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I am no Jedi, but I know the Force.
―Maz Kanata to Rey[src]


Maz Kanata is a character in the Star Wars sequel trilogy. Maz owns a castle with a cantina on the forest planet of Takodana, where she hosts various riff-raff and pirate gangs. She owned the lightsaber that belonged to Luke Skywalker and his father in her cantina which she gave to Finn after Rey refused it, but later Rey claims it for herself. Having lived well over 1,000 years, she is highly knowledgeable and wise, with an ability to see into people's hearts by using the Force.

Background

Powers and Abilities

Powers

  • The Force: Though she is not a Jedi, being Force-sensitive and having lived for more than a millennium, Maz has vast knowledge of the Force on how it works.
    • Force Sense: Maz utilizes Force sense to sense another sentient being's emotions, the future, ripples in the Force caused by momentous or traumatic events, impending danger and the presence of the dark side; she was able to sense Han Solo's return to Takodana, after his twenty-five-year absence.
  • Extended Longevity: Maz has lived well over a thousand years, making her one of the oldest sentient beings in the galaxy.

Abilities

  • Knowledge of the Force: Because of her longevity, Maz has gained vast knowledge of the Force. However, she herself said she is not a Jedi and had not learned how to gain abilities with the Force, other than extrasensory abilities.

Film Appearances

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Maz Kanata first appears in her cantina on Takodana, where she meets with Han Solo, Rey, Finn and BB-8. There, Han explained that the droid BB-8 contained a map leading to Luke Skywalker, and that it needed to be delivered to his wife, the Resistance General Leia Organa, with whom Han had become estranged. Maz refused to help him, saying that Solo had been avoiding the fight for too long, and he needed to go home. Though Finn objected, Rey asked what fight they were up against, Maz explained that it was the dark side of the Force, which over the course of the millennium of her life, had taken up the forms of the Sith, Galactic Empire and First Order.

Maz went on to argue that they should all oppose the spreading of the First Order, but Finn insisted that a fight against the First Order could not be won. As Finn spoke, Maz crawled up onto the table, and looked into Finn's eyes, saying that he had the eyes of a man who wanted to run. Finn, telling her she did not know the things he had seen, suggested that they all needed to run. Resigned, Maz climbed down from the table and directed Finn to two pirates who would trade work for transportation to the galaxy's Outer Rim Territories, Sidon Ithano, and Quiggold. Finn stood up and left, and when Rey went after him, Maz asked Han who she was. Han then explained that she was a young scavenger from Jakku and wished to return to the planet, due to Rey's belief that her parents would come looking for her there.

Maz then went to speak with Rey, finding her with BB-8 in a lower level hall, stumbling out of a storeroom and looking shaken. Rey, who had a vision after coming into contact with the Skywalker lightsaber, asked Maz what it was, saying she regretted entering the room. Maz explained that the lightsaber belonged to Luke and his father before him, and it was then calling to her. Rey responded by insisting she return to Jakku, but Kanata, removing her goggles and taking the girl's hand, told her that she already knew the truth: whomever Rey was waiting for would never be coming back. However, Maz added that while no one from Rey's past was returning, someone in the future still could, and that what Rey sought was not behind her, but ahead.

Maz admitted that she was not a Jedi herself, but she still knew the Force, explaining that it moved through and surrounded every living thing. Instructing Rey to close her eyes and feel the light side of the Force, the pirate told the scavenger that it would always guide her, and that the girl should keep the lightsaber. However, Rey stated that she would never touch the weapon again, and that she wanted nothing to do with the Force. Maz stammered as Rey, followed by BB-8, ran from the hall, leaving the pirate alone with her thoughts.

Shortly after Rey left, patrons of the castle hurried outside to witness the destruction of the New Republic's capital, Hosnian Prime, visible in the sky above. Finn deduced it was an act of the First Order, and he regrouped with Solo and Chewbacca, asking where Rey was. Maz approached the group and told them that Rey was where she needed to be, and said there was something they should see. The pirate led them to the storeroom where Rey was, and she presented the lightsaber to Finn. Han Solo, who had been a close friend of Luke's, asked where Maz had gotten the weapon (which he remembered using on Hoth), but she dismissed him, saying it was a story for another time. Telling Finn to find Rey, Maz passed the lightsaber to him, knowing it would prove useful for the fight to come. Before they left the room, the castle shook, signaling the arrival of the First Order, and the hallway collapsed as First Order TIE fighters leveled the castle. Led by Chewbacca, the four cleared a tunnel to the surface, where the Wookiee and Solo immediately joined the battle against the First Order troops.

