When the Force Awakens was released in 2015, the world was introduced to Maz Kanata, a force-sensitive female known as the “Pirate Queen”. Throughout the film, there wasn’t any signs to suggest how Maz got to where she is now, and also, how she ended up with Luke Skywalkers lightsaber. As the Last Jedi is drawing closer, I decided to do some digging to find out as much as I can about Maz and here is what was uncovered.
Maz (Played by Lupita Nyong’o) is a humanoid with force capabilities who was born over a millennium before the war between the Resistance and the First Order.
“Through the ages…I’ve seen evil take many forms. The Sith. The Empire. Today, it is the First Order. Their shadow is spreading across the galaxy. We must face them. Fight them. All of us.“―Kanata.
Maz spent her earlier years residing in the criminal underworld on her home planet of Takodana before she began to reside in an ancient castle which was also home to protocol droid ME-8D9 who has past affiliations to the Jedi order. As Maz’s reputation began to grow, her former husband gifted her with a statue of herself to sit outside her castle, which was destroyed when the First Order invaded during the events of Episode VII.
The “Pirate Queen” of Takodana
After finishing her spell in the criminal world, she decided to spend time travelling around the galaxy in order to collect antiques and other treasures. With her collection being stored in her castle. One of the most notable items that was discovered on her travels, was a lightsaber, but no just any lightsaber, it was the lightsaber that was crafted and wielded by Anakin Skywalker and also his son Luke Skywalker.
“That lightsaber was Luke’s. And his father’s before him. And now, it calls to you.”―Kanata, to Rey.
As we saw in the Force Awakens, the lightsaber calls out to Rey via the force, and as a result of this, Maz offers to let Rey keep the weapon. Overwhelmed by what she sees in the force vision, Rey decides to run away, declining Maz’s offer which leads to her being captured by Kylo Ren and the First Order.
Prior to the events of Episode VII, Maz became known as the “Pirate Queen”. She began to give credits, equipments and connections to smugglers as well as allowing the smugglers to stay in her home as long as they honoured her wishes with regards to politics and war.
Maz was also a fan of music, and would offer travelling musicians a place to stay in exchange for performances.
The Rise of the Empire
“You are no friend of the Empire, which is something we have in common. It seems our Imperial rivals have been collecting an…uncomfortable amount of information on me. I would like you to focus on a few targets I’ve tracked down on each world. Complete my objectives, and I will repay the favour.” ―Maz Kanata, hiring a mercenary.
As Maz is force sensitive and also centuries of years old, she was alive to witness Darth Sidious. Initially, she would use her connection to the force in order to gain Jedi allies and receive protection when necessary, but, as Order 66 began and the Jedi order were being executed, Maz kept her abilities a secret in order to survive.
The Build up to Episode VIII: The Last Jedi
The events of the Force Awakens show that Maz has been affiliated with Han Solo and Chewbacca for over 30 years and they have a long history working alongside one another. It was also apparent that she is able to look into the souls of others by looking them in the eyes as she does with Finn.
“If you live long enough, you see the same eyes in different people. I’m looking at the eyes of a man who wants to run.” – Maz Kanata to Finn.
Luke’s lightsaber was in her castle, which when asked by Han how she came to possess the weapon, she replied by saying it was a story for another time, which could be explored during the Last Jedi.
It is clear to see that Maz has a large back story and has seen a lot during her time, it is also clear that she is willing to share her vast amounts of knowledge with the likes of Rey and Finn resembling a mentor type of figure to them as seen before when Yoda was training Luke Skywalker when he visited the Dagobah system.
With regards to the Last Jedi, Maz won’t get as much screen time as she did in Episode VII. Nevertheless, it has been revealed that she is the one who introduces the Resistance to DJ, a character being played by Benicio Del Toro who becomes increasingly important to the plot line, but in order to do this Maz has been forced to step back into the criminal underworld.
Episode VIII: The Last Jedi is set to be released on December 15th, and we will begin to see how the character of Maz Katana develops.