dameron. Mystery solved!

Almost. There’s a little more to it.

“Dameron came out because it was, obviously, a name that I know, and it just musically felt right,” Abrams says. “There was no sort of deep reasoning behind it, and I also knew it would make Morgan blush if we named a character that. So she had this giant smile on her face.”

He thought he might change it eventually, but then got used to it. “We kept it for awhile, and it just stuck like things that work seem to,” Abrams says.

As for Poe, Abrams says it was also one he switched back and forth on.

“We went through a bunch of different names, and Poe ultimately felt like the right name,” he says, though he admits there may have been a deeper meaning than he realized. “Someone reminded me recently that my daughter had had a polar bear named Poe [or Po’ — short for “polar”], and that might’ve been why it felt right. There was a kind of sweetness to, and a charm to that name.” (The polar bear also suggests shades of Lost.)


So if Oscar Isaac’s pilot was named after Abrams’ longtime assistant, was there a chance some other characters were homages to friends or family?

Another individual who has been aligned with Abrams for years is Bryan Burk, a producer on The Force Awakens, who first joined with the filmmaker back in the middle of the run of ABC’s Alias. He co-founded Bad Robot productions with Abrams and has been involved in every one of his projects since.

Bryan Burk. BB. Is that how BB-8 came to be?

Abrams draws in a deep breath — and exhales a laugh. “No!” he says. “But don’t tell Bryan that.”

Abrams chose the droid’s name because it looked round and bouncy. “I named him BB-8 because it was almost onomatopoeia,” the director says. “It was sort of how he looked to me, with the 8, obviously, and then the 2 B’s.”

A lot of names were second-guessed into oblivion, but this is one they never changed, from very early on. “It’s funny how sometimes, the bad ideas, you try them out and kick the tires a little bit, and it just kind of falls apart and you can go somewhere else, you’ve just got to know it’s temporary. And that one, he never had another name. But Bryan Burk, whom I adore, is not the father of that name.”

So no love for his producing pal?

Abrams laughs. “I throw him love in other ways.”


When Abrams first revealed the names of his new characters, by way of mocked-up Topps trading cards last December, two were notable for being… singular…Secret Box?

The runaway stormtrooper played by John Boyega was known only as Finn, and Daisy Ridley’s desert scavenger was identified only as Rey.

I finally got to ask: Is that deliberate? Is there a piece of information that’s being held back there about their names — perhaps because their last names are ones we may already know?

Abrams isn’t ready to reveal their full identities, but did confirm that this theory was getting warm. “I will only say about that that it is completely intentional that their last names aren’t public record,” he says.


This powerful figure from The First Order is played by Domhnall Gleeson, and little is known about his plans or motivations. He’s eager to reveal them, however. (Even if Abrams is not.)

Hux is young for a general, according to the filmmaker, who says that in this scene the military leader stands in his command center, longing to reveal the full might of The First Order’s military power to an unsuspecting galaxy.

His name doesn’t have the same meaning as the others. In fact, it’s hard for Abrams to remember the origin, although he thinks it came to him during the long storytelling walks he would take with co-screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan (who previously penned The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi.

“Larry and I would walk all over the place when we were breaking the story, and we would record our conversations,” Abrams says. “We were walking through a cemetery that’s near the Bad Robot offices, and we would often, as we were talking about characters, sort of just be glancing at names to see if any of them stuck. I don’t believe that Hux came from there, but it may have.”

An online search of the cemetery database FindAGrave didn’t turn up anyone named Hux buried in the vicinity of Santa Monica, but the character identifier may also have come from a portion of a name they saw – or it may simply be a new Star Wars legend.

Another villain in The Force Awakens, Captain Phasma, has a much more definitive namesake, as you’ll see.





The original trilogy characters also return, but with the absence of Luke Leia & Han in the latest batch of promo character photos.


Hasbro: The Force Awakens Force Friday Catalog

The Toys have arrived!

September the 4th will be a day long remembered, it is now declared “Force Friday,” it will be the day when Lucasfilm and Disney will do a selective release the toys for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, giving us fans the opportunity to own a piece of the new trilogy, and, believe you me, there are a lot of toys on the way.

Although Hasbro say this is a catalog of every toy related to the new Star Wars film, and does include figurines, light sabers, blasters, masks, and much, much more…except there’s still no appearance of Luke Skywalker, plus Han Solo and Princess Leia are missing…But if you’re a fan of the franchise, the new toys will no doubt be irresistible, and that’s exactly what Disney wants. I mean, how can you not want Kylo Ren’s new crossguard light saber?

