Solo: A Star Wars StoryStar Wars Stories

Newton believes “Val” is a big deal in the Star Wars galaxy

Thandie says her character has a prominent role in Solo: A Star Wars Story


Everyone knows that Han Solo (Harrison Ford) gave Finn (John Boyega) the nickname “Big Deal” in Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

However, speaking to the RadioTimes, Westworld standout Thandie Newton told Huw Fullerton that her character, Val, is a really “big deal.”

Speaking before news broke that Lucasfilm J.J. Abrams hired Victoria Mahoney as a second unit director on Star Wars: Episode IX, Newton explained the significance of her presence on the Solo: A Star Wars Story casting list.

“I’m the first woman of color to have a prominent role in the Star Wars legacy,” said Newton, who continued:

There have been others with one line and Lupita Nyong’o was a computer-generated character… but you didn’t get to see the colour of her skin. I’m the first.

Perhaps thinking of fans–young and old–perusing the pegs at their nearest toy or super store, Newton added, “I’m going to have a toy and everything.”

However, Fullerton wasn’t able to tease any more detail from the media-savvy actor.

“It’s exciting, but that’s all I can say,” she said. “It is a big deal.”

Earlier this year, in an exclusive, Newton told Brice Sander, “I think that the clip that you see, even though it’s really brief, tells you a lot,” she said. “You know, there she is holding what looks like a weapon, and in a state of natural empowerment. You know, both the way she looks and her attitude.”

I loved playing the character. Loved it.

Pressed for more on the experience of the Star Wars shoot, Newton added:

“[I] Loved the team that we started with, and then the team we went onto have with Ron Howard. I loved all the directors that we had… on the movie, and it was a privilege, and I just adored working with Woody Harrelson. I just had so much fun.”

You may watch that interview below, and catch more from Newton when Radio Times’ newest issue hits newsstands.


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John Bishop

A graduate of Boston and Northeastern universities, John Bishop became the beat reporter for prior to the B’s 2006-07 hockey season. While with the Bruins, “Bish” traveled North America and Europe to cover the Black & Gold’s every move via laptop, blog, and smart phone. The co-author of two books, Bygone Boston and Full 60 to History: The Inside Story of the 2011 Stanley Cup Champion Boston Bruins, John covered the XXI Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver in 2010 and the B’s 2011 championship run and banner raising before taking a faculty/communications position at a prep school outside Boston in 2013. He lives with his wife Andrea and sons Jack, Scott, and Luke in central Massachusetts.
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