One of the deepest mysteries in Star Wars: The Force Awakens is what role Lupita Nyong'o plays in the larger story. As the space pirate queen Maz Kanata, we know just bits and pieces about the character. She rules over a pirate kingdom that at some point Han, Chewbacca, and Finn travel to, and she has a large red droid working for her.
We also know, however, that she's about 1,000 years old. and perhaps that's why, during the global press day for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, moderator Mindy Kaling suddenly asked a very forthright question, seemingly out of nowhere.
"Can you talk about your character's relationship with Yoda?" she asked the actress matter-of-factly. Now, we have no way of knowing if Kaling has some sort of inside knowledge, or if something like this will be alluded to in the film, but director JJ Abrams chimed in.
"I will say this, in an attempt to save my friend Lupita from this awesomely geeky question. I do believe that Maz and Yoda at one point had crossed paths. But that is not something, of course, due to the events of past films, that happens in this one," he said.
Nyong'o, for her part, joked that "he was my first love," a story that Kaling said she'd love to see made into a movie.
Maybe one of the "Star Wars Story" films?
Regardless, this does give us more context to the character of Maz Kanata. Not only did she live through a vast time of the Old Republic (and depending on what's canon and what's not, maybe even saw the end of the Sith Empire or at least the overt Sith Order), the Clone Wars, the downfall of the Jedi, the Dark Times, the Rebellion, and then, of course, everything that leads up to the awakening of the Force. Sounds like a pretty resourceful, resilient, and important character to me, especially if she once met the head of the Jedi council, who many said was the greatest of all the Jedi, Yoda.