'Star Wars: The Last Jedi': What Are Kylo Ren And Captain Phasma Doing In The Sequel?

In addition to a new crew of instantly lovable heroes, Star Wars: The Force Awakens introduced one of the best and most complex villains in the history of the saga: Adam Driver's Kylo Ren. It also introduced Gwendoline Christie's Captain Phasma, who looked really, really cool, but didn't do much of anything in the actual plot.

As you'd expect, Star Wars: The Last Jedi will continue the journey of both characters and some newly revealed details offer a tease of what we can expect.

The Last Jedi writer/director Rian Johnson, speaking with Entertainment Weekly, describes Ben Solo's transformation into Kylo Ren as being indicative of "the treacherous road through adolescence," which feels like the understatement of this young century. But this angry young man with his wonky homemade lightsaber had his ass handed to him by a fearless young woman at the end of The Force Awakens...which happened right after he murdered his own father, Han Solo. Johnson notes that this emotional whiplash will not go unnoticed in his movie:

He's definitely been knocked off base. The defeat that he had at the end of The Force Awakens, but even bigger than that, his huge defining act which, spoiler alert, is the murder of his father... that's the more interesting thing to dive into. How has he dealt with that in his head? Where is he at in terms of that act and what does that mean for him?

In fact, Kylo Ren's actions at the end of the previous film will echo throughout The Last Jedi. Chewbacca, the loyal Wookiee warrior, will be seen dealing with the loss of Han, his best friend and longtime parter-in-skullduggery. "It was obviously a big loss for him, but, you know, he's Chewie," Johnson told EW, "He's resilient."

Meanwhile, Daisy Ridley's Rey will have to deal with the fact that Kylo Ren cut down the closest person she's ever had to a father-figure and she's none-too-happy about that:

She just doesn't understand Kylo. When all she wanted was parents, why would a person who has parents do that? It's so beyond comprehension, it's ridiculous. So she has grief for the loss and then there's anger. To be honest, she couldn't understand doing something like that – let alone to your parents.

But what about Captain Phasma, the chrome-plated Stormtrooper who was unceremoniously dumped into a trash compactor and never seen again in The Force Awakens? Johnson promises that Christie's striking-looking henchwoman will play a larger role in the film, even if her backstory won't be explored:

Gwendoline Christie is one of my favorite people, and you get to see her in action which I think is going to be really fun. That character is just so damn cool looking. Like, okay, let's see what we can do with her. Let's put her in action and see what happens.

To actually learn where Phasma came from and what she's all about, you'll have to read the upcoming Marvel comic miniseries and novel exploring her backstory. Welcome to Star Wars fandom in 2017!

Star Wars: The Last Jedi opens on December 15, 2017.