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Star Wars: Phasma: Journey to Star Wars: The Last Jedi Paperback – 24 Apr 2018
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"A must-read" (Nudge)
About the Author
DELILAH S. DAWSON is the writer of the Blud
series, the Shadow series (as Lila Bowen), Servants of the Storm, Hit, Strike, and a variety of short stories and comics. Dawson teaches writing courses online for LitReactor and lives in Florida with her family.
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Perhaps, because of the above, the story does not come from the perspective of Phasma herself. Instead Phasma’s ‘story’ is presented in a slightly different medium. The novel is structured around a narration system where the story is related through a Resistance agent being tortured by a captain in the First Order. As she is interrogated she reveals a story concerning Phasma’s origins that she in turn has heard from someone who knew Phasma on her home world in the past.
It is, therefore, somewhat distanced from Phasma who, as a result, doesn’t receive much characterisation. We don’t actually learn that much about her and it all comes from one person’s viewpoint and opinion of her.
Although an origin story concerned with how Phasma comes to join the First Order, ascend to her exalted role amongst their stormtroopers and obtains her iconic chrome armour, the novel is, in many ways, more a story about Cardinal. Based around the concept of Phasma, Cardinal is a red armoured stormtrooper with a captain’s cloak, his role in the First order to train young potential stormtroopers. Once these become adults their training passes into the hands of Phasma, and this is the source of rivalry/competition between the two. Thus, Cardinal’s objective in interrogating Resistance agent, Vi, is to find something to discredit his rival.
The problem with this plotline is that it is based around Cardinal’s opinion that Phasma doesn’t conform to his view of what the First Order represents. Meanwhile, everything that Vi’s narration reveals about Phasma makes her seem like an ideal match for the First order. The crux of the novel is him obtaining information he can use against her. However, there is nothing he can learn that he can actually use.
Throughout the novel it is also readily apparent that a physical clash between Phasma and Cardinal is inevitable. However, despite the anticipation and build up it doesn’t particularly deliver.
A novel, perhaps, that is more entertaining and interesting because of the way it is structured and told rather than the actual content. Those looking to learn a lot about Phasma will probably be disappointed. It provides some insight into this enigmatic character but only superficially.
I’ve always preferred Star Wars novels which continue the narrative after the cinema action ends; prequel novels always seem a bit contrived - after all they have to deliver the plot to the established screen action. Phasma manages to tell an engaging story that expands the Star Wars universe without seeming to be stuck on rails towards The Force Awakens.
Minus one star for the present tense conceit, but give it a chance, it’s worth a read...
I’m glad I read this because after all the hype about the character before The Force Awakens she hardly appeared - the same for The Last Jedi. This book gives depth and character to a figure who should have done so much more in both films.
I have finished this book after watching Episode VIII, and had no expectation towards it. I really wanted to see if this book has only been created to milk some more money off us devoted fans, and if it had any creative input at all.
I was also quite frustrated with the way this character has been dealt with by Lucasfilm/Disney in the first place, with all the hype and the full toy-line availability, but a relative no-show in the movies.
This is a really great story, some good character development throughout, good dialogues and the right amount of action.
I have found Delilah S. Dawson’s style quite lazy to be honest, really poor even for a junior novel. Maybe she needed more time but the book had to be published at the right time. (Lost one star on this only)
Overall it seems that the Lucasfilm story group have indeed had some good ideas for Phasma, and this led to an enjoyable story. This book is worth reading if you like the recent movies, but could benefit from a little more effort from the writer.
Is it a coincidence that the best (new canon) Star Wars novels are written by women? Brilliant character development and suspense. Such a great read. I enjoyed this book to the point where I now feel cheated by the movies.
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Read it while listening to the audiobook which always enhances the experience in my opinion.Read more
'The Force Awakens' and 'The Last Jedi' didn't feature much of Captain Phasma, her coming across as a...Read more