J.J. Abrams Reveals Maz Kanata's Backstory and Hints at Her Powers

Thursday, 12 November 2015 - 10:20AM
Star Wars
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Thursday, 12 November 2015 - 10:20AM
J.J. Abrams Reveals Maz Kanata's Backstory and Hints at Her Powers
Aside from Max von Sydow's character, Lupita Nyong'o's Maz Kanata may be the most mysterious new character in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Until now, we only knew that she was a space pirate, and that she would be a motion capture character. We hadn't even seen an official photo of her yet- or so we thought. Speaking to EW, J.J. Abrams confirmed that she is the tiny little alien standing next to R2-D2 in the Force Awakens poster, and revealed more about the alien pirate and her castle of outsiders:

Opening quote
"Her history is that she was a pirate for a long time," said Abrams. "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."
Closing quote

He went on to say that the nitty gritty details of Kanata's identity-her species, her homeworld- won't be revealed in Force Awakens at all, but would be revealed in other Star Wars media, like books and games.

Opening quote
"All that backstory will be forthcoming," said Abrams. "In the movie, you don't learn these things, but I know that these are things that are coming out in other venues."
Closing quote

Abrams also gave a few tantalizing hints about the character's possible supernatural abilities, which are connected to her eyes and the goggles she wears:

Opening quote
"I had some specific ideas about how she would work and what she would do," Abrams said. "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."
Closing quote

Nyong'o got even more revealing, and stated that Kanata's eyes are the "means to her magic":

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

The latest TV spot alluded to these powers, as Kanata is heard saying in voice-over, "I have lived long enough to see the same eyes in different people. I see your eyes. I know your eyes."



Although we don't see the actual scene, so we don't know to whom she's speaking, but the trailer seems to imply that she's referring to Rey, and maybe Finn. This may be further evidence for those rumors that Rey and Finn are the children of the old guard, most likely that Finn is Luke's son and Rey is the daughter of Han Solo and Leia (although some think that Rey is Luke's daughter). Either way, it seems that Kanata will have insight into the characters' parentage, and that it will play a large role in the film. 

Star Wars: The Force Awakens comes out on December 18.
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Star Wars: The Force Awakens