Academy Award-winning actress Lupita Nyong’o has played a significant role in the Star Wars sequel trilogy as the character Maz Kanata.
Unveiling Maz Kanata
Maz Kanata is a diminutive, wise alien with a deep connection to the Force, though she is not a Jedi. Introduced in “Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens” (2015), Maz is more than a thousand years old and owns a castle on the planet Takodana, which serves as a watering hole for various beings from across the galaxy.
The Role of Maz Kanata in Star Wars
Maz Kanata is an integral part of the new characters’ journey in the sequel trilogy. When Rey, Finn, and Han Solo visit her in “The Force Awakens”, Maz provides guidance and reveals insights about the Force to Rey.
Interestingly, it’s in Maz’s possession that Luke Skywalker’s original lightsaber is found, the one lost during his duel with Darth Vader in “The Empire Strikes Back.” Maz gives this lightsaber to Rey, setting her on the path to becoming a Jedi.
Maz continues to support the Resistance in “Episode VIII – The Last Jedi” (2017) and “Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker” (2019), though her roles are smaller in these films.
Maz Kanata’s Unique Portrayal
Nyong’o brings Maz Kanata to life through the use of motion capture technology. This technique involves capturing Nyong’o’s physical performance and facial expressions, which are then used as the basis for the digitally-created character. Despite the technological layers, Nyong’o’s performance shines through, making Maz one of the most memorable characters in the Star Wars sequel trilogy.
Image: Star Wars