86th Annual Academy Awards - Press Room

Source: Dan MacMedan / Getty

Academy Award-winner Lupita Nyong’o is carrying on the tradition of Billy Dee Williams and Samuel L. Jackson as a black member of the Star Wars franchise. Vanity Fair recently published a series of exclusive images from the set of the upcoming film, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which features Nyong’o. The actress posted a picture on her Instagram confirming the news she has been cast as an intergalactic pirate named Maz Kanata.

“The secret is out at last: I play Maz Kanata in Star Wars VII,” Nyongo wrote on an Instagram post featuring her covered in what appeared to be passive motion capturing software markers. “@VanityFair has the real scoop with photography by legendary Annie Leibovitz.”

Nyong’o won an Academy Award in 2014 as the Best Actress in A Supporting Role for her portrayal of Patsey in 12 Years A Slave. Star Wars: The Force Awakens is currently in post-production with a scheduled release date of December 18, 2015.

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