J.J. AbramsStar Wars: The Force Awakens director and co-writer, has revealed some very interesting details about Oscar-winner, Lupita Nyong’o‘s role in the upcoming flick.

Lupita Nyong’o ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ Character Revealed

The latest TV spot for the eagerly awaited franchise reboot opens with the following dialogue, spoken by a character we do not see:

“I have lived long enough to see the same eyes in different people. I see your eyes. I know your eyes.”

Fans speculated the voice was Nyong’o’s and Abrams, speaking to Entertainment Weekly, has confirmed they were correct. “That’s Maz,” the director said, short for Maz Kanata, Nyong’o’s character in the film.

No glimpse of the character has been given in any trailer material but the alien creature, which Nyong’o played using motion-capture technology, does appear in the film’s official poster, albeit in teeny-tiny, blink-and-you’ll-miss-it form.

Lupita Nyong'o as Maz Kanata in "Star Wars: The Force Awakens"

Lupita Nyong’o as Maz Kanata in “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”

The character (left) is clearly diminutive in stature and wears goggles that Abrams says bear significance for her role.

“I had some specific ideas about how she would work and what she would do,” Abrams says. “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.”

Nyong’o kept vague on the specifics of the character’s eyes but revealed they possess a kind of magic.

“As an actor for films, your eyes are a lot of the way you communicate anyway,” Nyong’o said. “So it was definitely a gift to have that be the means to her magic as a motion-capture character.”
In an unusually generous mood, the famously secretive Abrams also gave a few tidbits on the character’s back story:

“Her history is that she was a pirate for a long time,” he said. “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.”

EW speculates Maz serves as a kind of Yoda-figure for the new film, a mysterious and wise old sage who might offer our heroes, played by newcomers Daisy Ridley and John Boyega, a helping hand or guiding light when they need it most.

Abrams originally wanted to go old-school and create the character using the same puppetry skills that were used to create Yoda in the original trilogy, but upon realizing the scope of what the character would have to do instead opted for CGI and mo-cap technology.

Nyong'o in motion-capture technolgy suit Was Used To Create Maz Kanata

Nyong’o in motion-capture technolgy suit

The role marked Nyong’o’s first experience with motion-capture technology and while she was initially daunted by the new challenge, sound advice from Abram’s helped her through the process.

“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.”

The Force Awakens is due out Dec. 18.