Thandiwe Newton Calls Her ‘Star Wars’ Character’s Death a ‘Big Mistake’: ‘I Felt Disappointed’

Thandiwe Newton Calls Her Star Wars Character Death Big Mistake Yellow Dress
 Rob Latour/Shutterstock

Looking back. Thandiwe Newton has opened up about her character being killed off in 2018’s Solo: A Star Wars Story and how she felt seeing it play out onscreen.

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The Westworld star, 48, candidly discussed race and her overall disappointment in her character’s death during an interview with Inverse.

Newton, who made history for her role of Val in the 2018 Star Wars origin film as its first woman of color lead, criticized the movie for “failing” the character.

“I felt disappointed by Star Wars that my character was killed,” the England native told the outlet in an interview published on Wednesday, August 25. “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.”

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She mentioned that, per the script, Val was set to fall after the explosion scene and viewers “don’t know where she’s gone,” which would have allowed space for Newton to potentially come back for future movies.

Thandiwe Newton Calls Her Star Wars Character Death Big Mistake
Thandiwe Newston in ‘Solo A Star Wars Story,’ 2018. Lucasfilm/Walt Disney Studios/Moviestore/Shutterstock

“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,” she 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.”

The Reminiscence actress added, “You don’t kill off the first Black woman to ever have a real role in a Star Wars movie. Like, are you f—king joking?”

Newton played Val, a member of Beckett’s (Woody Harrelson) intergalactic crew. At the time of the film’s release, she opened up about the pros and cons of taking on the role as a woman of color.

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“I am the first dark-skinned woman in a lead role in the Star Wars legacy, which is both great, that it is finally a correction, and awful, that it’s taken this long,” she told The Guardian in May 2018.

Following the success of the Lucasfilm flick, Newton sought to take her career into her own hands. “I don’t feel like I’m an actress for hire anymore, in the way that I used to be. I am not a person for hire,” she told the U.K. newspaper at the time. “I really want to get to the f—king core of why we do what we do. I certainly don’t think that I know, but I love stories that are really trying to find out.”

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