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Maz Kanata is a character in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Maz owns a castle on the forest planet of Takodana, where she hosts various riff-raff and pirate gangs in her cantina. She owned the lightsaber of Luke Skywalker and his father in her cantina which she gave to Finn, which was also used by Rey. Having lived well over 1,000 years, she is highly knowledgeable and wise, with an ability to see into people's hearts.
- The Force: Being Force-sensitive and lived for more than a millennium, Maz Kanata has vast knowledge of the Force on how it works.
- Longevity: Maz Kanata has lived well over a thousand years, making her one of the oldest beings in the galaxy.
Maz Kanata first appears in her castle on Takodana, where she meets with Han Solo, Chewbacca, Rey, Finn and BB-8. There, Han explained that the droid BB-8 contained a map leading to Luke Skywalker, and that it needed to be delivered to his wife, Resistance General Leia Organa, with whom Solo had become estranged. Kanata refused to help him, saying that Solo had been avoiding the fight for too long, and he needed to go home. Though Finn objected, Rey asked what fight they were up against, Maz explained that it was the Dark side of the Force, which over the course of the millennium of her life, had taken up the forms of the Sith, Galactic Empire, and First Order. Kanata went on to argue that they should all oppose the spreading of the First Order, but Finn insisted that a fight against the First Order could not be won. As Finn spoke, Maz crawled up onto the table, and looked into Finn's eyes, saying that he had the eyes of a man who wanted to run. Finn, telling her she did not know the things he had seen, suggested that they all needed to run. Resigned, Kanata climbed down from the table and directed Finn to two pirates who would trade work for transportation to the galaxy's Outer Rim Territories, Sidon Ithano and Quiggold. Finn stood up and left, and when Rey went after him, Kanata asked Solo who she was. Han then explained that she was a young scavenger from Jakku and wished to return to the planet, due to Rey's belief that her parents would come looking for her there.
Maz then went to speak with Rey, finding the human with BB-8 in a lower level hall, stumbling out of a storeroom and looking shaken. Rey, who had a vision after coming into contact with the Skywalker lightsaber, asked Maz what it was, saying she regretted entering the room. Maz explained that the lightsaber belonged to Luke and his father before him, and it was then calling to her. Rey responded by insisting she return to Jakku, but Kanata, removing her goggles and taking the girl's hand, told her that she already knew the truth: whomever Rey was waiting for would never be coming back. However, Maz added that while no one from Rey's past was returning, Luke still could, and that what Rey sought was not behind her, but ahead. Rey admitted that she was not a Jedi herself, but she still knew the Force, explaining that it moved through and surrounded every living thing. Instructing Rey to close her eyes and feel the light side of the Force, the pirate told the scavenger that it would always guide her, and that the girl should keep the lightsaber. However, Rey stated that she would never touch the weapon again, and that she wanted nothing to do with the Force. Kanata stammered as Rey, followed by BB-8, ran from the hall, leaving the pirate alone with her thoughts.
Shortly after Rey left, patrons of the castle hurried outside to witness the destruction of the New Republic's capital, Hosnian Prime, visible in the sky above. Finn deduced it was an act of the First Order, and he regrouped with Solo and Chewbacca, asking where Rey was. Maz approached the group and told them that Rey was where she needed to be, and said there was something they should see. The pirate led them to the storeroom where Rey was, and she presented the lightsaber to Finn. Solo, who had been a close friend of Luke's, asked where Maz had gotten the weapon, but she dismissed him, saying it was a story for another time. Telling Finn to find Rey, Maz passed the lightsaber to him, knowing it would prove useful for the fight to come. Before they left the room, the castle shook, signaling the arrival of the First Order, and the hallway collapsed as First Order TIE fighters leveled the castle. Led by Chewbacca, the four cleared a tunnel to the surface, where the Wookiee and Solo immediately joined the battle against the First Order troops. Finn and Kanata exited next, and the pirate ordered Finn to find and help Rey and BB-8. However, Finn insisted that he needed a weapon first, so Maz reminded him that he already had one, seizing his wrist which held the lightsaber. Finn activated the blade and entered the fight alongside Solo and Chewbacca until forces of the Resistance arrived to provide support. However, despite the Resistance's arrival and the retreat of the First Order's forces, Finn was unable to prevent Rey from being taken captive by Kylo Ren. In the battle's aftermath, Maz spoke with BB-8, telling the droid that although the First Order took Rey, they could not give up hope, and the Resistance needed the astromech's help. Maz then walked over to Finn, joking that she had some cleaning up to do. Looking up at Finn, she smiled with satisfaction, noting that she no longer saw the eyes of a coward, but the eyes of a warrior.
- Maz Kanata is one of the only characters in the film to be portrayed entirely by CGI motion capture, alongside Supreme Leader Snoke.