Star Wars: Episode VIII may have finished shooting, but any Star Wars movie is made as much during post-production as it is during the shoot itself. And apparently that extends to calling a few actors to the set, as Lupita Nyong’o revealed at TIFF.
While talking to Collider, she was asked about shooting Episode VIII and working with director Rian Johnson, and she admits she hasn’t been to the set yet:
Rian! I haven’t worked with him yet; I’ve yet to shoot. That’s in my future.
Nyong’o, of course, plays the CGI character Maz Kanata, so in theory, at least, she can shoot her role pretty much whenever she and Johnson feel like strapping on the ping-pong-ball covered suit. That said, though, for The Force Awakens, she was on-set to interact with the rest of the cast, which raises a few questions.
The most basic answer is that Maz’s scenes, however brief they may be, don’t happen with the rest of the cast, perhaps as flashbacks or in a separate plot thread. That would be interesting not least because there’s another non-human character with a mysterious role, Yoda, and a flashback would make a bit more sense, if for no other reason than they’ve both had long lifespans, and the past returning to bite you is an ongoing theme in Star Wars. We’ll find out soon enough; Star Wars: Episode VIII arrives December 2017.