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Friday, 23 February 2018

10 Reasons Why I Loved The Phasma Novel

Dearly beloved,

You must know by now that I am a huge Star Wars fan. The original trilogy are the movies of my childhood, along with the wonderful Indiana Jones (played by the handsome and talented Harrison Ford). It was one of the first adventures in space that I had seen, besides Star Trek. It was both a western in space and a romance story, very well done, funny and witty and filled with amazing twists and turns in each character. It also had the very first Princess that was able to save herself (and others), instead of waiting for Prince Charming to come in it's Millenium Falcon and sweep her off her feet. Carrie Fisher was doing all that by herself, and she is a role model for the ages! #carriefisherismyprincessforever - and no-one can take that away from me. Star Wars opened my eyes to new stories, characters and the possibility of things happening in the wider universe. I remember buying a book about the original trilogy, translated in Romanian, for the money I raised on my own for several months... I was somewhere in 4th grade maybe... And I was so proud of owning It! Star Wars was not that popular back then, and it's a bit more popular now but still not reaching the height and hype of USA. I must admit I am way behind with the old (pre-Disney) Canon books but when it comes to the new ones in love keeping up to date. I'm always scooping for more insight over the first heroes (of the first trilogy) but also the new comers. Just recently I have finished Phasma and I have enjoyed it immensly so I thought... why not share my thoughts with you, and let you know my 10 Reasons Why I Loved The Phasma Novel:

1. The "Mad Max" vibes - living in a destroyed, post apocalyptic planet, constantly struggling for life, Phasma is a silent character that does not share her story/history. Her character is show through others stories and we gain but little insight directly from her, at the end of the book. Children were a rarity and reaching the age of 40 was a max (if ever) in ones life on Parnassos.
2. I could not sympathise with Phasma but I could understand what she had become. The path that she takes in Parnassos, the way she lives and carries herself, allows her not to get attached. Not to form any feelings or true relationships with anyone. If she does not get involved she will not be hurt buy she will be able to hurt others instead, manipulate them and lead others in her quest. She is a leader that has only herself in mind - her survival over the survival of others. In Phasma you can find the most true basic instincts.
3. She's even a much more frightening character that what the movies led us to believe. She would do anything to achieve her goal. Phasma is willing to kill her family, her tribe, in order to erase any memory of herself before joining in The First Order. To me, at least, there is no way in which she can redeem herself and not once have I seen her character coming an act out of love or friendship. Not even when she stabs her own brother, in order to save both herself and him. She does what She needs to do in order to survive.
4. Phasma's relationship with Armitage Hux - after leaving her home planet, Parnassos, she sees Hux's father destroy all the establishments, cities, location of the tribes that ever knew Phasma. The only person whom still knee her story was Hux's father and the child she brought with herself. Long story short: Phasma makes sure both of them for shortly after, in misterous causes that in no way link to her. Funny enough, when the Cardinal (arch nemesis of Phasma) confronts him about this topic, we get the revelation that Hux knew about this already and that he was quite fine with the idea (supporting Phasma in keeping all this a secret). To be also mentioned that Phasma is on a first name basis with Hux, referring to him only as Armitage.
5. Captain Cardinal - The human side of the First Order showing slowly - taken from Jakku by Brendol Hux, as a small boy, an raised to the highest position in the First Order, training all recruits of all ages. He suspected for a long time that Phasma was not the golden poster child of the FO. He always felt something was off about her - with the help of the Rebel Spy: Vi Morandi, he gets to learn the truth, at a painful cost!
6. Phasma never reveals her true face - once she joins the FO she presses forward and learns at an incredible pace all the history and the technology behind everyone ans everything in the New Order. She never had access to any tech on Parnassos yet in less than a year from leaving the planet, she comes back to salvage pieces from Brendol Hux shuttle that crashed (a Naboo chrome spaceship, previously owned by the Emperor himself!) in order to create (by herself) her own trooper army, from that impenetrable steel. She connects to her history, creates an armour and once she fits in on - she never lets it go. She never showes her face again. Except to the Cardinal, after their fight, once he is down, dieing from mortal wounds infested by her own poison.
7. Phasma is brutal, pure evil and cares only about herself, no matter on how many bodies she steps she will get forward. This is NOT a book for children or young adults. It has many horrific scenes that are gruesome to read and imagine. I would not recommend it lightly, it is a good book, recently written, the middle is packed with action that takes your breath away, but the book is also packed with betrayal and death... for some that did not even deserve it :(
8. No First Order warrior is what it seems - Phasma is the Poster person for the New Order, everyone aspires to be like her, fight like her, think like her... be Her! Be Phasma! Coming from unknown origins, from nothing, raising up to be the Leader of the training program, alongside Hux, for the First Order cadets. She is invincible, she is spotless, she is the example the FO needs. Only one problem: there is always a secret behind every character. Every character has a crack through which either Light or Darkness creeps in. She is also a reminder, at least for myself, that neither Kylo Ren is the perfect tool of the FO. He has cracks as well ;)
9. Phasma is a born learner - although the spear was her weapon of choice in Parnassos, every tool or weapon she touches she is eager to learn it and perfect herself. She does anything in her power to learn everything about anything that comes her way, in order to better herself, self-sustain herself. I constantly had the feeling that she wanted to do everything on her own, that she was always very unwilling to rely on others. She sees people only as a means to an end. She does not need a teacher, she just needs the basics and she will be able to handle things on her own.
10. Phasma's loyalty always lies within herself - everything and everyone else does not matter. She saved Brendol Hux only to get herself off the planet, she saved the baby only because at that time it sounded like the right thing to do - but she will kill it later, don't you worry, she has NO reframing side... I still wonder her connection with Armitage. On Parnassos she does not mate and she seems rather asexual. Is there anything behind this? Any connection between the 2? I am surely waiting for more Phasma content from the Star Wars Disney team!

P.S. The book raises quite a lot more questions and what I would really like to find out is whether Vi and the Cardinal managed to escape. Also if they managed to save the ones left on Parnassos. Did the Cardinal join the Rebels?! I need to know!!!

“And I did what I had to do to get to me as well. I don’t regret it. That’s the difference between us. I know what I am, and I embrace it. I’m proud of it. I fought for everything I have, every bit of what I am. Now that you see what you are, you despise it. You’re ashamed. and look where that’s gotten you.” -  Phasma by Delilah S. Dawson


“I’ve never walked on sand,” Torben noted. “What’s it like?”
Phasma’s people looked to her, but she nodded to Brendol.
“It shifts under your feet. Coarse and rough. Irritating. Gets everywhere. Slips into your clothes and boots.” - Phasma by Delilah S. Dawson

Yours very much truly in love with Star Wars,
The Twisted Red Ladybug