Vanity Fair’s recent Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens cover story marked the first time that actress Lupita Nyong’o’s mo-capped character in the film was formally named. Rumors circulating the web suggested her character was “Rose.” As it turns out, Nyong’o’s The Force Awakens character is called “Maz Kanata,” leader of a band of pirates and ruler of a pirate castle.
Now that we know Maz’s name, all that’s left is to figure out what the presumably very alien-like character will look like. When I hear the word “pirate” within the Star Wars universe, I think back to The Clone Wars series and Hondo Ohnaka, a weequay species pirate leader whom had many pirates of the same species working under him. Are weequay, also seen as pirates in Jabba the Hutt’s gang, destined to be pirates? And if so, would it makes sense for Maz Kanata to be a weequay pirate?
Evidence loosely supporting this theory has recently surfaced from the same source, Indie Revolver, that has leaked numerous pieces of The Force Awakens concept art — including the first-ever look at Kylo Ren. Now they’re back with a piece of concept art purportedly of Maz Kanata in all her pirate glory.
There is absolutely no guarantee that what we’re looking at is the final rendition of Maz as she’ll be seen in the finished film. Given the confirmation of several Indie Revolver pieces of concept art thus far, I’d say it’s relatively close to Maz, red pirate headband and all.
Indie Revolver also suggests the alien handing Luke’s original lightsaber to Leia is Maz Kanata, even though the skin tone and facial features have visually departed from the concept art.
I personally like the design and feel it will fit nicely into the Star Wars universe, even if J.J. Abrams went out on a limb to hire a recent Academy Award-winning actress in Lupita Nyong’o to essentially have her appearance and likeness stripped away by a computer.