In the months and weeks leading up to Star Wars: The Force Awakens' release, there were several characters we either didn't see much of before the movie hit theaters, or we didn't see at all. Two of these characters were Lupita Nyong'o's Maz Kanata, who was revealed for the first time on the final poster, and Andy Serkis' Supreme Leader Snoke, who wasn't shown at all. As the movie enters its third week in theaters, Entertainment Weekly has revealed the first photos of both these characters.
Both of these characters were performed through motion capture, and we had previously seen photos of each actor wearing their motion capture gear. Both characters proved to be quite important for the dark side and the light, with Maz Kanata providing Rey (Daisy Ridley) with Luke Skywalker's (Mark Hamill) light saber, and Snoke revealed to be the main villain, although he was only shown through a hologram. Here's what Lupita Nyong'o had to say about acting through motion capture in Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
"As an actor for films, your eyes are a lot of the way you communicate anyway. So it was definitely a gift to have that be the means to her magic as a motion-capture character."
While both actors never shared any scenes on camera together, Andy Serkis and Lupita Nyong'o did work closely together, with Andy Serkis advising the Oscar-winning actress on her motion capture work. Andy Serkis has been widely regarded as a motion capture pioneer for his work as Gollum in The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies. Here's what Lupita Nyong'o had to say about working with Andy Serkis.
"The biggest advice he gave me, that was so important to hold on to, is a motion-capture character you develop the same way as any other. You have to understand who the character is and what makes them who they are."
Both characters are expected to return in Star Wars: Episode VIII, which begins production in January, under the direction of Rian Johnson. There is very little we know about the story thus far, and Andy Serkis revealed that Star Wars: The Force Awakens was the most secretive project he's ever been a part of. Here's what the actor had to say.
"It's the first time I've been on set not yet knowing what the character's gonna look like. I mean, talk about secrecy! When we first started working on it, he had some rough notions of how Snoke was gonna look, but it really hadn't been fully-formed and it almost came out of discussion and performance. Supreme Leader Snoke is quite an enigmatic character, and strangely vulnerable at the same time as being quite powerful. Obviously he has a huge agenda. He has suffered a lot of damage. As I said, there is a strange vulnerability to him, which belies his true agenda, I suppose."
There has been speculation that Snoke may not be as big as he appears in his holographic projections, but we don't know if that will be one of the many unanswered questions that will be answered in Star Wars: Episode VIII. Andy Serkis did add that the character could not have been pulled off with practical effects, which lead to his motion capture work. Here's what the actor had to say in a statement.
"The scale of him, for instance, is one reason. He is large. He appears tall. And also just the facial design - you couldn't have gotten there with prosthetics. It's too extreme. Without giving too much away at this point, he has a very distinctive, idiosyncratic bone structure and facial structure. You could never have done it [in real life.]"
Star Wars: The Force Awakens has earned over $740 million domestically and $1.5 billion worldwide, and it could just be a matter of time before it breaks Avatar's domestic ($760.5 million) and worldwide ($2.7 billion) box office records. While we wait to see if those records will fall, take a look at these new photos below. What other characters to you hope we see more of in Star Wars: The Force Awakens?