‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’: J.J. Abrams Talks Maz Kanata’s Origin

With J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars: The Force Awakens right around the corner, excitement and anticipation is at an all-time high. As a result, fans are rabidly hungry for any and all information they can elicit from the notoriously secretive filmmaker. Specifically, fans want to know about Academy Award-winning actress Lupita Nyong’o’s mysterious character Maz Kanata.

To this point, all we knew was that Nyong’o would be playing the character via motion capture technology and that she was some sort of space pirate. We hadn’t yet received a clear glimpse of the character though. Fortunately, Abrams confirmed that Maz was indeed the small, smiling little alien creature with big dark goggles that can be seen on the film’s official poster. 

Abrams also confirmed that Maz’s eyes have special abilities, saying:

I had some specific ideas about how she would work and what she would do. I had this pitch about these goggles that she wore. Her eyes are an important aspect of her character, and you’ll see how it plays out.

That seems to jibe with what Maz herself is heard saying in the recent Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailer.

I have lived long enough to see the same eyes in different people. I see your eyes. I know your eyes.

Nyong’o obviously didn’t spoil the goods, but she did say that Maz gave her a very interesting opportunity as a performer.

As an actor for films, your eyes are a lot of the way you communicate anyway. So it was definitely a gift to have that be the means to her magic as a motion-capture character.

But where did Maz come from her? What is her role in the film? Surely, Abrams wouldn’t have gone out and cast an Oscar-winner for an insignificant part. While the director wouldn’t delve too deep into Nyong’os character, he did reveal some basic background information about her.

Her history is that she was a pirate for a long time. She’s lived over a thousand years. She’s had this watering hole for about a century, and it’s like another bar that you’d find in a corner of the Star Wars universe.

Okay, that’s better. At least we know she has the age to rival Yoda and perhaps even the wisdom too. From everything we’ve seen and heard, it appears as if she will be helping our new generation of heroes on their quest. And Abrams at least threw us a bone by revealing that her origins will be further explored going forward.

All that backstory will be forthcoming. In the movie, you don’t learn these things, but I know that these are things that are coming out in other venues.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens will hit theaters on Dec. 18.

Source: Entertainment Weekly

Heroic Staff

Heroic Staff

Heroic Special Activities Division Agent Trainee Program