It seems as though both Maz Kanata and Captain Phasma were going to be hugely important characters in the new Star Wars trilogy that started with The Force Awakens and continued in last December's The Last Jedi. But in the latest installment, both characters were reduced to mere cameos, appearing in one scene each. And now it isn't know if director J.J. Abrams will even bother bringing them back for Star Wars 9.

Only Maz Kanata knows how she got ahold of Anakin's old blue lightsaber, which was used by son Luke Skywalker before he lost his hand in that epic battle against Darth Vader on Cloud City. As she said in The Force Awakens, that's a story for another time. And we didn't get to learn it in The Last Jedi. Basically, as we've seen with the new movie, it was a plot device that didn't, and probably still doesn't, have an answer. J.J. Abrams set up a lot of stuff in The Force Awakens that never had an answer mapped out, and it's unclear if he'll even attempt to give fans answers in Star Wars 9.

Maz Kanata doesn't even show up in the flesh in The Last Jedi. She is part of a hologram phone call, giving Finn and Rose some Fire Walk With Me type description of a splicer they need to contact on Canto Bight. Lupita Nyong'o literally phones in her performance. And now, it's not known whether J.J. Abrams will find a place for her in the next sequel. About Kanata's fate in the future of the franchise, Nyong'o, who has a much more substantial role in next month's Black Panther, had this to say about her possible return.

"I don't know yet. I'll know soon."

The main characters all know they're coming back. Why doesn't she? During production of The Last Jedi, she wasn't sure she was wanted for the second chapter in Rey and Finn's saga either. And she was barely needed at all. And any and all info about Anakin's old lightsaber, which was destroyed in The Last Jedi, will probably be shuffled off into a book or comic that most movie goers will never read.

Related: Is Star Wars 9 Really Teaming Rey with This Surprise Character?

A much trickier character is that of Captain Phasma. She returned in The Last Jedi after being thrown down a garbage chute on the Starkiller Base by Finn and Chewbacca. It appeared that she had been destroyed along with the rest of Starkiller Base in The Force Awakens, but as one of the Marvel comics will tell you, she made it out in time, avoiding the big explosion. While it looks like she also perished in her climactic fight against Finn in The Last Jedi, the actor has said in the past that there's definitely a chance she could return, with another comic explaining how she survived this time.

But now, Gwendoline Christie isn't so sure. Perhaps director Rian Johnson really did kill her off for good. Christie has no idea yet if Phasma will be back, or if she has officially been shuffled off into the dustbin of history. Star Wars found a way to bring both Boba Fett and Darth Maul back after their on-screen deaths, so anything is possible. Christie really wants to come back, though, and says this.

"In truth I don't know. And that scares and upsets me because I really want to see this character explored. I'm actually very invested in the character now. And that's genuine. That's not just chat. It has opened up a chain of stories and events in my mind about who Phasma is."

Apparently, no one working on the Lucasfilm team knew who these characters were even after finishing The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi, and a lot of this is being made up as they go along. J.J. Abrams could pull just about anything out of his mystery box for Star Wars 9 and call it canon. Sure. At least George Lucas had a bible and mostly knew what he was doing when he made the original trilogy. Sure he fudged some stuff as he went along, but this new Star Wars is just kids playing in a sandbox, making things up on a whim with their life-sized action figures. So who really knows if Maz Kanata or Captain Phasma will continue to have a presence in the big screen side of Star Wars. They will definitely live on in other materials. Quotes come from Collegian.