Is Maz Kanata Hiding in Plain Sight in New Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker Trailer?

It's been almost a week since the final trailer for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker debuted, showcasing the newest batch of footage for the end of the "Skywalker Saga". Fans have combed over the footage for potential details and clues about what to expect -- and there's a chance that one significant return might have been hiding in plain sight. Midway through the trailer, there's a shot of a large group of Resistance fighters, who appear to be gathering around Lando Calrissian (Billy Dee Williams). As some have already begun to speculate, there's a chance that Maz Kanata (Lupita Nyong'o) can be seen in the background of the group shot.

star wars the rise of skywalker maz kanata
(Photo: Lucasfilm)

While it's not 100% clear if this is Maz, the general profile certainly matches her unique humanoid figure. It also stands to reason that she'd play some sort of a role in The Rise of Skywalker, considering the fact that she's had a presence in both films of the sequel trilogy thus far. After meeting many of our heroes - and then guiding Rey (Daisy Ridley) after she found Luke Skywalker's lightsaber - in The Force Awakens, Maz played a relatively small role in The Last Jedi. She appeared via video-chat during a mission of sorts, and helped guide the Resistance towards the elusive Codebreaker.

If Maz does end up playing a larger role in the Resistance's fight in The Rise of Skywalker, it would be a long time coming, as she was initially expected to appear in ensemble scenes in both of the previous films.

"That was a scene actually filmed, but we took out," The Force Awakens and The Rise of Skywalker director JJ Abrams said in a previous interview. "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."

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Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker will arrive in theaters on December 20th.