As we approach the release of The Rise of Skywalker, it is a good time to revisit character and plot choices in the previous films. Maz Kanata was seemingly introduced as a plot device in The Force Awakens and mostly abandoned in The Last Jedi. When will we have our questions answered?
“I am no Jedi. but I know the force,” Maz Kanata tells Rey as she takes her first step into a larger world.
This line, like the entire introduction of the orange alien, brings more questions than answers. She was introduced as a pirate, friend of Han, and the centerpiece of the cantina scene 2.0 as she offered vague wisdom to our heroes.
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Here’s what we know about Maz Kanata. She’s very old, like, “older than Yoda” old. She has some kind of ambiguous connection to the Force.
And oh yeah, and she has Luke’s lightsaber.
With her role in The Force Awakens bringing along a catalog of questions, The Last Jedi seemed destined to address at least a portion of these questions.
Despite her vague credentials, her initial presentation was that of a wise mentor for an aspiring Jedi. This relationship wasn’t exactly developed in The Last Jedi after what appears to be a major disconnect between films.
Her entire role in The Last Jedi was whittled down to moving the plot from point-A to point-B through a hologram appearance and a bizarre innuendo. None of these questions were addressed and even dismissed in The Force Awakens and outright ignored in The Last Jedi.
This says nothing about one of the biggest plot holes in the saga so far. How did Maz Kanata get the Skywalker lightsaber?
This detail seems to be all the more important thus far in the saga given Rey’s connection to the lightsaber and the dispute with Kylo Ren as to who should be the rightful owner. This is undoubtedly one of the biggest points of contention among fans in regards to the use of the character in The Last Jedi.
If the lightsaber holds a symbolic and plot significance, it should be expected that there would be an explanation at some point. That just wasn’t the case and time is running out to give a big-screen explanation.
Considering all of the unaddressed details surrounding the character in the previous films, what exactly is the role or point of Maz Kanata in the saga?
She never shared more than two scenes with Rey. It was never explained how she found the lightsaber. It was never explained how she knows so much about the Force.
It’s possible some of these plot points are revisited and addressed in The Rise of Skywalker. However, I would expect many of these questions to be answered in other mediums such as comics or novels, which would be largely disappointing means to address these plot holes. To me, the lack of development and clarity surrounding Maz Kanata shows the disconnect between The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi. Maybe J.J. Abrams will find a better use for the character in The Rise Of Skywalker.
Or maybe Lucasfilm will save Maz Kanata for another story for another time.