New 'Star Wars' Short Connects Maz Kanata to 'Return of the Jedi'

When Disney purchased Lucasfilm in 2012, one of their first big decisions was to solidify the canon of the saga, with the Lucasfilm Story Group being established to unite all future movies, comic books, and video games. Star Wars: Forces of Destiny explores a variety of different stories from all across the saga's timeline, with a new short revealing that Maz Kanata, who debuted in The Force Awakens, was a key component of Leia's Return of the Jedi plan.

In the short "Bounty Hunted," Chewbacca leads Leia to meet Maz to develop an escape plan for the frozen Han Solo from Jabba the Hutt. During their encounter, bounty hunter Boushh interrupts the trio, with Maz revealing that Leia could make good use of Boushh's armor, which we would eventually see helped her gain access to Jabba's palace.

While the short might not bring with it any saga-changing revelations, it helped shed light on Leia's backstory in addition to cementing Maz's role in the overall galaxy. We also get to see some adorable moments of Maz referring to Chewbacca as her boyfriend and Leia earning a seal of approval from Kanata.

The above short is one of eight debuting on Disney's YouTube channel this week, with the rest of the episode titles and descriptions as follows:

  • "Hasty Departure" — Hera and Sabine liberate an Imperial shuttle only to find they have unexpected cargo — troopers!
  • "Unexpected Company" — Upset when Ahsoka joins a mission set for just he and Padmé, Anakin puts them on a dangerous path. Working alongside the secret couple, Ahsoka helps save the day.
  • "Shuttle Shock" — On their approach to Canto Bight, Finn and Rose learn to work together to navigate a pod of dangerous creatures.
  • "Jyn's Trade" — Jyn helps a young thief learn a valuable lesson.
  • "Run Rey Run" — While scavenging inside a Star Destroyer, Rey is cornered by competition on the hunt for a valuable part.
  • "The Path Ahead" — Training with Master Yoda in the swamps of Dagobah, Luke learns an important lesson.
  • "Porg Problems" — Rey has her training interrupted by some very mischievous porgs.

Talent from across Star Wars films and TV reprise their roles — Mark Hamill (Luke), Daisy Ridley (Rey), John Boyega (Finn), Lupita Nyong'o (Maz), Kelly Marie Tran (Rose), Tiya Sircar (Sabine), Ashley Eckstein (Ahsoka), Vanessa Marshall (Hera), Catherine Taber (Padmé) and Matt Lanter (Anakin), among others.

All eight segments will be airing March 25th on the Disney Channel as a 30-minute special.

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[H/T YouTube, Disney]