J.J. Abrams and Lupita Nyong’o Give Details on Her 'The Force Awakens' Character

Lupita Nyong'o's character in "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" has been a huge mystery. “I have lived long enough to see the same eyes in different people. I see your eyes. I know your eyes,” Nyong'o says in the trailer for the film, but her physical self is no where to be found. Director J. J. Abrams and Nyong'o shared details about her mysterious role in the film in a new Entertainment Weekly article.

“Her history is that 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," Abrams says about Nyong'o's character, Maz Kanata.
Maz is one of the characters in the film that is created by digital artists using CG. “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,” he says. “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.”

This character is Nyong'o's first motion capture role. She was coached by Andy Serkis who plays Gollum in "The Lord of the Rings," and Caesar in "Rise of the Planet of the Apes."

“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,” she says.

"Star Wars: The Force Awakens" debuts on December 18.

View the Star War TV spot below.
Photo: Lucasfilm