Finn and Maz exited next, and the pirate ordered Finn to find and help Rey and BB-8. However, Finn insisted that he needed a weapon first, so Maz reminded him that he already had one, seizing his wrist which held the lightsaber. Finn activated the blade and entered the fight alongside Solo and Chewbacca until forces of the Resistance arrived to provide support. However, despite the Resistance's arrival and the retreat of the First Order's forces, Finn was unable to prevent Rey from being taken captive by Kylo Ren. In the battle's aftermath, Maz spoke with BB-8, telling the droid that although the First Order took Rey, they could not give up hope, and the Resistance needed the astromech's help. Maz then walked over to Finn, joking that she had some cleaning up to do. Looking up at Finn, she smiled with satisfaction, noting that she no longer saw the eyes of a coward, but the eyes of a warrior.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Man Kanata makes a brief appearance in the film, communicating with Finn, Rose Tico and Poe Dameron, as she finds herself in a blaster dight with her own employees before telling them to find the hacker, to penetrate the encryption codes for Supreme Leader Snoke's flagship, the Supremacy, so they can hack its tracking systems.

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

Maz Kanata appears to start helping the Resistance in the war against the First Order as she's seen in their new base on Ajan Kloss. When it was discovered that Darth Sidious had returned from the dead and had created the First Order from the shadows while building a huge Sith armada, Maz proposed that if they wanted to stop Sidious, they need to find his location, Exegol, before Rey spoke to General Organa that she found a way to get there by retrieving a Sith wayfinder.

When Leia Organa decided to reach out to her son as she was slowly dying, Maz knew what Leia needed to do to save him. Leia eventually managed to use the last of her energy to reach her son and Rey during their duel before she died. A funeral was held for the late Alderaan princess where Maz sadly looked upon Leia's dead body and bid her farewell.

After the battle on Exegol, Maz saw Leia's body had become one with the Force at the same time Ben Solo vanished due to transferring his life force to revive Rey. Upon witnessing this, Maz smiled as she knew that Leia was now at peace. When the Resistance returned to Ajan Kloss to celebrate the Final Order and Sidious' defeat, Maz presented Chewbacca with Han Solo's Medal of Bravery which he earned after the Battle of Yavin as she knew that Han would want his friend to have it.

Television Appearances

Star Wars Rebels

Her voice can be heard when Ezra Bridger is wondering in the Word Between Worlds. It is possible to hear Maz speaking to Rey in a scene set in the future that happens in The Force Awakens, where she tells Rey that her parents will never come back and that the belonging she seeks is ahead.

Star Wars: Forces of Destiny

Maz appears in the animated miniseries with Lupita Nyong'o reprising her role. She is the one who narrates the intro of the shorts,[1] and the character makes an appearance during the episode "Bounty Hunted".

Trivia

  • Maz is one of the only characters in the film to be portrayed entirely by CGI motion capture in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, alongside Snoke.
  • Maz is the oldest character in the Star Wars universe.
  • Upon hearing Maz say that someone in the future might still come back for her, Rey interpreted it as being Luke Skywalker. However, in The Last Jedi, while Luke is very reluctant to teach or even listen to her, she seeks comfort in Kylo Ren, someone that has similar feelings of loneliness and family abandonment, thus he is able to understand and sympathize with her. Additionally, this dialogue also heavily foreshadows Rey helping to bring Ben Solo back to the light side in The Rise of Skywalker.
  • According to the special effects supervisor of The Force Awakens, in a rough cut of the deleted scene where Maz, Han Solo, Chewbacca and Finn are found by Stormtroopers in her castle, she uses the Force to collapse the ceiling on the troopers.[2]

Gallery

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 "Star Wars highlights female heroes in Forces of Destiny — first look". Entertainment Weekly (April 13, 2017).
  2. "Maz Kanata". Wookieepedia. Retrieved on July 21, 2020.


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See Also
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