J.J. Abrams Talks STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS; Plus New Lupita Nyong'o Still

We still haven't seen the alien character that Lupita Nyong'o (12 Years A Slave) will play in Star Wars: The Force Awakens -- unless you count that brief glimpse of her handing over the lightsaber in the latest trailer -- but thanks to Vanity Fair's recent coverage of the movie, we now know her name and profession at least: Maz Kanata, space pirate.

Above we have a new behind-the-scenes snap of Nyong'o performing a mo-cap scene as Maz, but below we have a new excerpt from J.J. Abrams' interview with the mag. The director reveals that his film will recall certain things from the earlier instalments in the saga, but suggests that they also held back on including some stuff that could have seemed forced.

"We've obviously had a lot of time [during the development process] to talk about what’s happened outside of the borders of the story that you’re seeing. So there are, of course, references to things, and some are very oblique so that hopefully the audience can infer what the characters are referring to. We used to have more references to things that we pulled out because they almost felt like they were trying too hard to allude to something. I think that the key is—and whether we’ve accomplished that or not is, of course, up to the audience—but the key is that references be essential so that you don’t reference a lot of things that feel like, oh, we’re laying pipe for, you know, an animated series or further movies. It should feel like things are being referenced for a reason."

Starring original cast members Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew, Kenny Baker and franchise newcomers, John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, Gwendoline Christie, Lupita Nyong’o and Max von Sydow, Star Wars Episode VII is set to be released on December 18th, 2015.

Source: Vanity Fair

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