Star Wars Actress Disappointed With Woman-of-Color Character Death: 'Are You F-ing Joking?'

By Russ Milheim Updated:
Star Wars, Solo, Han Solo, Thandiwe Newton

After the most recent trilogy of the Star Wars franchise fizzled out, the future of it wasn't all that clear. But then The Mandalorian arrived and changed everything.

Its overwhelming positive reception has led to a future on Disney+ with countless new shows on the horizon. Many shows have been officially announced already, but there are still plenty of rumors about what may still be waiting in the wings. 

Among those whispers is the return of Darth Maul who was last seen in Solo: A Star Wars Story. The film itself wasn't much of a success, but Maul's appearance was something that excited fans and is begging for a continuation.

Solo has re-entered the current conversation thanks to an interview with Thandiwe Newton, who played Val in the film. While doing the rounds for her upcoming film Reminiscence, the actor commented on how disappointed, and seemingly angry, she still is about her character's fate.



In a conversation with Inverse, Solo: A Star Wars Story star Thandiwe Newton reflected on her time on the project and why her character's fate was so disappointing to her.

Newton candidly spoke about how she "felt disappointed by Star Wars that [her] character was killed," adding that "in the script, she wasn't killed:"

"I felt disappointed by Star Wars that my character was 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."

Still fed up all these years later, Newton bluntly continued by saying "you don't kill of the first Black woman to ever have a real role in a Star Wars movie:"

"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. 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 fucking joking?"


Newton is justified in how she feels about the whole situation. While the character went out with a sacrificial moment, there were still plenty of other ways to get the scene where it needed to be so that her character Val would make it out alive—even if it was an ambiguous death like the actor mentioned.

It's even worse than the death wasn't planned and was potentially a product of production mismanagement. She was fantastic in the role, and it would have been great to see her pop up in the future. 

While the future of Solo's timeline and/or loose ends remains unknown, fans have The Book Of Boba Fett to look forward to later this year and potentially at least three additional live-action projects next year, something that would mark the most amount of Star Wars in a year that fans have ever had before.

Representation is important. With the new direction in which the franchise is heading, Star Wars can make up for its past in that regard.

- About The Author: Russ Milheim
Russ Milheim is the Industry Relations Coordinator at The Direct. On top of utilizing his expertise on the many corners of today’s entertainment to cover the latest news and theories, he establishes and maintains communication and relations between the outlet and the many studio and talent representatives.