You might not have recognized Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, but her voice was hard to miss. The 12 Years a Slave actress transformed into the space pirate Maz Kanata through the magic of motion capture, a process that’s the highlight in a new behind-the-scenes video coming for the Force Awakens DVD and Blu-ray release.
Cut together with footage from her performance on set — green screen, dotted suit, and all — the featurette includes statements from visual effects supervisor Ben Morris. “Lupita could actually perform as a normal human, and we could actually composite that as she was performing on the motion-capture stage in real time,” he said. Elsewhere, director J.J. Abrams said the ILM team did an “extraordinary job” bringing the character to life.
“Somebody said to me, ‘What’s the magic?’” recalled Robert Guyett, VFX supervisor and 2nd unit director. “And, to me, the magic was when we were doing Maz. You saw Lupita just make that character come to life.”
Watch the featurette below:
— Lupita Nyong’o (@Lupita_Nyongo) March 21, 2016
Star Wars: The Force Awakens will arrive on home release April 5, after hitting Digital HD April 1. Other exclusive footage comes by way of “Secrets of The Force Awakens: A Cinematic Journey,” which features cast and crew interviews and behind-the-scenes looks; a featurette on the first time the cast came together for the table read; and other looks at the making of BB-8 and the score, and a slew of deleted scenes. Click here for the full list of details.
Nyong’o returns alongside Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Adam Driver, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Domhnall Gleeson, Anthony Daniels, Gwendoline Christie, and Andy Serkis to film Episode VIII with director Rian Johnson (Looper). The film is scheduled for theaters on December 15, 2017.