First introduced in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Maz Kanata’s blunt insights and obvious infatuation with Chewbacca made her an instantly memorable character. Beyond her history with Han Solo, though, we know little about Maz's past and how she got hold of Luke Skywalker’s lightsaber. However, an intriguing new theory suggests that Maz may be related to a shadowy Rise of Skywalker character, and it may explain some of the mystery about her past and connection to Rey.
The Rise of Skywalker introduces the Sith assassin Ochi, a fellow who looks a bit like an orange that's been sitting on your counter for a few too many days. Rey, Finn, and Poe first encounter Ochi’s remains on their mission to track down the wayfinder device. Through flashbacks, we learn Emperor Palpatine ordered Ochi to find Rey and kill her parents. While the character’s appearance is brief, Reddit user RealModMaker ponders whether Ochi and Maz are the same species.
The theorist posted a side-by-side comparison of the two characters and the resemblance is striking. They’re both humanoid aliens with yellow and orange-tinted skin, a flat and nearly unnoticeable nose, and wide-set eyes. They both wear a form of eye goggles that are somehow connected to a mysterious earpiece. This definitely implies they might be related somehow, though the films never confirm their species’ origins. Take a look below.
Perhaps more interesting than their appearance is the connection both Ochi and Maz share with Rey. Ochi’s history with Rey and her family was obviously more brutal and tragic. Yet Maz somehow already knew that Rey wouldn’t find what she was looking for on Jakku. It seemed odd in the moment. How would she know that Rey was looking for anyone there, right? They had only just met.
Perhaps Maz already knew Ochi had killed Rey’s parents. Considering she's around a thousand years old, it’s possible that she crossed paths with Ochi at some point. Conversely, Maz may have learned about Ochi from Luke and Lando Calrissian, who tracked the Sith assassin to Pasaana, stranding him there in the process.
Maz’s Force Awakens message to Rey, about someone who "could still return" may have actually been a reference to Palpatine, not Luke. It’s possible Maz knew that Ochi had been working for Palpatine when he went after Rey’s parents. If she knew that Rey would have to ultimately find and fight Palpatine, then offering her Luke’s lightsaber makes a lot of sense.
Ochi’s existence sheds some light on Maz’s backstory and actions in The Force Awakens, regardless of whether these citrus-colored aliens are related or not.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is currently available on demand.