Tag Archives: Maz Kanata

Maz Kanata and Supreme Leader Snoke Official Character Photos

Two of the most enigmatic characters in Star Wars: The Force Awakens are finally getting an official photo release, as Disney/Lucasfilm have just released these new character stills

The movie has just passed Titanic and is now on the precipice of becoming the highest domestic grossing US film in history (un-adjusted with inflation) so there’s ‘No Spoilers’ as many of you will have already laid eyes on the barkeeper Maz Kanata and the Supreme Leader Snoke.

Prior to this release, the only publicly available shots were of Lupita Nyong’o in her performance capture make-up as Maz, a tiny glimpse of her on the official film poster and a fraction of a second in a Japanese trailer. Andy Serkis also was only seen in Mo-Cap gear for his shadowy ruler of The First Order.

But now we have a new shot of the orange-skinned piratess owner of the now destroyed Castle located on the planet of Takodana, and two showing the ominous hologram of the damaged visage of Snoke.

In a recent interview Nyong’o said Maz’s eyes, which are augmented by a series of adjustable lenses, gave her something compelling to explore about the little alien’s physicality. “As an actor for films, your eyes are a lot of the way you communicate anyway,” says Nyong’o. “So it was definitely a gift to have that be the means to her magic as a motion-capture character.”

Nyong’o and Serkis didn’t share any scenes, but the two worked closely together, since the actor has pioneered performance capture acting through his previous cinematic roles.

“The biggest advice he gave me, that was so important to hold on to, is a motion-capture character you develop the same way as any other. You have to understand who the character is and what makes them who they are,” she says.

Serkis said he sympathized with fans who were dying to know more about Snoke before the film’s debut. That’s how he felt when he started, too. “It’s the first time I’ve been on set not yet knowing what the character’s gonna look like. I mean, talk about secrecy!” 

“When we first started working on it, he had some rough notions of how Snoke was gonna look, but it really hadn’t been fully formed and it almost came out of discussion and performance,” Serkis added.

Although there was much speculation about who Snoke might turn out to be (one popular theory was that he’d turn out to be a Sith Lord known from the prequels as Darth Plagueis the Wise

The Tragedy of Darth Plagueis The Wise

Serkis said the character was aware of the events from the earlier films but was a new addition to the storyline.

“Supreme Leader Snoke is quite an enigmatic character, and strangely vulnerable at the same time as being quite powerful,” Serkis says. “Obviously he has a huge agenda. He has suffered a lot of damage. As I said, there is a strange vulnerability to him, which belies his true agenda, I suppose.”

It’s also clear from the character’s scarred, cavernous face why prosthetic make-up wasn’t an option. As Serkis explained before anyone outside the film saw Snoke, it could only have been played through motion-capture. “The scale of him, for instance, is one reason,” Serkis said. “He is large. He appears tall. And also just the facial design — you couldn’t have gotten there with prosthetics. It’s too extreme. Without giving too much away at this point, he has a very distinctive, idiosyncratic bone structure and facial structure. You could never have done it [in real life.]”

One recent revelation comes from YouTube Adam Underkofler who’s created a video, which suggests that John Williams’ musical theme for the “Darth Plagueis” seen in Revenge of the Sith is virtually identical to the one which was used for Snoke’s debut in The Force Awakens.

Sadly we’ll have to wait until Episode VIII, which starts shooting this month and debuts in May 2017, to learn more. Hopefully there will be plenty more Maz and Snoke to go around.

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Force Awakens Icons

You can’t beat a lovely bit of simplicity with art, and Portuguese artist Filipe de Carvalho who previously did some flat icons of Star Wars characters, and in anticipation of The Force Awakens has updated his collection to include characters that will be seen in the new movie.

The series, aptly titled ‘Star Wars: The Flat Awakens’, and features characters like Kylo Ren, Maz Kanata, Snowtrooper, and the ever popular BB-8 droid.

They are all illustrated in Carvalho’s lovely flat icon style, using simple shapes and vibrant colors to depict the characters which are juxtaposed against a brightly colored background, resulting in bold, beautiful icons.

All the artwork is copyright Filipe de Carvalho and is a available to buy here.

Leibovitz shoots The Force Awakens

Today (Star Wars Day) Vanity Fair have given us a unique behind-the-scenes look at Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The magazine has released six new photos from the film that were taken by none other than the legendary photographer Annie Leibovitz.

The images include an official reveal of Adam Driver playing the dark-cloaked Sith villain Kylo Ren, as well as actress Lupita Nyong’o playing her motion capture character, who is a pirate by the name of Maz Kanata. Then, of course there are Oscar Isaac as Poe Dameron, a group of various alien creatures, and members of the film crew, such as director J.J. Abrams.

Dashing Resistance pilot Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) stands alongside his trusty X-wing fighter

Star Wars The Force Awakens Vanity Fair Front Cover

J. J. Abrams directs Actress Daisy Ridley for a scene in which her character, the young heroine Rey, pilots her speeder through a bustling marketplace on the planet Jakku

A small galaxy’s worth of tracking dots affixed to Lupita Nyong’o’s face allowed artists at Industrial Light & Magic to transform her into the C.G.I. character Maz Kanata

Galactic travelers, smugglers, and other assorted riffraff fill the main hall of pirate Maz Kanata’s castle

Next-generation bad guy Kylo Ren Adam Driver commands snowtroopers loyal to the evil First Order on the frozen plains of their secret base

Members of the brains behind The Force Awakens composer John Williams, producer and Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy, co- writer Lawrence Kasdan, and director and co-writer J.J. Abrams, who also gave a glowing report on Harrison Ford to Vanity Fair…

But the magic of Star Wars isn’t all about the creatures; the best effect in the wildly popular new trailer (88 million views and counting!) may have been Harrison Ford, slipping seamlessly back into Han Solo’s classic slow grin. Abrams himself was surprised by the performance and said that Ford “was excited to get back in those shoes again, which was really interesting because I thought he hadn’t been a fan. I kept hearing those rumors when I was a kid.” Abrams did have one specific note for the veteran actor: “I knew that he had done in some movies a kind of more growly thing, and I didn’t want Han to be growly.” Whatever Abrams said must have worked because, as the director himself put it, “There was a fire in his eyes that you see in the movie.”

We also got our first look at Gwendoline Christie’s character Captain Phasma.

UPDATE:

Star Wars.com have just released details and photos of Andy Serkis character in  The Force Awakens… Supreme Leader Snoke 

Photograph by Annie Leibovitz | Courtesy of Vanity Fair | Copyright 2015