The Star Wars canon is killing it with a universe beyond the films — connecting all television series, books, comics and even video game campaigns together in meaningful and fascinating ways. Maz Kanata and Jyn Erso are two of the many exciting characters added to the new canon in The Force Awakens and Rogue One, but they may have a connection beyond the films that introduced them.
The Force-sensitive pirate queen and unlikely hero of the Rebellion made their marks in different time periods with an even greater contrast in their attitudes. In her castle, Maz creates a space for the melting-pot galaxy, interacting with all types of individuals. She encourages Han Solo, Rey and Finn to stand up and fight evil head-on via the Resistance. Meanwhile, Jyn spends much of her life on her own, trying to avoid the conflict between the Empire and Rebellion, just staying alive with her head down. Yet the novel Rebel Rising by Beth Revis, which provides insight into Jyn and Saw Gerrera prior to #RogueOne, offers a clue that Jyn and Maz may have met and formed a partnership, despite different time periods and attitudes.
Talking About Takodana
Towards the end of Rebel Rising, Jyn reflects on bouncing from planet to planet the last couple years. She worked odd jobs that kept her afloat while steering clear of the Empire and Rebellion.
"Where had she been? In the Anoat system, working on a Tibanna gas tanker. Bouncing around the Mid Rim for a bit—Cerea and Coyerti—before settling in Takodana for nearly a year" (Revis 370).
The planet Takodana stands out in the passage as it's featured prominently in #TheForceAwakens. Takodana is the planet on which Rey first touches Luke Skywalker's lightsaber, she faces Kylo Ren for the first time, audiences experience the first battle between the First Order and Resistance and that emotional reunion between Han and Leia occurs.
Prior to the arrival of the First Order in The Force Awakens, it seems that thanks to Maz, Takodana is a generally peaceful, neutral world where individuals can congregate. In the novel Ahsoka, it's revealed that after the attempted uprising she led on the farming moon Raada, everyone's favorite Togruta considered lying low on Takodana, likely because of the planet's peaceful, neutral reputation.
Still, given the recent introduction and importance of Takodana, it seems like an odd choice to throw into a passage featuring lesser known systems, particularly given the emphasis on how Jyn settled into Takodana for nearly a year. Someone or something convinced Jyn to stay there for a while instead of jumping to a new planet as soon as possible.
Fans know Maz has been on Takodana a long time. When they arrive at her castle in The Force Awakens, Han tells Finn and Rey that Maz "has run this watering hole for a thousand years." Maz would definitely be alive during Jyn's time on Takodana. Given Maz's status on the planet, it's unlikely that Jyn spent nearly a year there without ever encountering the pirate queen or stepping foot inside her castle to find work. An insightful, Force-sensitive being like Maz would definitely notice Jyn's kyber crystal necklace, despite the scarf used to hide it. But Maz isn't petty and would at least have an inkling of what the kyber crystal means to Jyn and her past. Instead, Maz would be drawn to Jyn's no-nonsense attitude, her coding replicator skills and, above all, a woman with all the capabilities to fight the galaxy's greatest evils. Feeling that Jyn's time to stand up and make a difference was still to come, Maz wouldn't encourage Jyn to outright join the Rebellion like she she tells Han, Rey and Finn.
It is more likely that Maz avoided talking more than necessary about the Empire and focused mostly on business, keeping Jyn around and well-paid as she uses her coding replicator skills to move cargo past Imperial blockades. At this point, Jyn had learned not to get attached to anyone, so she wouldn't develop any kind of relationship with Maz outside of business, but it would be a profitable enough relationship to keep Jyn on Takodana for a year.
How This Could Be Incorporated Into Canon
The idea that Jyn and Maz not only met, but forged a business relationship is an intriguing idea, but where would this series of events be shown in the #StarWars canon? As wonderful a character as Jyn may be, she is unlikely to even be mentioned in the sequel trilogy, especially since she ended up being such an unsung hero of the Rebellion. Also, Maz's role in The Last Jedi seemed small and mostly revolving around introducing the mysterious DJ, played by Benicio Del Toro. Thankfully the canon is much larger than just the sequel trilogy, leaving three viable options for fans to experience a Jyn-Maz encounter.
The first and most likely scenario is to show the characters meeting in Star Wars: Forces of Destiny. These short, animated adventures highlight the incredible women of Star Wars and are canon material. Felicity Jones and Lupita Nyong'o have already voiced their respective characters in Forces of Destiny: Jyn got her own episode in "The Stranger" but Maz was never seen, her voice only used to narrate the introduction of each episode. Future episodes can give Maz a greater role by showing her meeting Jyn on Takodana and the two of them becoming business partners. Forces of Destiny tends to provide action, so perhaps Jyn and Maz can take down some unruly guests at the castle, both earning each other's respect as they begin working together.
The second scenario is for the characters to be introduced to each other in a future Maz Kanata novel or comic. There is no confirmation of such a work, but given Maz's mysterious, rich history, it seems like a perfect contribution to the canon. The novel or comic likely wouldn't be released until after Star Wars: Episode IX in order to take full advantage of the mystery surrounding Maz.
The third and least likely scenario is that the meeting could occur in the untitled standalone Han Solo movie. Since the movie will focus on Han and Chewie during their early smuggling days, it seems like a prime opportunity to incorporate Maz and offer insight into her history with everyone's favorite scoundrel and Wookie. Adding in Jyn seems like a bit much for the movie, though, and would likely end up distracting and confusing. There's also the issue that Jyn wasn't on Takodana long before she ended up in the labor camps of Wobani and thus when audiences first see her as an adult in Rogue One. With Rogue One taking place right before A New Hope, that would place the meeting dangerously close to seeing Han Solo played by Harrison Ford. It's doubtful the Han Solo movie will stray too close to then in order to avoid issues of why Alden Ehrenreich looks different from Harrison Ford, among other issues.
I predict a Jyn-Maz encounter will occur in an upcoming Forces of Destiny episode, with their partnership further fleshed out in a future novel or comic focused on Maz Kanata. In the meantime, all Jyn Erso fans should read Rebel Rising to learn more about the character's fascinating backstory.
Do you think we'll ever experience a Jyn-Maz meeting? Share your opinion in the comments below.