Thandiwe Newton is reflecting on her role in 2018’s Solo: A Star Wars Story and says she wishes what happened on-screen had not happened.
The 48-year-old actress spoke with Inverse and opened up about her overall disappointment that her history-making character died in the movie.
“I felt disappointed by Star Wars that my character was killed,” the England native and Westworld star said during the interview. “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.”
Newton became the first woman of color to lead in a Star Wars movie with her role as Val. She says 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 return for future films.
“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.”
Newton 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?”
In the movie, Val is a member of Beckett’s intergalactic crew.