Disney’s new Star Wars universe is one that’s not short on new characters, each of whom has their own unique origin. In the case of Rey, we know little of where she came from, and all we know as an audience is that her lineage is important in some way. She isn’t the only one with a mysterious backstory. The Force Awakens introduces us to Maz Kanata, a player who, if her age is to believed, has been in the game since before the prequel trilogy timeline ever began.
Past her age, there’s little else revealed about where she came from in the new movie, leaving us to do the digging by ourselves. There are bits and pieces of information scattered around various sources. Most prominently, Maz has an entire section in the Force Awakens Visual Dictionary, affording us the most thorough look at the character Lucasfilm has given us yet.
1. A “Pirate Legend”
The visual dictionary for The Force Awakens features some vague hints concerning Maz’s role in shaping the galaxy. She’s referred to most significantly as a “Pirate Legend,” with her main excerpt reading as follows:
Described as an acquired taste by those who know her best, the boisterous Maz Kanata has carved herself a safe haven on the fringe of the galaxy, where she holds court in an ancient castle as the preeminent font of smuggler wisdom. Kanata has goten[sic] many a young brigand started in the freebooting trade, and has a preternatural gift for sensing the shifting tides of fortune in the galaxy. She has weathered many regime changes in her long life, and has not only survived, but found ways to thrive.
How exactly all that translates into her exploits as a pirate is a little unclear, but what we can definitely see is the way she embodies the personality of a true survivor.