Even more information from the upcoming film has come from the”Star Wars” bumper special issue of Entertainment Weekly, this time it is on Oscar-winning actress Lupita Nyong’o’s (“12 Years a Slave”) , Maz Kanata. We have heard much more than we have seen so far, with the tiny Alien’s voice featuring in the last couple of trailers. She seems to be particularly transfixed with someones eyes you will remember.
So what did J.J. Abrams divulge about Kanata, she’s very old and a former pirate and also runs a bar:
“Her history is that she was a pirate for a long time,” he says. “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.”
Her obsession with eyeballs, may have something to do with her own unique abilities, as Abrams discusses his ideas for the character:
“I had some specific ideas about how she would work and what she would do, I had this pitch about these goggles that she wore. Her eyes are an important aspect of her character, and you’ll see how it plays out.”
Abrams say we wont learn about here entire backstory in “The Force Awakens”, although fans should look out for canon material with further details on the characters history.
After the backlash of the very CG heavy prequels, Abrams put a emphasis on using practical effects, with one of the exceptions being that of CG Kanata:
“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”
However, Kanata will be surrounded by practical creatures and humans so which meant a monumental effort from the visual effects team. Even though the character is an entirely CG character. Nyong’o filmed on set with performance-capture technology, this will ensure all the actresses talents are fully utilized.
“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.”
Nyong’o had the best possible teacher for her performance capture role, “The Force Awakens” co-star Andy Serkis. Serkis plays the CG role of Supreme Leader Snoke, Nyong’o talks about her working relationship with the actor.
“The biggest advice he gave me, that was so important to hold on to, is a motion-capture character you develop the same way as any other. You have to understand who the character is and what makes them who they are.”
Will Maz Kanata be the next Yoda or the Next Jar Jar Binks? let us know what you think in the comments below.
“Star Wars: The Force Awakens” opens on December 18th and stars: Daisy Ridley, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Gwendoline Christie, Lupita Nyong’o, Domhnall Gleeson, Warwick Davis, Peter Mayhew, Kenny Baker, Andy Serkis, Max von Sydow and Mark Hamill.