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Thandiwe Newton says Star Wars killing off her Solo character was "a big, big mistake"

Thandiwe Newton in Solo: A Star Wars Story
(Image credit: Disney)

Thandiwe Newton has spoken out about her character's death in Solo: A Star Wars Story – and revealed that she wasn't originally meant to be killed off.

"I felt disappointed by Star Wars that my character was killed,” Newton told Inverse. “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. That’s what it originally was: that the explosion and she falls out and you don’t know where she’s gone. So I could have come back at some point."

Newton played Val in the Han Solo origin story, who was the wife of Woody Harrelson's character Beckett – Han's mentor and a notorious criminal. Val is a fellow criminal and a member of her husband's crew.

"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?"

Newton's latest big-screen role is in the sci-fi thriller Reminiscence, the directorial debut from Westworld co-creator Lisa Joy. She plays Watts, the business partner of Hugh Jackman's protagonist, Nick. She's currently filming the thriller All the Old Knives, alongside Chris Pine, Laurence Fishburne, and Jonathan Pryce. 

While we wait for Newton's next movie to hit the big screen, fill out your watch list with our picks of the best movies of 2020.

I’m an Entertainment Writer at GamesRadar+, covering everything film and TV-related across the Total Film and SFX sections – I help bring you all the latest news and the occasional feature, too. I’ve previously written for publications like HuffPost and i-D after getting my NCTJ Diploma in Multimedia Journalism.