Saturday, September 18, 2021

‘The Force Awakens’ LA: Lupita Nyong’o Talks Alien Pirate Role [EUR Exclusive]

lupita (star wars premiere1)
Lupita Nyong’o – who dazzled on the red carpet at the bigger than life ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ premiere – portrays alien Maz Kanata in the film

*As someone who is not a “Star Wars” fanatic, this writer underestimated the magic of the cosmic experience until Electronic Urban Report/EUR attended “The Force Awakens” global L.A. Press Conference on December 6, and officially became intoxicated by the charm and wonderment of the world George Lucas created nearly three decades ago.

From the tie-in video game exhibit, to meeting R2D2, C-3PO, and newest robot, BB-8, the event even had patrolling officers stop by to experience the nostalgia and pose for a photo-op with the droids.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens
EUR associate Ny MaGee, R2D2, C-3PO. ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” *filter used on image*

Star Wars: The Force Awakens
EUR associate Ny MaGee and BB-8, “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” *filter used on image*

Actress/writer Mindy Kaling (“The Office” & “The Mindy Project”) led a panel discussion that saw the cast in jovial spirits as they joked through a not-so-revealing Q&A session about the production.

Director JJ Abrams and producer Kathleen Kennedy have shrouded the film with mystery and secrecy, saying only that the film referenced “Return of the Jedi,” and the “continuation of 4, 5, and 6.”

Not even the cast was given a full script, as John Boyega confessed during our exclusive interview with him. However, the sides/script scenes that he did receive brought out his inner fanboy as he relished in the amount of screen time he would share with his idol, Han Solo.

“Reading the script was quite surprising emotional about how much (time) Finn and Han have together. Their little group; Finn, Han and Chewy. It was nice to know that-that would be a reality on set,” John told EUR.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Carrie Fisher, Lupita Nyong’o, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, JJ Abrams, Mindy Kaling. *filter used on image*

Abrams said his dedicated cast was, “shockingly and eerily wonderful to work with. It was so much fun to see them work together.”

While “Game of Thrones” actress Gwendoline Christie will get to play a great Jedi, Lupita Nyong’o, who is a unique talent and symbol of authentic blackness, has been regulated to a repugnant motion capture character. Abrams didn’t offer an enlightening reason as to why he didn’t cast her to play a live action role, only joking that when asked why he cast “beautiful Lupita” as a motion capture character, he replies “would it be better if she were ugly?”

JJ added that Lupita was “remarkably tireless, and willing to experiment with different versions of this character and it was kind of an amazing thing to discover. I’ve never been through this before with an actor, when we’ve got to discover again, again and again how to better tell the story we were telling.”

Speaking of her performance as alien pirate Maz Kanata, Lupita explained, “I got to be on those sets and see those things, and feel them, and the art direction, there’s so much detail. Even when you’re standing on that set, it’s mesmerizing. I think audiences are going to have a very immersive experience, much like we had filming it. The physicality is something that then carries on into theaters, and that was the thing that attracted me to the idea of playing motion capture. I could work with my body in new ways.”

Perhaps the most curious new character of all is Kylo Ren, played by Adam Driver, who joked that the villain is “a great cook, a Scorpio, and he’s very unpolished,” he laughed, adding that JJ infused a “kind of recklessness” to Kylo “that’s kind of neat (because) people don’t normally associate with the dark side being organized.”

Carrie Fisher has a wickedly funny sense of humor, and she truly should be hired to promote every film in Hollywood. Carrie reminds us of those folks who, after they reach a certain age, do not give a damn about what they say – ya know the type. They stay on that ‘f*ck yo feelings…’ tip, and it’s refreshingly delightful!

“I got to be the only girl on an all boys set, which was kinda of fun, she said while reflecting on her Princess Leia role. “They put things in your drinks, and stuff like that,” she joked, but got serious when she added that the overall experience “is an amazingly, emotional movie.”

Carrie also admitted that she was quite nervous to take on the role again, and that for her, the scariest past of going back to this franchise was that “I don’t like to look at myself at this age” on the big screen.

When Mindy asked Fisher if Princess Leia has a “good sense of humor,” she replied: “She would have to, wearing those bamboo ass hairstyles.”

“Star Wars: The Force Awakens” opens nationwide, Friday  December 18.

Ny MaGee
Ny MaGee is a screenwriter and freelance reporter from Chicago -- currently living in Los Angeles and covering A-list entertainment for various outlets, including She has worked for: Miramax, MTV & VH1, The Jim Henson Company, Hallmark Channel, Paramount Pictures, and for iconic indie film producer Roger Corman.



  1. Reminds me of seeing the Disney movie The Princess and the Frog – thinking I would see the portrayal of a lovely AA princess only to have her be in the form of a frog for the majority of the movie – very disappointing. As far as the Star Wars franchise is concerned AA women don’t exist in the future. I’ll save my money for Star Trek.


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