One of the newer characters in the Star Wars saga was subject to some major changes in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and it seems that affected how the character was used in the latest film.
In The Art of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, a piece of concept art shows that Maz Kanata is standing alongside Poe Dameron, Finn, C-3PO, and a bed-ridden character who appears to be Leia Organa.
The piece confirms that Maz joined the Resistance after the battle on Takodana, but that was changed during the production of The Force Awakens.
J.J. Abrams previously admitted that they shot a scene with Maz delivering Anakin Skywalker's old lightsaber to Leia Organa, as seen in the first trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. This was changed as she gives the lightsaber to Rey, who refuses, and then to Finn.
Abrams then told Entertainment Weekly his reasoning for the change, saying it didn't make sense for the story.
"That was a scene actually filmed, but we took out," Abrams said. "At one point, Maz used to continue along with the characters back to the Resistance base, but we realized that she really had nothing to do there of value, except to have her sitting around…Lupita did film scenes on set for that sequence, but it felt like going right just to go left, and it was unnecessary. So we ended up leaving those things out."
Considering that work was being done on Star Wars: The Last Jedi while the previous film was being completed, it makes sense that some of the designs and concepts would include Maz alongside the other Resistance members. But with that detail, they'd have to dedicate a new scene explaining how she came to join them, especially since little time passes between the new movies.
Instead, they opted to make her vital by having her point them in the direction of the master codebreaker hanging out on Canto Bight.0comments
It seems like the filmmakers of The Last Jedi had ideas to make Maz a bigger part of the film, but much like on The Force Awakens, they couldn't make it work.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi is now playing in theaters.