REVIEW: Age of Resistance: Captain Phasma: "Fallen Guns" written by Tom Taylor
A simple yet compelling story, this issue shows Phasma at her essence. We see how she only looks out for herself and doesn't care about anything but her own survival. And how ruthless she can be in the process. While we don't get this ruthlessness in The Force Awakens, we do see how she was willing to betray the First Order by letting the shields down to survive her encounter with Han, Chewie, and Finn. We see much more of the ruthlessness in The Last Jedi, although her loyalties aren't that clear--she seems to be all for the First Order in this movie. But when you take what was written in the Phasma novel and the "Phasma" short-run comic series, you clearly see that she doesn't give one wit about the First Order except to elevate her own self and make it out the other end alive and well. This comic does a great job of showing her self loyalty outweighing her First Order loyalty.
The whole issue takes place in the Unknown Regions on the iron planet of Demir. Phasma and a cadre of stormtroopers are fighting the natives to achieve possession of their stronghold--supposedly it's of strategic importance to the First Order
KM-8713 narrates the story and is the main protagonist with Phasma as the character who leads her to certain decisions and realizations. It was interesting that Taylor wrote Phasma's story in such a way that it's not really about her but yet is about her. The effect worked quite well and I enjoyed the character study through a nameless trooper's eyes that resulted.
A quote from Phasma: "If you want to succeed, you must first survive. Calculated sacrifices must be made." This is absolutely indicative of her mindset. She's all about survival and sacrificing others to get her own way.
Toward the end of the comic she clearly reveals her true nature in this quote: "I lead as all great leaders do...from behind a disposable shield of patriotic idiots." She doesn't care about the First Order! She calls her own troops "guns in her hand" and in reference to the title of this issue, she calls them "fallen guns" once they can no longer serve as fully functioning soldiers. That's the moral quandary that KM-8713 is faced with--should she help out of commission soldiers? Or should she leave them to their deaths because they are merely canon fodder and of no use once injured?
In the afterward write up on Phasma, Bryan Young says, "Vi Moradi, the spy who brought the wounded Resistance to Batuu." This information is revealed in the synopsis for the upcoming novel Galaxy's Edge: Black Spire. I'm super curious to see how everything connects once that novel is released (note: Vi Moradi was one of the main characters in the Phasma novel).
So a wonderful character study of Phasma with some seriously deep moral questioning on the part of KM-8713. We see Phasma's true ruthless and self-serving colors and I personally wish we had seen more of her and this side of her in the movies to get a true taste of the baddie. She is one heartless woman that's for sure.
My score: 7/10
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