A newly released deleted scene from Star Wars: The Last Jedi has put a different slant on one of the film’s most divisive moments. No, not how we never found out who General Snoke was. Or the decision by Laura Dern’s Amilyn Holdo to withhold her ramming plan until the last minute.
Today we’re talking about how silver stormtrooper Captain Phasma (Gwendoline Christie) was hyped up in the film’s promotional material only to die at the end of her very limited screen time. However, a newly released scene shows a much more satisfying finish to Phasma.
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It picks up right after Finn (John Boyega) bashes Phasma in the face with his electric baton – the moment in the film where the floor collapses, jettisoning her into space. However, in the deleted version Finn asks Phasma what would happen if people found out she lowered the shields on Starkiller base in episode VII.
The stormtroopers around Phasma hear her subsequent admission and look as if they might turn on their commander. It’s a glorious moment where Phasma, not Finn, is the traitor.
Sensing the dissent, Phasma kills off the stormtroopers and Finn is thrown to the ground. And just when it looks like the rebel hero will be impaled by Phasma’s spear, Finn shoots her out of the hanger with a heavy cannon.
Why was this powerful moment cut from the film? “I really like the little moment of Phasma being caught and getting called out by John, and that little game of chess that they have,” writer-director Rian Johnson told EW about the scene. “But we needed a much more condensed version.”
So, although this alternative death may have fulfilled the Phasma hype, it could have significantly harmed the pacing of the film. Was the trade-off worth it? Or would this mere extra minute of footage made for a better movie?
Something to ponder, it is.