Who is Maz Kanata? The character played by Lupita Nyong'o has been a secret... or so we thought. It turns out that she's right in the middle of the poster for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, looking at us the whole time.
Talking to EW JJ Abrams explains that Maz is the new film's wise old weirdo.
“Her history is that she was a pirate for a long time,” he says. “She’s lived over a thousand years. She’s had this watering hole for about a century, and it’s like another bar that you’d find in a corner of the Star Warsuniverse.”
What kind of species is she? What is her homeworld? “All that backstory will be forthcoming,” Abrams says. “In the movie, you don’t learn these things, but I know that these are things that are coming out in other venues.”
Abrams revealed something else: Maz's eyes are special in some way.
“I had this pitch about these goggles that she wore. Her eyes are an important aspect of her character, and you’ll see how it plays out.”
Which I guess means that her dialogue in the new TV spot:
"I have lived long enough to see the same eyes in different people. I have seen your eyes, I know your eyes!"
carries some meaning. But what? We're about a month from finding out.