Despite being heavily advertised in Star Wars: The Force Awakens' promotional campaign, Gwendoline Christie's Captain Phasma didn't get to do much in the movie outside of standing around looking intimidating. Fortunately, it looks like Star Wars: The Last Jedi will give Phasma a more meaningful role this winter. In the meantime, Marvel has begun publishing a four-part comic book miniseries centered on the First Order officer, and the first issue finally answers the question of how she escaped Starkiller Base before its destruction. The short answer: she had to move ridiculously fast in the span of just minutes.
When we left off with Phasma in The Force Awakens, Finn, her former subordinate, had joyfully suggested to Han Solo and Chewbacca that they stuff her into a garbage compactor. That would be humiliating for anyone, but Phasma was able to make sure it didn't end up being a death sentence. In Captain Phasma #1 (via io9), we see the metallic-armored trooper breaking free thanks to the Resistance's attack blowing hole in the compactor. From there, Phasma rushes to a computer so she can wipe the record that her security codes were used to shut off Starkiller Base's shields. But it's not enough to erase any trace of her forced collaboration. Phasma also has to find a scapegoat to take the blame for the shields going down.
That scapegoat ends up being Lieutenant Sol Rivas, who saw that Phasma's codes were used, but like everyone else on Starkiller Base, is trying to escape before the planet blows up. Phasma chases after Rivas, and along the way, she spots Kylo Ren and Rey engaged in their lightsaber duel, as well as orders a group of stormtroopers to stay at their post, knowing full well that they'll die by doing this. Phasma isn't able to apprehend Rivas before he flies away in a TIE Fighter, so Phasma finds her own TIE Fighter and orders the pilot to chase chase after the fleeing Rivas. Phasma's TIE Fighter is also carrying a BB droid that was conducting repairs, and it appears this is the newly-revealed BB-9E.
So there you have it. In less than 10 minutes (even if it was a half hour, that would still be amazingly quick), Phasma was able to escape death and start covering her tracks. Impressive...most impressive. You'll have to read Captain Phasma's remaining three issues to see how her hunt for Sol Rivas fares, but since the main protagonist still serving The First Order in The Last Jedi rather than been relieved of her command and exiled by her superiors, one can surmise that everything turns out all right by the time the miniseries concludes.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi will be released in theaters on December 15, and Captain Phasma #1 can be purchased digitally or at your local comic book store. For those of you looking for more Phasma-related content, you can also pick up Star Wars: Phasma, the novel written by Delilah S. Dawson that explores the character's origins.