Maz Kanata (Lupita Nyong’o)
What We Know: The reveal of Maz Kanata pulled the rug out from under Star Wars fans who were expecting to see Lupita Nyong’o in a Rebel jumpsuit or a Jedi robe. The space pirate was the first confirmed motion-capture creation involved in The Force Awakens, and also the first main character who is not a humanoid (as far as we know). We don’t know much about Kanata, except that she runs some sort of castle hideout for pirates and smugglers.
What’s Rumored: First off, Kanata’s lair is reportedly located on Yavin IV, the jungle planet the Rebels used as a base in A New Hope. This is rumored to be where Han Solo takes Rey and Finn after they escape the First Order, as Han is associates with Kanata because of his smuggling past.
More recent rumors indicate that Kanata receives a vision when she meets our heroes, revealing that Rey is Han and Leia’s daughter. Fans are speculating that this vision is triggered by the lightsaber Rey brings to Kanata, which may or may not be the same one shown in the second trailer. That alien-looking hand definitely could belong to Kanata.
Chances of Appearing: It’d be interesting to hear from Nyong’o about what it was like playing a motion-capture character. But I’m guessing Disney will more heavily favor the actors and actresses who portray themselves in the film, and from what we’ve heard, Kanata’s role doesn’t seem as significant as Supreme Leader Snoke, the other special effects-based role played by Andy Serkis.
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