BySean Erickson, writer at
Exploring the area between movie geek and film nerd.
Sean Erickson

Caution, dear reader, possible Star Wars 7 spoilers follow.

The huge Star Wars Episode 7: The Force Awakens feature in the recent issue of Vanity Fair was so packed with hints, teases and reveals that it is still getting unpacked. One of the biggest reveals was on Lupita Nyong’o and her character Maz Kanata - someone who was constantly popping up in scene descriptions and the general rumors and plot leaks that have been surfacing for months. Now, with the help of the Vanity Fair article, many of the pieces surrounding this important Star Wars Episode 7 character are starting to fall into place.

From Rose to Maz Kanata

The character was long being referred to as "Rose", and the best description we had was that she is the owner of a "pub" that the characters of Daisy Ridely's Rey, John Boyega's Finn and Harrison Ford's Han Solo end up at to get some schooling about the legendary lightsaber that falls into their hands. This was always a little questionable - even though there was some supporting concept art that supported this claim from very early on.

Rey and Max Kanata in Star Wars 7 concept art.
Rey and Max Kanata in Star Wars 7 concept art.

Besides the fact that the Vanity Fair feature cleared up the characters name from the unlikely Rose to the more Star Wars appropriate Maz Kanata, the biggest reveal was what kind of pub she is associated with, and it is now clear that this is more of the "cantina" establishment that we saw in the first Star Wars movie. It's the kind of haven for pirates, bounty hunters and smugglers that is the perfect environment for Han Solo to seek information - which is exactly what appears to be happening early on in Star Wars Episode 7.

From Jakku to the Millennium Falcon

Exactly how Rey and Finn end up in the company of Han Solo and Chewbacca is still a little fuzzy, but descriptions on Making Star Wars have Rey and Finn frantically looking for an escape off of Jakku - the desert planet where we've see the two running from explosions on in the second Star Wars 7 teaser trailer. And it is at this point they find the Millennium Falcon and this begins the chase sequence that we've seen bits from in both trailers.

The Millennium Falcon & Tie Fighter on Jakku.
The Millennium Falcon & Tie Fighter on Jakku.

And it is from here, after the Flacon has evaded the Tie Fighters, that Han Solo takes us to see Maz Kanata for some answers. Star Wars 7 News has a great new breakdown of many of the elements making up the meeting between Han Solo, Rey, Finn and Maz Kanata. The post gives some interesting details on many of the characters featured in the Vanity Fair photo spread of the eclectic group of characters that are featured in Maz Katana's cantina. It even teases the possibility that we'll hear some more Star Wars cantina music in Episode 7!

The cast of characters in Maz Kanata's cantina.
The cast of characters in Maz Kanata's cantina.

Tracing Poe Dameron's Roots

The other tantalizing bit of recent Star Wars Episode 7 news was regarding Oscar Isaac's character of Poe Dameron. When the actor was asked about his own Latin roots and how they fit into the world and many planets and moons of the Star Wars galaxy, the actor had a very revealing response.

"What's actually very interesting is that Yavin ... at the end of the very first 'Star Wars' ... that last scene was shot in Guatemala and you know, I think that Poe Dameron is from that planet ... and that's a beautiful coincidence."

It makes sense - and it would be a beautiful coincidence for the actor who was born in Guatemala to be from Yavin 4 - the moon that used the Guatemalan landscape of Tikal, with its protruding Mayan ruins, to represent it on film.

What do you think? How big of a role do you think Maz Katana is playing in [Star Wars: Episode VII — The Force Awakens](tag:711158)? Is she the one that sets Han, Rey and Finn on their path to finding Luke Skywalker? Give us your favorite theories and rumors in the comments section below!


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