Johnson has always been active on social media. When he’s not fake fighting with other directors, his Twitter page is a great, lighthearted stream: of the trials and tribulations of a humble dude who just happens to be the main creative force behind the next two Star Wars films. He also has a fairly engaging Tumblr page too, offering primarily black-and-white personal photos of his life and career, stretching back all the way to 2008 when he was the indie director of movies like Brick and The Brothers Bloom. But now that he’s in the big leagues, he’s been uploading some looks at the principal production of Episode VIII, including a peek at cinematographer Steve Yedlin on the Millennium Falcon after their first month of filming. His latest Tumblr photo seems to confirm the return of actress Lupita Nyong’o’s character from The Force Awakens.
Maz was last seen handing Luke’s lightsaber to Finn after the First Order destroys her castle, and Johnson’s photo looks to confirm that we’ll be seeing a bit more of Nyong’o’s wise alien in the new movie. The black-and-white image seems to show Nyong’o on a performance capture stage, which allows actors to see and interact with versions of their CG character in real time while not on location opposite live-action actors.
Check out the original Tumblr post here and the photo below:
Skeptics may point out that Johnson could have been hanging out on the set of director J.J. Abrams’s The Force Awakens and snapped this photo only to tease people later, but they’d just be inattentive haters. Actor Mark Hamill, Luke Skywalker himself — who was last seen looking pretty miserable when Rey paid him a visit with his old lightsaber at the end of The Force Awakens — also tweeted out a photo of Nyong’o and actor Oscar Isaac, basically hanging out on the set of Episode VIII.
She was also in the official cast announcement from February.
But it’s a bygone conclusion that Maz needed to return. When Han Solo, along with Finn, asked her where she found Luke’s lightsaber in The Force Awakens, she responded by saying, “A good question for another time.” Bringing Maz back for Episode VIII could be the perfect way to explain how she came across the infamous Jedi weapon, plus she’s guaranteed to have a few more surprises in store.
Ponder what it all means before Johnson’s Star Wars: Episode VIII opens on December 14, 2017.