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!