Maz Kanata in The Force Awakens

Nearly two years ago J.J. Abrams' Star Wars: The Force Awakens flew into theaters, welcoming in a new era in the beloved franchise. Aside from the standalone film that will expand the galaxy far, far away, the main trilogy has introduced a ton of new characters who are teaming up with franchise favorites like Luke Skywalker. One of the more mysterious and fascinating newcomers is Lupita Nyong'o's Maz Kanata, who has a relationship to The Force and gave Rey Luke's lightsaber. But those Star Wars fans who want to see her flirt with Chewie in The Last Jedi may be disappointed, because she won't have that large of a role in Rian Johnson's sequel. He recently opened up, saying:

She has a smaller part in this than she has in The Force Awakens, but it's a really fun part, and Lupita is so awesome, I'm just happy I got to work with her... This was my first time working with mo-cap characters and working with actors in that way, I feel like I got such an incredible education watching Lupita work.

That concept, which comes to us from EW, is certainly a bummer. Maz Kanata wasn't in all that much of The Force Awakens, so a smaller role means that there should be very little Maz in The Last Jedi. And we have a few more months to wonder about what that role might be.

Something tells me that Maz Kanata will likely help bridge the gap between The Return of the Jedi and the new trilogy. She somehow acquired Luke's original lightsaber after his hand was chopped off in Empire Strikes Back, and she seems to know quite a bit about the lost Jedi order. Perhaps Rey and Luke will both seek out the mysterious newcomer; her main link to the events of the last film died with Han, so her next appearance could be just about anything.

It should be interesting to see what type of footage from The Last Jedi is rolled out in the next few months. A bunch of new teasers arrived in the fall ahead of The Force Awakens, and hopefully we'll get a glimpse at Maz sometime soon. Then again, director Rian Johnson and Mark Hamill have both encouraged the fandom to steer clear of the upcoming marketing campaign, so they can have a truly surprising night in the movies come December. But considering how rabid the generations of Star Wars fans are, that's easier said than done.

All will be revealed in just a few months, as Star Wars: The Last Jedi will fly into theaters on December 15th. We'll be sure to update you on every update regarding the highly anticipated sequel, in the meantime you can check out our 2017 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.

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