Warning: SPOILERS ahead for Star Wars: The Last Jedi!
Star Wars: The Force Awakens returned audiences to the galaxy far, far away and introduced us to new and exciting characters. One of the new characters that had people excited going into the film, was the very cool-looking Captain Phasma, played by Game of Thrones favorite Gwendoline Christie. Some fans felt Phasma was underserved by J.J. Abrams film and hoped that she would get her due and a chance to shine in Star Wars: The Last Jedi. She was not really a big deal in the movie and, in fact, Rian Johnson's film leaves her fate very much in question. Even Gwendoline Christie is in the dark about her character's future. The actress conveyed her worry that Phasma won't return, saying:
In truth, I don't know. And that scares and upsets me because I really want to see this character explored. I'm actually very invested in the character now. And that's genuine. That's not just chat. It has opened up a chain of stories and events in my mind about who Phasma is.
Speaking with The Times, Gwendoline Christie seems really invested in Captain Phasma and loves being a part of Star Wars. The actress has spoken about how much it mattered to her to be a part of Star Wars and to play such a powerful female character, so it is somewhat sad to hear this. Prior to The Last Jedi we had heard that Rian Johnson and Gwendoline Christie had developed a backstory for Captain Phasma and that is probably what the actress wants to see explored. Unfortunately, the only greater insight we got into Captain Phasma in Rian Johnson's film is what her eye looks like.
My interpretation of The Last Jedi was that Finn likely killed Captain Phasma when he knocked her into a fiery chasm while the Supremacy fell to pieces. But I know that not everyone feels that way and if the character survived the horrors of a trash compactor, surely she can survive being knocked out while a ship explodes around her. That's the tricky thing with there being no overarching plan for this new Star Wars trilogy ahead of time. In Rian Johnson's mind, Captain Phasma could be dead and Finn killing her symbolizes that his character has finally committed to the Resistance and the fight against the First Order. But much like with Rey's parents, J.J. Abrams could decide while working on the script for Episode IX, that he'd like to use Phasma again and devise a way the character survived.
I find it unlikely that Captain Phasma will return in Episode IX. The focus should now be on Kylo, Hux and hopefully, finally, the Knights of Ren. Captain Phasma was a character fans wanted more out of, not because of what she did on-screen, but simply because of her badass look and the equally badass actress playing her. If she doesn't return that is a bummer for Gwendoline Christie who clearly loves the character, but hopefully the Captain Phasma will at least be explored more in one of the various comics or novels that make up the expansive new canon.