Analysis of The Force Awakens — Maz Kanata: A New Kind of Force User

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The Visual Dictionary reveals that Maz was a mentor to Han, likely getting him started as a smuggler. It is, of course, ironic that his mentor was a secret Force user. It makes me wonder if she ever tried to tell Han about the Force and he rejected the idea as nonsense, thinking she was using “simple tricks.”

Maz represents a type of character that I’ve always hoped would be explored in the films. She is an ancient Force user who draws upon the light side, yet is not a Jedi. Originally, Maz was going to show her Force abilities by bringing down a ceiling on troopers invading her castle, a scene that may be included in the deleted scenes of the Blu-ray release.

Some fans speculated that a small wooden statue seen in Anakin’s bedroom in The Phantom Menace may have been an inspiration for Maz’s design. Pablo Hidalgo, Creative Executive of the Lucasfilm Story Group, was somewhat cryptic on Twitter when asked about the statue: “from a story POV, it’s a neat idea that a Maz statuette ended up in Anakin’s room. But Twitter’s no place for storytelling.” I like the idea of Maz being a legendary figure that Anakin would have heard stories of, especially since his podracing flag is one of many hanging outside Maz’s castle.

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According to the Visual Dictionary, Maz collects Force related artifacts, including a bust of an ancient master Jedi that can be seen in the room with Luke’s saber. Maz knew many Jedi over the years. And most intriguingly, it is possible that she even knew Yoda.

Like Lor San Tekka, Maz is a new character with ties to the prequel and original trilogy eras, one I can’t wait to get more background on. It is also quite possible that she will make an appearance in the stand-alone Han Solo film since she was once his mentor.

Until next time: May the Force be with you. Always.

Chris “Darth Hound” Miller

 

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  • Zarm

    I don’t see any evidence in the film (I know there was a deleted scene) that Maz IS a Force-user. In fact, she becomes about a thousand times LESS interesting if she is. (At present, she’s one of my two favorite characters, precisely because she is like no one we’ve seen before. If she’s secretly a Force-user, she becomes just a second-rate Yoda.) What evidence do you see that she is, rather than just someone well-acquainted with and believing in the Force?

    • Darth Hound

      Thanks for the comments, Zarm.

      The Visual Dictionary, which is canon material, specifically says that Maz is a Force user. She was never a Jedi, but she developed her powers for her own purposes. As I said in the article, I love the idea of a Force user who is not a Jedi or Sith. If she was a Jedi I would agree with you, but the fact that she is an ancient pirate (older than Yoda, in fact), who also uses the Force in her own way, makes her one of my favorite new characters. The fact that she never joined the Jedi means she will have a different take on how the Force can be used. I think there are some very interesting stories to be told with Maz.

      • Corina Borsuk

        I like Maz, one of the things/characters that I really liked about TFA. I agree with you that one of the most interesting things about her is that she is a Force user who is neither a Sith or Jedi, and yet clearly not evil. That was actually something I had always wanted the EU (now Legends) to do with Leia. When that didn’t happen, I was hoping it would in the new canon. Once again, no luck for me in that regard, but we do get Maz. And, Maz is great.

        Now that would have made an AWESOME movie, for Han to introduce his kid to Maz and ask her to “train” him instead of Luke. Then, Ben could have helped fulfill the prophesy that Anakin didn’t (or doesn’t seem to have fulfilled) as a neutral Force user. Imagine the drama that could have come from that? Death can create drama, but it takes much more talent to create good drama without death. And, that would have been something much more original than what did happen.

        Yeah, not a big TFA fan here.