You might remember during the production of Star Wars: The Force Awakens we had heard and seen a lot of things related to what would become Maz Kanata. Back then we learned that her codename was “Rose.” Now The Hollywood Reporter has a story on the inspiration for Maz Kanata and the name “Rose,” returns:
“Yes, the character of Maz was originally based on the great Rose Gilbert,” Abrams said. “We really wanted the story to feel authentic, despite being a wild fantasy. I mentioned Rose in an early story meeting as a sort of timeless, wise figure that I’d actually known in my life.”
So that explains why “Rose” was used to describe Maz on various documents during the production and gives us some insight into the person on whom J.J. Abrams based the newest eccentric Star Wars hero. The article also goes onto say that not only was Abrams taught by Rose Gilbert but so was production designer Rick Carter. A little backstory on Rose Gilbert:
Gilbert, whose large glasses are similar in size and aspect to Maz’s, was a Palisades Charter High School teacher since its open in 1961 and retired at the age of 94 in 2013 as the oldest full-time teacher in the L.A. Unified School District, according to the Post. Before her retirement, she was teaching three AP English classes in the same classroom she held for 51 years.
Unfortunately, Rose Gilbert passed away before Abrams and Carter could show their work to their inspirational teacher. You can read the article about her passing here where we found this photo of Rose Gilbert:
Another mystery solved!