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Gwendoline Christie may be best-known for her role as Brienne of Tarth, one of the Seven Kingdoms’ most-feared warriors (and arguably the character with the strongest moral compass) on Game of Thrones, but her role in Star Wars: The Force Awakens was equally badass. She made her debut as Captain Phasma, the commander of the First Order’s force of stormtroopers, in the film.
She’s making a return as the character in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, and she filled the hosts of Good Morning America in on the training that goes into becoming a sword-wielding intergalactic warrior. You can watch Captain Phasma clash with Finn (John Boyega) at 1:38 in the trailer below:
While Christie can’t reveal much about who wins the fight, she shared that she was reunited with the person who trained her to fight for Game of Thrones, stunt coordinator C.C. Smith. With his help, she learned the ins and outs of swordfighting to transform into Westeros’ most intimidating female warrior (well, maybe the second-most, after the new-and-improved Arya Stark ever since her transformation into a face-stealing assassin).
“C.C. Smith taught me to fight on Game of Thrones,” she said. “Back before Season 2 filming started on Game of Thrones, he was the man that gave me the confidence and the skills, worked with me for months beforehand, and taught me to fight and swordfight.” When asked who wins the fight that we see a glimpse of in the trailer, Christie’s answer was cryptic: “I just think winning is a perception,” she said. So we’ll just have to watch the movie to find out.
Christie was pretty much made for the role of badass, empowering female warrior, and she’s been interested in working on a Star Wars film since she was just a kid, she said. “I’d been a fan since I was 6 years old when I first saw the films,” Christie told Good Morning America. Talk about living out your childhood dreams.
Seeing Carrie Fisher’s portrayal of Princess Leia in the original Star Wars films is part of what spurred her love of the franchise. “I remember watching Star Wars and thinking…she’s different, she’s unafraid, she’s smart, she’s brave, she’s bold,” Christie gushed to the GMA hosts, “she’s unashamedly herself, she’s hilarious, and she doesn’t look the same as the other representations [women] are given.”
Star Wars: The Last Jedi hits U.S. theaters on December 15.