Solo: A Star Wars Story–Thandiwe Newton on her Character’s Death

Thandiwe Newton Reveals Her ‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’ Character Wasn’t Supposed to Die

“You don’t kill off the first Black woman to ever have a real role in a Star Wars movie,” the actress said in a new interview, also sharing what the original script had in store for her character.


Thandiwe Newton is disappointed about her character’s death in Solo: A Star Wars Story, but it’s not because she wants to come back to the popular intergalactic franchise.

The Westworld star said that her character was actually scripted to live in the 2018 Han Solo stand-alone, which underwent a director change and featured extensive reshooting before making its way to theaters. Newton says a tight filming schedule resulted in her character dying in a bridge explosion after she sets off a bomb.

“I felt disappointed by Star Wars that my character was killed,” Newton said of her character’s demise. “And, actually, in the script, she wasn’t killed. It happened during filming.”

According to Newton, the original plan for her character still involved the explosion but with her falling out into space “and you don’t know where she’s gone.”

The decision then to definitely kill off her character, Val — one among a group of three heisters — “was much more just to do with the time we had to do the scenes.” To Newton’s knowledge, “it was too huge a set-piece to create, so they just had me blow up and I’m done.”

“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 explained.

The scripted ending would have left room for Newton’s character to potentially appear again if ever called upon, but that possibility is no longer on the table and it frustrates Newton — who called the decision a mistake — for one specific reason.

“I remembered at the time thinking, ‘This is a big, big mistake’ — not because of me, not because I wanted to come back,” she said. “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?”