clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

J.J. Abrams talks about Lupita Nyong'o's Force Awakens character, Maz Kanata

Lupita Nyong'o's character in Star Wars: The Force Awakens is still shrouded in mystery, but the film's director has finally revealed some more information.

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, J.J. Abrams elaborated on the rumors surrounding Maz Kanata, the alien creature with an incredible ability that stems from the almost comical-sized goggles she sports on her face.

"I had this pitch about these goggles she wore," Abrams said. "Her eyes are an important aspect of her character, and you'll see how it all plays out."

Abrams refused to go into further detail about what the goggles can do specifically, but fans may have a little more to go off of than they thought.

Abrams confirmed it was Maz Kanata's voice that narrated the first television spot for the film that aired this past weekend. In the spot, Kanata says, "I have lived long enough to see the same eyes in different people. I see your eyes. I know your eyes." Although it's unclear who Kanata is speaking to, considering the spot focuses on Rey (Daisy Ridley), it's not too far of a jump to assume that Kanata and Rey will meet up at some point in the film.

Lupita Nyong'o

The interview also revealed a little more of Kanata's history, including that she's been a space pirate for quite some time and has lived for "over a thousand years." Most interestingly, Abrams let on that Kanata has been the owner of a tiny bar, tucked away in the corner of the galaxy, for about a century. Whether or not this bar will tie into the infamous cavern from the first film is unknown, as Abrams wouldn't elaborate any more on the subject.

Despite all of this new information, fans shouldn't expect to learn much more in the movie, as Abrams hinted that her backstory will be distributed through other creative avenues including canonical video games and books.

Still, for Nyong'o, the role was an interesting move away from what she's been trained to do. The Academy Award-winning actress couldn't say much in her own interview with the magazine, but admitted that playing a CGI character and going through the motion capture process was daunting.

I see your eyes. I know your eyes

With Abrams' help, however, she added that she became much more comfortable navigating through different scenes. Being able to play a role that leaned so heavily on communicating mainly through simple eye movements and distinct looks, Nyong'o said, was a welcomed challenge.

Those that want a closer look at Kanata are in luck. Abrams confirmed that the tiny alien is tucked away in the center of the official poster, just behind BB-8 and R2-D2.

The next official TV spot for the film will air on ABC tonight, right before the network's three-hour "TGIT" block of programming.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens will open in theaters on Dec. 18.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for Patch Notes

A weekly roundup of the best things from Polygon