Stupid question, is Phasma higher up enough to work for your plot purposes if she’s engaged in teamwork with a counterpart in the TIE fighter training team? Just two captains and a sergeant or three fixing up a high command mess, nothing to see here… We’re all super boring and dutifully doing our duty. Yup. We’re all fine here.
No, Phasma is clearly a unit commander, not a strategy-level officer. I had an extensive post a while back where I worked out that, at least for my purposes, it makes the most sense for me to understand her as being like a high-ranking but noncommissioned officer, concerned with the day-to-day running of operations, as opposed to how a commissioned officer would be concerned with administrative and strategic requirements.
If your level of responsibility allows you the time to make extensive on-foot patrols of your troops’ territory, you are necessarily not the kind of person who is making decisions about the far-in-advance future. For the simple reason that those sorts of decisions are going to take up so much time that you will not have time to patrol on foot. It speaks to a much-different level of command. No less important, surely, but much different.
I just combed through my archives for months back and couldn’t find it, but I did a whole big long post where I theorized that “captain” is a misnomer for Phasma’s rank– like, it’s cool and sounds great, but clearly, her rank is more similar to that of a high-ranking sergeant; it makes sense for the helmeted/masked/armored troops to be noncoms, and the troops with names and faces to be commissioned, and I had a whole pile of supporting theories, but I can’t find the post, so just– that’s where I’m coming from. She’s not a captain like in the US Army, she’s a captain because it sounds cool, even though Captain is a rank in the Imperial Navy, which is not what she has.
IT’S TIME FOR SOME META WITH STEPH ! after thinking about the way the episode ended last night & the sneak peak from next week’s episode, i’ve come to the conclusion that emma’s anger & upset with audrey is an expected & overdue reaction ————— i think we’re finally seeing emma snap. but physical violence is never justifiable & i’m going to need scream to rectify that by the end of the episode, because i think it could have been handled a bit better.
emma duval is a sixteen year old girl desperately struggling to retain a sense of normalcy in her life. she suffers from ptsd. she suffers from hallucinations. she suffers from crippling anxiety. there are times when she has to sit back & ask herself : real or not real? her world is completely spun on its axis ————— she is mentally ill, damaged, broken & trying so hard to keep herself together. not just for herself, but for her friends that need her / for her mom that just wants her to be okay. she’s at the very end of her rope. she’s been sitting on edge since her return from treatment ( which i still speculate was a little too soon, though that’s beside the point )& she’s finally reached her breaking point. she’s finally reached the edge & cracked.
audrey & emma have history. though we’ve never found out exactly what happened between them, when emma essentially ghosted her & found her friend group in nina / brooke / riley / will / jake, we know that emma & audrey were close. close enough that audrey knew about emma’s dad, knew of him & even had memories of him. close enough that audrey is the one emma calls when he returns, something that she isn’t ready to tell anyone else. close enough that emma genuinely relies on audrey for a sense of emotional support & solid ground. close enough that at one point ————— i genuinely believe they still are, under all of the emotional baggage they have to sort through ————— they considered each other best friends. i’d care to wager that audrey knows emma almost as well as emma knows herself, if not better at times. i’d care to wager that audrey has seen emma at her worst, at her lowest. that she knows things emma has yet to reveal to anyone else, simply because they were best friends for so long. ( consider it this way : emma’s dad left when she was young. we can speculate that emma & audrey basically grew up together. that’s a long time to be someone’s friend. ) so audrey is… in a sense, on a different level to emma. their dynamic is different, their relationship is different. emma holds audrey to a different standard & in a way, places her on a pedestal. the higher she goes, the harder she’ll fall.
she just found out that this girl whom she holds so near & dear brought piper to lakewood. she just found out that audrey lied to her for months, that audrey stood idly by & watched their friends be murdered without breathing a single word. she just found out that audrey waited months to tell her & at the end of it all, it didn’t even come from audrey’s mouth directly to her. she feels betrayed. she feels lied to. she feels hurt. audrey is one of the few people that could pull such a dramatic & hair trigger reaction out of emma. it’s a sign of how much she cares & how truly important audrey has been to her for such a large portion of her life. this is emma duval, after months of emotional anguish & torture, snapping. this is emma duval reaching her breaking point. i don’t believe it’s necessarily out of character for her to be angry ————— i think it’s a long overdue release of pent up emotions & frustrations that happened to be triggered by the revelation that her best friend was lying to her for months. emma isn’t perfect : she’s not a saint. she’s a sixteen year old girl that has been through more than someone should ever have to go through in their entire life. she has stared death in the face & walked out the other side. no one goes through that & ends up perfectly okay. she is not okay.
i’m not proud of nor am i cool with emma getting physical ————— she has never been physical ( save for a grossly provoked attack on haley after she witnessed jake’s dead body fall to the floor & her friend covered in his blood ) before. i’m worried that they’re portraying this violence from her solely because of emma’s ptsd : that’s an incredibly ableist approach that would turn my stomach. i want to see the scene in context & how she ultimately deals with the aftermath, which i hope is emma apologizing to audrey profusely for her physical reaction. i don’t want emma apologizing for her anger ————— i really don’t want emma apologizing for feeling anything given that there’s an underlying sense of ‘ what emma is feeling is untrue / not valid ’ this season ————— but i do want emma apologizing for her physical reaction. that’s in character : an apology by the end of the episode would be right up emma’s alley & something i do thoroughly expect after she inevitably (hopefully) gives audrey a chance to explain, which is something her immediate knee-jerk reaction didn’t allow. i don’t think physical violence is ever justifiable ————— but i understand the anger behind it. physical violence ? not okay. absolutely not okay under any circumstances. being incredibly hurt & angry that your best friend lied to you for months ? warranted & expected. especially with how important audrey is to her & how she didn’t even hear it from audrey directly. it all hits a bit harder for emma when audrey is involved ————— it always has.
tl ; dr : physical violence is never the answer.but the whole ‘ if emma touches audrey again i’ll slit her throat & shit down her neck ’ response i’ve seen in the tags makes me uncomfortable considering emma duval is a mentally ill 16 year old girl that’s already been unfairly villainized by her peers & now by the narrative itself. i’m okay with emma being angry ————— she has earned the right to own her emotions& her anger is warranted. i’m not really chill with the potential ‘ she’s only doing this because she’s crazy ’ narrative that could follow her outburst. as of right now, i think i’ll own her actions & cement my final opinions after the actual episode. she’ll be my newly problematic daughter that i love so much but hold accountable for her shitty actions. but depending on how the followup is dealt with, i may be altering my portrayal of the events to something i believe is more true to emma’s character & not something done for shock value.