Star Wars The Force Awakens Mysterious CG Character Detailed

Lupita Nyong'o and JJ Abrams share new details.


Despite the number of trailers, teasers, posters, and merchandising items that have been released for Star Wars: The Force Awakens in the past couple of months, there still is plenty of mystery about several of the characters. One is Maz Kanata, the alien played by Oscar-winning actress Lupita Nyong'o. But now some more details have emerged about her.

Maz Kanata is a CG creation, voiced and performed in a motion capture suit by Nyong'o. She can be heard speaking in the recent trailers and TV spot, and it has been confirmed that she appears on the poster for the movie. In an interview with EW this week, Nyong'o has provided a few more details about her role.

"Her history is that she was a pirate for a long time," she said. "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 interview states that Maz lives in a castle with "misfits and miscreants," and while the film itself won't provide too much of her backstory, these details will be revealed "in other channels."

Director JJ Abrams also spoke about the decision to make her a CG character, as opposed to using physical effects like most of the other aliens in The Force Awakens. "I wanted to do the creature as a puppet originally, but once we figured out the things that she was required to do, it felt like [performance capture] was the way to go," he said.

"Maz needed to look and feel and be just like one of those creatures. And given her mobility, and given the role that she played, it became clear that that was one creature where we should use the tool of CG. But the performance was all Lupita. She was there on set, and we did capture sessions afterwards as well, and I can't say enough about working with her."

Star Wars: The Force Awakens opens on December 18, 2016. It also stars John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, and Mark Hamill.

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