As film franchises grow more and more successful, it gets harder to learn about their pending movies. Disney is especially hush-hush about two of its biggest properties, the Star Wars and Marvel cinematic universes, both of which earned the studio record-breaking box office wins last year. However, since these projects are so huge and thus involve hundreds of cast and crew members, keeping a lid on production secrets must be quite a feat -- perhaps to the detriment of some of the projects' key players.
While we can almost certainly count on seeing Rey, Finn, and Poe reappear in the rest of the new Star Wars trilogy, especially the upcoming Star Wars: The Last Jedi, the fates of some of the franchise's more minor characters remain unclear. One particularly enigmatic character in the new films is Maz Kanata, a small yet powerful alien whose strong connection to the Force makes her a key ally for Rey and co. Lupita Nyong'o plays Kanata in the new Star Wars films, and, though her character plays an especially tight-lipped role in the franchise, the actor is far from upset by the productions' covert nature.
In an interview with CinemaBlend, Nyong'o actually says she loves the clandestine nature of the Star Wars productions. The acclaimed actor declared:
I love shutting up. I love it. I love the fact that I don't have to talk about Star Wars. It's so, you know, I feel, I feel like I have a secret that everybody else wants to know about. That's powerful. I love it. I feel a little sad every time more information is revealed.
Unlike Nyong'o, fans are far from upset to learn more information about the upcoming films, if the frenzy over Episode VIII's title reveal is any indication. The public still knows little about the film's content and premise, though writer-director Rian Johnson has shared several behind-the-scenes photos on social media, including one of the opening crawl in the cutting room, and another of some Maz-related filming. That last one is particularly intriguing, since it was posted last April, and a September 2016 report revealed that Lupita Nyong'o had yet to shoot any scenes for The Last Jedi. Johnson also spoke a bit about his experience directing the film in a recent interview with Empire.
Maz's storyline in particular is still very ambiguous, however, and it seems that's just how Nyong'o likes it. The actor's coyness is reasonable, given her career's trajectory: Nyong'o achieved seemingly overnight success after playing a star-making role as Patsey in 12 Years a Slave. It was a her first feature role, for which she received the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. Nyong'o was then immediately recruited to a number of high-profile franchise films, including the new Star Wars trilogy and Marvel's upcoming Black Panther. Given the actor's meteoric rise, and her demure off-screen persona, it makes sense that Nyong'o would be delighted to keep such enormous industry secrets.
As The Last Jedi's covert production nears an end and the film prepares to roll out this winter, excitement is building. Not only are fans ecstatic to see what our new favorite trio will get up to next, cast and crew are undoubtedly thrilled to share the fruits of their labors -- and, unless they're Lupita Nyong'o, to finally be able to talk about the film.
- Star Wars 8/Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) release date: Dec 15, 2017
- Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) release date: May 25, 2018