Solo: A Star Wars Story not only introduced audiences to the earlier years of Han Solo (Alden Ehrenreich), Chewbacca (Joonas Suotamo) and Lando Calrissian (Donald Glover), but it also introduced new characters into the lore such as Tobias Beckett (Woody Harrelson), Qi’ra (Emilia Clarke) and Val (Thandie Newton).
Many fans were excited to see Westworld star Thandie Newton appear in the film. For one, it was another addition to the growing list of exciting new female characters in Star Wars and is the latest to be a woman of color – a place where Star Wars casting still needs to improve on.
Unfortunately, while Val was overall well-liked by fans, many were left disappointed when she died early-on in the film, leaving her significant other Beckett alone with young Han and Chewie.
According to Solo co-screenwriter Jon Kasdan, Val was always intended to die at this point in the film. However, Kasdan also expressed that he felt that Newton brought such a gravitas to a role as small as Val:
“In retrospect, Thandie Newton may have actually been too good and too interesting as Val. It was always in the design of the story that Beckett would lose his trusted crew members during the Conveyex Job-gone-wrong and be forced to rely on newbies, Han and Chewie, and this would also open the door for Lando, Qi’ra and L3 to join the crew, but Thandie is so compelling to watch that the death of her character feels a little like a cheat. It’s an odd and unexpected problem that comes with working with such amazing, compelling actors in the Star Wars universe. You just want more of them.”
Despite mostly positive reviews from critics and fans who saw it, Solo was a major box office disappointment for Lucasfilm. Being the fourth film in the iconic franchise since Disney relaunched it in 2015 with Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the financial performance for Solo couldn’t even compare.
What did you think of Thandie Newton’s portrayal as Val in Solo? Do you also think that she deserved to have more screentime and was abruptly killed off? Sound off in the comments below, and be sure to continue following Heroic Hollywood for all the latest news in the galaxy far, far away.
Directed by Ron Howard from a script by Lawrence Kasdan and Jon Kasdan, the film stars Alden Ehrenreich, Woody Harrelson, Emilia Clarke, Donald Glover, Thandie Newton, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Joonas Suotamo and Paul Bettany.
Solo: A Star Wars Story is now available to own on Digital HD and will be available on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray, Blu-ray and DVD on Tuesday September 25.