ByChristina St-Jean, writer at
Mom to 2 awesome girls. Love teaching, love writing. Black belt recipient and always into Star Trek, Star Wars and Harry Potter!
Christina St-Jean

Lupita Nyong'o has put the rumors to rest with assurances that Maz Kanata, the tiny orange-skinned alien with a thing for Wookiees, will be returning for Star Wars Episode VIII.

The Oscar-winning actress admitted to Ellen Degeneres that rumors of the "pirate queen" not returning for Episode VIII of the latest Star Wars film saga were hurtful.

“Because I shot my scenes, so yeah, Star Wars 8, it’s coming out," she said, according to Radio Times. "You know, you never really know when you shoot your scenes in a movie which ones are going to make it and all that, so it’s always: ‘Fingers crossed!’ But as far as I know, I’m in it.”

Given the rather pivotal scene in which she acknowledges to Rey that the scavenger was experiencing the Force after her brief contact with Luke's lightsaber, it would be hard to envision Star Wars Episode VIII without Maz Kanata.

The actress has also been busy prepping for her part in the upcoming Black Panther movie. Nyong'o will be playing Nakia, who according to comic book lore is one of the "wives-in-training" for the king, T'Challa, who ultimately becomes Black Panther. Nyong'o seems excited about the prospect of pushing her body in what is sure to be an action-packed film.

Enca reports that Nakia will, in fact, be T'Challa's love interest in the film.

"I am so excited, I can't wait to kick ass and learn all things that my body can do," she said of taking on the action role.

Nyong'o has also joked that it seemed like since 12 Years a Slave, her breakout role, she's been largely a Disney or Marvel player. She admitted, however, that the prospect of working with both characters has been an exciting one.

Maz Kanata's return for Star Wars Episode VIII has already gotten fans of Star Wars: The Force Awakens wondering what exactly the pirate queen's full role in the saga will be. There was a lot of insight she provided to Rey about the Force as a whole. What sort of role might she play, if any, now that Rey has encountered Luke Skywalker? Now that Kylo Ren is set to fulfill his tutelage under Snoke, what further insight might Maz Kanata have for Rey and the rest of her crew?

The prospects for the character are enticing, but one thing's for sure — audiences will be seeing a lot more of Lupita Nyong'o in the Disney and Marvel stable of films.

Struggling to keep track of how everything falls into place for the upcoming films? The video below puts all of the Star Wars films into one, nice timeline. Check it out:

What are you most looking forward to in the upcoming Star Wars Episode VIII?


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