Star Wars: The Force Awakens introduced viewers to a dearth of new characters fresh to the Star Wars universe. Too much of a dearth, some would say. An over-dearth, even! But thankfully they weren’t all as under-developed as additions like Gwendolyn Christie’s Captain Phasma. Lupita Nyong’o’s Maz Kanata, the force-wielding, Chewbacca-admiring alien bar owner, made for a solid addition to the cast even with just a few short scenes. A new featurette released just recently explores the technology that brought the character to life.
A great deal of attention has gone to the use of practical effects and sets in The Force Awakens, which itself went a long way to helping the film feel like a return to form after the greenscreen and CGI-heavy prequel trilogy. The heavy use of practical effects gave everything in Force Awakens a wonderful tactile feel that CGI just can’t replicate. But a lot of CGI work still went into the film as well, and for the most part it blended fairly well with the costumed actors. The new video, which comes from the team at Wired, details how the team at Industrial Light and Magic used motion capture technology to translate Nyong’o’s facial expressions into those seen on the final character, and also touches on some of the other uses of CGI character-creation in the film. It’s an interesting watch, and guaranteed to give you as few Jar-Jar flashbacks as possible.