How Maz Kanata Had An Effect On The Return Of The Jedi

Leia disguised as Boushh in Return of the Jed

There are few film franchises quite as significant as Star Wars. The beloved space opera has been passed down across generations, as each trilogy of films introduce the galaxy far, far away to new audiences. The original fans have gotten a treat with the current set of movies, as it directly connects to the original trilogy, and brought back the trio of iconic heroes in Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, and Harrison Ford. All sort of connections are being made between those two trilogies, and no we've learned that Maz Kanata actually had a part to play in Return of the Jedi. Namely, that she helped Leia and Chewie plan for the rescue of Han in Return of the Jedi.

The Star Wars franchise is expanding its universe greatly in the next few years. In addition to Rian Johnson's upcoming trilogy of new films, there is also the animated series Star Wars Forces of Destiny. The show will help bridge the gap between films, and certainly did just that with its newest episode. It turns out that it was Maz Kanata's idea to get Leia the armor of bounty hunter Boushh. This ultimately allowed her to infiltrate Jabba's lair in Return of the Jedi, part of the multi-tiered plan to rescue Han Solo from being frozen in carbonite.

Episode 6 of Star Wars Forces of Destiny will focus on this particular adventure, once against bringing Lupita Nyong'o's Maz Kanata into the action of the beloved franchise. Maz was one of the most mysterious characters when she debuted in The Force Awakens, and was revealed to have close bonds with Han and Chewie, and a knowledge of The Force. She even was in possession of Luke's original lightsaber, which he lost during the conflict with Vader in Empire Strikes Back.

Unfortunately, Maz was all but absent in Rian Johnson's Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Because the story was capsulated into just a day or so, there wasn't a logical way to get Maz in on the action. She was ultimately seen in a brief hologram, informing Finn about the Master Codebreaker on Canto Bight that could help the Resistance fleet escape from The First Order.

You can check out a brief clip of Leia and Maz Kanata meeting below, courtesy of Star Wars Forces of Destiny.

Fun, right?

It's exciting for Star Wars fans to become privy to these changes in the canon, and to allow the three trilogies to be more connected. Leia's disguise in Return of the Jedi is pretty iconic (just not as much as the gold bikini), and now any re-watch of Episode VI will have just a taste of Maz Kanata's presence.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi is available On Demand now, and for home purchase on March 27. In the meantime, check out our 2018 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.

Corey Chichizola
Movies Editor

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Graduated with degrees theater and literature from Ramapo College of New Jersey. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his favorite actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid. He's particularly proud of covering horror franchises like Scream and Halloween, as well as movie musicals like West Side Story. Favorite interviews include Steven Spielberg, Spike Lee, Jamie Lee Curtis, and more.