Which Actor Plays Maz in ‘Star Wars?’

This humanoid held onto Luke Skywalker’s lightsaber and gave it to Rey. She helped Finn, Poe, and Rose find the master codebreaker. Now, Maz Kanata is back for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. Who plays this iconic and eccentric Star Wars character? Find out about the award-winning actress behind the CGI, here.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Lupita Nyong’o | Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/WireImage

‘Star Wars’ fans first met Maz Kanata in ‘Episode VII: The Force Awakens’

Maz Kanata was introduced to Star Wars as a friend of Han Solo in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Within minutes, the character reads Finn, explaining he is a man who wants to run. She also asks about Chewbacca, saying he is her boyfriend.

Viewers are not exactly sure how Maz met Han, but according to Star Wars Fandom, Maz got a reputation from allowing smugglers to stay in her home. She became known as the “pirate queen.”

Additionally, it was Maz who held onto Luke Skywalker’s lightsaber. How she got it, fans are not exactly sure, but she managed to give it to Rey before the First Order arrived on her planet.

Maz enjoyed a brief cameo in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, telling Poe, Finn, and Rose how to find the master code-breaker. She, unfortunately, was caught in a legal dispute, otherwise, she’d help them herself.

Lupita Nyong'o
Lupita Nyong’o attends The 2019 Met Gala | Photo by Rabbani and Solimene Photography/WireImage

Lupita Nyong’o is an Academy Award-winning actress

One of Hollywood’s most beloved actresses, Lupita Nyong’o starred in many world-renowned movies. In 2013, Lupita won the Academy Award, “Best Actress in a Supporting Role,” for portraying Patsey in 12 Years a Slave. In 2018, she starred as Nakia in Marvel’s Black Panther.

Recently, the actress starred in Jordan Peele’s horror flick, Us. Lupita played two characters in this film, one with a raspy, intense voice. Fans already speculate an award nomination for her dual performance.

Aside from horror films and dramas, Lupita starred in the Star Wars sequel trilogy as Maz Kanata. Reportedly, the scenes Lupita was in for The Force Awakens were shot with a motion capture suit, so she could still act out her character’s movement. According to Variety, preparing the suit and shooting her scenes sometimes took upwards of two hours.

12 Years a Slave was a film that was so much about my body, and Star Wars is not at all. There was a liberation in being able to play in a medium where my body was not the thing in question,” Nyong’o said in an interview with BuzzFeed News. “The acting challenge I was looking for was completely different, a complete departure from 12 Years a Slave.”

Maz returns in ‘Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker’

The final installment of the Star Wars sequel trilogy premieres later this year. Not much is known regarding the plot of this new movie. However, according to IMDB, Lupita Nyong’o will reprise her role as Maz in The Rise of Skywalker.

Episode IX also includes prominent actors Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, and Billy Dee Williams. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker premieres in the United States on December 20, 2019.