Production on director Rian Johnson’s Star Wars: Episode VIII wrapped in July, but one of the new trilogy’s most fascinating characters hasn’t even shot her part yet.

Actress Lupita Nyong’o is at the Toronto International Film Festival promoting the chess biopic Queen of Katwe; but talk in interviews naturally turned to her bigger blockbuster role as Yoda stand-in Maz Kanata in the latest Star Wars movie. Collider asked her what it was like working with Johnson on the highly anticipated movie, and Nyong’o admitted she didn’t know. She replied:

Rian! I haven’t worked with him yet; I’ve yet to shoot. That’s in my future.

Any Star Wars fan who eagerly eats up the slightest bit of Episode VIII info might think something is fishy about that. Johnson posted a photo to his personal Tumblr page in April showing Nyong’o outfitted with the performance-capture suit she uses when she plays her role as the CG alien. What’s more, Nyong’o was spotted hanging out with fellow Star Wars cast members Mark Hamill and Oscar Isaac around the same time.

Is this 'Episode VIII' pre-visualization?
Is this 'Episode VIII' pre-visualization?

Perhaps the photo on Johnson’s Tumblr page was pre-visualization work just to iron out the kinks with the technology and since Nyong’o was in the area she just visited the cast during production?

Clearly we’ll get to see Maz in Johnson’s movie, but maybe the director is just holding off to make sure they use her in the most efficient way possible. Rumors from The Force Awakens set were that Maz’s character changed very late in the filming process and a lot of Nyong’o’s performance was cut. This way Nyong’o can join-up during reshoots and fit into the movie perfectly as Johnson envisioned.

We wonder whether this will spark as much controversy as the debate over the Rogue One reshoots has among Star Wars fans.

Maz was a minor character as is, so the other option is that the character won’t be in Episode VIII all that much, that way they didn’t need the actress on-set during principal photography.

Let the Maz Kanata speculation begin. Episode VIII is scheduled to hit theaters December 15, 2017,

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