‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ Deleted Scene Had Maz Kanata Battling Stormtroopers
If you were one of the fans disappointed by Maz Kanata’s limited role in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, then we have good and bad news for you. The good news is that Lupita Nyong’o’s wizened old alien pirate is as much of a badass as you suspected. The bad news is that the scene in which she showed off her very particular set of skills was left on the cutting room floor. Silver lining: it could be one of the deleted scenes that shows up on The Force Awakens Blu-ray.
Last week J.J. Abrams said that while there will not be an extended cut of the film on DVD / Blu-ray, we can expect to see some deleted scenes — not all, but some. In an interview with Collider, SFX supervisor Chris Corbould revealed one scene that didn’t make the final cut, which featured Maz Kanata facing off with some First Order Stormtroopers:
There was a particular part of a scene that never made it, where they go underneath the castle and they’re going into the underground passageways, and stormtroopers are coming down the stairs and Maz uses her powers to collapse the ceiling.
From my point of view, [that] worked absolutely brilliantly because you had all the main actors running up and then Maz does her bit and then the whole ceiling collapses in front of them, but that never made it. That was a shot I was quite proud of, actually, it worked really, really well.
It’s really unfortunate that this scene was cut from the film because while Maz is intriguing and Nyong’o is perfectly enigmatic and charming in the role, her part is a bit limited as the franchise’s new Yoda. When she meets up with Rey, Finn and Han Solo, Maz says “I am no Jedi, but I do know the Force,” but since we never see her use those powers, the line reads as though she’s simply referencing a strong familiarity with it.
If Maz had used the Force or something like it, as Corbould describes, that would leave the audience with a couple of extra questions about a film that already leaves us with some pretty big questions to chew on. Like, if Maz can use the Force, how is she not a Jedi or a Sith? Or is her power simply similar to the Force?
Mostly, it’s just disappointing that the scene was cut because — for fans who felt pretty ambivalent about Maz — that moment could have made her an instant favorite. Then again, the scene may have been cut because Abrams suspected this side of Maz could be explored better in future sequels.