Thandiwe Newton has recently opened up about her character Val in Solo: A Star Wars Story and is shedding new light on what was supposed to happen to her character in the film.
Solo is the Star Wars spinoff film about a young Han Solo that was met with mixed reviews, to say the least. And in the movie, Newton played the character Val, who was part of Tobias Beckett’s gang. Midway through the movie, Val was killed in an explosion during a mission gone wrong, and that was the last we saw of her.
Now, speaking to Inverse, Newton says that wasn’t the original plan. Yes, her character was going to meet some unfortunate circumstance in the film, but it seems like they wanted to make it vague enough for Val to potentially return in the future. Newton expressed her feelings about the change, saying:
"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."
Thandiwe Newton expresses Solo disappointment
It seems like it was a matter of cutting corners, as she noted: “it was too huge a set-piece to create, so they just had me blow up and I’m done.” Still, the implications of Val’s death are far bigger than Newton not having a shot at returning. She also mentioned:
"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*cking joking?"
Unfortunately, the Solo creators did seem to seal themselves in with the final death scene that they decided to go with for Val. And, honestly, they were shaping Val up to be such an incredible character that it was rather disappointing to see her die before even making it to the climax of the film.
If Star Wars really wants to bring her back, there could be ways. Because if someone like Boba Fett can survive the Sarlacc pit for “reasons,” and even Fennec Shand can be brought back with cybernetic implants after being left for dead, there’s the potential to bring Val back too.
Still, that doesn’t detract from the weight of the moment we all felt when Val died — and especially what Newton is feeling as the actress who had to see her character sidelined in this way. So, it’s possible we can get justice for Val in the future, and thankfully there are many different mediums in Star Wars (from spinoff series to comics) to do just that.
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