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'Star Wars: The Force Awakens': Bringing Together Pirate Yoda and the Harry Potter Wookie

By Cindy Davis | Star Wars | November 13, 2015 |

By Cindy Davis | Star Wars | November 13, 2015 |

Dustin thinks we probably know as much as we should about Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Geek Girl Diva thinks we just can’t get enough


(sorry, I had to), and I probably fall somewhere in between. So here’s a bit of lightly Spoilerish information about Lupita Nyong’o’s heretofore mysterious Force Awakens character, straight from J.J. Abrams.

Sharp-eyed fans already spotted Nyong’o smack dab in the middle of the gorgeous poster;



a begoggled creature, hanging around the Droids (could she be one?). As confirmed by J.J. Abrams, Nyong’o is playing a wise, alien pirate called Maz Kanata, The Force Awakens’ Yoda-like sage, if you will.

“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.”

The goggles aren’t just for show, either. Abrams notes Maz was originally conceived as a puppet, but after realizing what the character needed to do, the director decided motion capture was “the way to go.”

“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.

[Her] 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.”

Nyong’o received her first performance capture role training from the master himself, Andy Serkis (who plays Supreme Leader Snoke). The Oscar-winning actress — who stars in a certain Pajiban-adjacent director’s upcoming Broadway play — said Serkis’ main advice was to develop the character as she normally would.

“The biggest advice he gave me, that was so important to hold on to, is a motion-capture character you develop the same way as any other. You have to understand who the character is and what makes them who they are.”

We regular folk aren’t the only ones super-excited about a new Star Wars movie. As Harry Potter Daniel Radcliffe himself notes, “The excitement around this film is very rare; you don’t get that feeling often around a movie,” and he wants to go to a midnight premiere showing. Noting there are similarities between Harry Potter and Star Wars fans, Radcliffe has an idea which costume he’d like to wear, but I kinda like Conan’s suggestion.

Now you know. If this guy’s sitting next to you in the theater, take a very close look.


And, let’s close out with the latest Force Awakens TV spot — with a bit of new footage — which you may or may not want to watch, depending upon how much Star Wars you think is too much, or not enough.

***Spoiler*** p.s., swipe to see: Leia is now a General! (EW)



Cindy Davis, (Twitter)

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