I do like the new 3.75-inch figurines that are coming out…I think I’m going to have to start collecting them again… for my grandkids! …when I get some 😉

Looking through the catalog, there is an apperance from Luke Skywalker, but from Episode V also Kylo Ren, Captain Phasma, Resistance Trooper, Poe Dameron, First Order Stormtrooper, Rey, Darth Vader (from Episode V), First Order Flametrooper, Finn and Constable Zuvio, who was recently revealed thanks to an earlier toy leak. Additionally, there’s a toy for Garazeb Orrelios and C1-10P, and Unkar’s thug and the Jakku scavenger, who we saw in the recent Entertainment Weekly spread. There’s also a new vehicle called the Assault Walker, but we’re not sure if that will actually be a prominent part of the movie, or simply just something for the kids to play with. We do get a great look at the new TIE Fighter and Poe’s Black Squadron X-Wing.

Check out the gallery above to see all the awesome new Star Wars toys set to hit stores next month with, we hope, a new trailer.

The First Order Assembles

The newly released TV Spot shown on the new Star Wars Korean YouTube Channel has a 30-second clip contains Supreme Leader Snoke’s (Andy Serkis) same voiceover from the first teaser, with much of the footage recycled from the second. There’s actually only one new shot: A sweeping look at The First Order (above), and it looks like quite the force to be reckoned with. It also looks like Captain Phasma (Gwendoline Christie) and possibly General Hux (Domhnall Gleeson) looking out over all those stormtroopers from the platform.

Domhnall Gleeson as General Hux, a cruel leader of The First Order who craves to show the galaxy his might. (This image was briefly shown at Comic-Con but never released in detail until now on the Star Wars Facebook page)

Inside this shimmering armor is a warrior for The First Order, Captain Phasma (played by Gwendoline Christie of Game of Thrones). Her character’s name has an unexpected origin…so JJ says

Kylo Ren (played by Adam Driver) strikes a pose with his homemade lightsaber. It turns out, his true identity has been masked from us in more ways than one …he’s also part of The Knights of Ren

Kylo Ren amongst the smoldering ruins of a Jakku Village

They’ve even released some new shot of our old friends, but in a new time and place. R2-D2 seems to have hardly changed, but C-3PO (still played by Anthony Daniels) now sports an unexplained red arm.

Also the shot of Poe Dameron that was shown at Comic-Con, which shows his Black X-Wing and more importantly Gonk is BACK...Hurrah!!! …But there’s a reason the X-Wing fighter is black, but J.J. Abrams wants to keep that a mystery for now. Stealth tech?

Some new images from the Star Wars Facebook account, the best one is the stormtrooper taking aim at Ray & Finn…no bets on if his misses 🙂

Leibovitz shoots The Force Awakens

Today (Star Wars Day) Vanity Fair have given us a unique behind-the-scenes look at Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The magazine has released six new photos from the film that were taken by none other than the legendary photographer Annie Leibovitz.

The images include an official reveal of Adam Driver playing the dark-cloaked Sith villain Kylo Ren, as well as actress Lupita Nyong’o playing her motion capture character, who is a pirate by the name of Maz Kanata. Then, of course there are Oscar Isaac as Poe Dameron, a group of various alien creatures, and members of the film crew, such as director J.J. Abrams.

Dashing Resistance pilot Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) stands alongside his trusty X-wing fighter

Star Wars The Force Awakens Vanity Fair Front Cover

J. J. Abrams directs Actress Daisy Ridley for a scene in which her character, the young heroine Rey, pilots her speeder through a bustling marketplace on the planet Jakku

A small galaxy’s worth of tracking dots affixed to Lupita Nyong’o’s face allowed artists at Industrial Light & Magic to transform her into the C.G.I. character Maz Kanata

Galactic travelers, smugglers, and other assorted riffraff fill the main hall of pirate Maz Kanata’s castle

Next-generation bad guy Kylo Ren Adam Driver commands snowtroopers loyal to the evil First Order on the frozen plains of their secret base

Members of the brains behind The Force Awakens composer John Williams, producer and Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy, co- writer Lawrence Kasdan, and director and co-writer J.J. Abrams, who also gave a glowing report on Harrison Ford to Vanity Fair…

But the magic of Star Wars isn’t all about the creatures; the best effect in the wildly popular new trailer (88 million views and counting!) may have been Harrison Ford, slipping seamlessly back into Han Solo’s classic slow grin. Abrams himself was surprised by the performance and said that Ford “was excited to get back in those shoes again, which was really interesting because I thought he hadn’t been a fan. I kept hearing those rumors when I was a kid.” Abrams did have one specific note for the veteran actor: “I knew that he had done in some movies a kind of more growly thing, and I didn’t want Han to be growly.” Whatever Abrams said must have worked because, as the director himself put it, “There was a fire in his eyes that you see in the movie.”

We also got our first look at Gwendoline Christie’s character Captain Phasma.


Star Wars.com have just released details and photos of Andy Serkis character in  The Force Awakens… Supreme Leader Snoke 

Photograph by Annie Leibovitz | Courtesy of Vanity Fair | Copyright 2015