Thandie Newton, star of the HBO series Westworld, is reportedly in talks for a role in the upcoming Star Wars standalone movie about young Han Solo.
According to Variety, Thandie Newton – best known for starring in HBO’s critically acclaimed series Westworld – is in talks to join the small but growing main cast of 2018’s young Han Solo movie.
Before fans of the Marvel Star Wars comic series declare Newton is playing Sana Solo (Han’s alleged wife) because she is a woman of color, let me point out a few things. First, Newton is 44 years old, older than Sana was in the comics (which, incidentally, takes place after the events of A New Hope. The young Han Solo movie lies before that film in the official timeline). Second, not every person of color has to play someone we already know. That’s the problem with lack of diversity. Everybody assumes if a person of color is in a starring role in a Star Wars movie that because they are so rare, they must be related to a character who fans are already familiar with.
Image Credit: HBO (via Flavorwire)
Granted, there are cases where we do know the character from a previous canon story. In Rogue One, Forest Whitaker played Saw Gerrera, a rebel first introduced in The Clone Wars. And for the Han Solo movie, actor Woody Harrelson is rumored to play a character from Legends named Garris Shrike. But assuming an actor or actress must be filling a specific role because of their skin color or gender shouldn’t be the default reaction.
As for Newton, she is a great match for Star Wars. A talented actress, she will break up the monotony of the (so far) male-dominated main cast.
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The Han Solo movie is scheduled to premiere in theaters on May 25th, 2018.