Actress Thandie Newton didn’t mince words when she put Lucafilm and Star Wars on blast for killing off her character in Solo: A Star Wars Story.
Newton played Val, a human criminal who not only worked with Tobias Beckett, but was also romantically involved with him during the events of Solo: A Star Wars Story.
Val died while Beckett led his team on a raid of a 20-T Railcrawler conveyex transport containing valuable Coaxium needed to pay off Beckett’s debt to Crimson Dawn leader Dryden Vos.
While Beckett, Han, Chewie, and Rio attempt to grab one of the transport’s cargo units containing the Coaxium, the marauder Enfys Nest and her soldiers arrive on the scene in order to steal the Coaxium from under them.
Meanwhile, Val, who was positioned to destroy the transport’s bridge via explosives is delayed and pinned down due to the deployment of Viper droids that were originally sent to intercept Beckett.
She tells Beckett, “I’m gonna have to finish the job from right here. It’s been a ride, babe. And I wouldn’t trade it for anything.”
She then proceeds to detonate the explosives and blow up the bridge where she is located.
Newton addressed her character’s death while speaking to Inverse to promote her latest film Reminiscence.
She first expressed her disappointment that the character was killed, “I felt disappointed by Star Wars that my character was killed.”
Newton then proceeded to reveal that in the script her character wasn’t actually killed, “And, actually, in the script, she wasn’t killed. It happened during filming. And it was much more just to do with the time we had to do the scenes. It’s much easier just to have me die than it is to have me fall into a vacuum of space so I can come back sometime.”
She elaborated, “That’s what it originally was: that the explosion and she falls out and you don’t know where she’s gone. So I could have come back at some point. But when we came to filming, as far as I was concerned and was aware, when it came to filming that scene, it was too huge a set-piece to create, so they just had me blow up and I’m done.”
Newton then recalled, “But I remembered at the time thinking, “This is a big, big mistake” — not because of me, not because I wanted to come back. You don’t kill off the first Black woman to ever have a real role in a Star Wars movie. Like, are you f***ing joking?”
YouTuber Jeremy Griggs of Geeks + Gamer responded to Newton’s comments.
He said, “Lucasfilm never cared about representation. Lucasfilm never cared about diversity. Lucasfilm never cared about your social justice causes.”
“They were using you because they don’t really care about you. This what people like me have been calling out for several years now. This is why we continue to say that all of this pandering and projection is nonsense. Because they don’t actually believe in this stuff that they claim they believe. And you are finding that out the hard way,” he added.
What do you make of Newton’s comments?