Lupita Nyong'o's Mystery 'Star Wars' Character Has Been in Plain Sight for Weeks

Maz Kanata debuted on the first poster for 'The Force Awakens' — and no one noticed.
Courtesy of Lucasfilm

Finally, one of the many mysteries surrounding Star Wars: The Force Awakens has been answered: That new character standing beside R2-D2 and C-3PO on the poster for the movie? That's Maz Kanata, the character voiced by Academy Award winner Lupita Nyong'o.

Director J.J. Abrams revealed the character's identity to Entertainment Weekly, also confirming that Nyong'o's voice can be heard in the TV spot for the movie, saying, "I have lived long enough to see the same eyes in different people. I see your eyes. I know your eyes."

The eyes, it turns out, are important for Maz. "I had some specific ideas about how she would work and what she would do," explained Abrams. "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."

Although Abrams was willing to share some backstory for the new character — "She was a pirate for a long time. … 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," he teased — he also said that her history won't be explored in The Force Awakens, but instead will be "coming out in other venues."

Time for a comic book called Journey to Star Wars: The Force Awakens — Maz Kanata, Space Pirate. Anyone? We're ready when you are, Marvel.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens opens Dec. 18.

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