Maz Kanata: Character Corner

Maz Kanata
Maz Kanata

Among the new characters introduced to us in Star Wars Episode VII, Maz Kanata is perhaps the most interesting. Portrayed by actress Lupita Nyong’O, this short, ancient creature is a member of an unknown alien race, and is so far the oldest character to appear in a canon feature, beating the previous record holder by at least seventy years. Said to be more than a thousand years old, this force-sensitive character hid, for some reason not becoming a Jedi. When Emperor Palpatine took control, she hid, only revealing her force-sensitive properties after his death.

She came to own a castle on the planet Takodana, which Maz turned into a den and temporary home for travelers and smugglers. Now able to utilize her strong connection to the Force, she began to gather items of important value, such as Anakin Skywalker’s original lightsaber, which Rey finds.

This strange creature says she has the ability to see other people’s inner thoughts and feelings – though the movie doesn’t explain if this is an ability gained through the Force or simply something she picked up in her many years, though she does adjust her glasses for a closer look beforehand. It is unknown what she does after the First Order attacks, evidently destroying the castle

Behind the Scenes:


Inspired by his high school English teacher (Rose Gilbert), J.J. Abrams said: “We really wanted the story to feel authentic, despite being a wild fantasy. I mentioned Rose in an early story meeting as a sort of timeless, wise figure that I’d actually known in my life.” Sadly, Gilbert died during pre-production. Maz was a full CGI character, with Lupita Nyong’O providing the facial expressions and voice. According to Abrams, Maz was originally going to continue to be seen in the background of the resistance, but was eventually removed because she had nothing to do or say. Maz was originally going to be a Gossam, an alien species allied with the Separatists during the Clone War.

Thanks for reading! We hope you enjoyed learning about one of the Star Wars world’s newest characters. Hopefully we’ll see more of Maz in the future. Come back next week for more fun fan information!

Comic Con Star Wars fun

By now, you’ve seen the video of the behind-the-scenes from Star Wars VII, which was pumped into the eyes of lucky attendees at San Diego Comic Con this previous week. If you haven’t, we have here a chance for you to get your life in order:

Let us bask in it. Let us swim in the juices.

The video acts as a trailer without having to present anything new. It’s people laughing, crew members figuring out how to spin gold from straw, actors looking sweet on Star Wars setpieces, and unattached shots, telling us nothing about the movie or the plot. Science-fantasy goodness from start to finish.

Comic Con Star wars leaked picutre of Lupita Nyong'o
Lupita Nyong’o is scanned

The video not only has the flashy images for the everyman, but a good amount of affirming shots for the big fan, in a hope-giving way. Molded alien heads, real-life sets, remote-controlled robotic friends, and more – including a shot of Lupita Nyong’o providing her digitized mug for the camera. All of this speaks to J.J. Abrams statement to focus on practical effects – real world happenings using makeup magic and camera trickery – as opposed to special effects, as witnessed heavily in the prequels. While Ms. Nyong’o is being CGI-ed, her character may become more than just a differently-colored skin. She could be something very inhuman, necessitating special effects.

But wait – there’s more! When the video ended at Comic Con, attendees were treated to panels from the cast and crew, featuring original members like Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, and Harrison Ford, as well as newbies like Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Gwendoline Christie, Domhnall Gleeson and Adam Driver. After the panel ended, people got to hear a special Star Wars concert as well as a special message from John Williams, and everyone got their very own lightsaber!

We’re not actually sure if that last thing’s a joke or not!

Finally, while not related to SDCC, it was announced Donnie Yen, Hong Kong action star and lead of the terrific Ip Man films, will be acting as a Jedi in Star Wars VIII. This is very exciting.

Thanks for reading about all the cool stuff we got to enjoy at San Diego Comic Con. Come back next week for more fun fan information!