Han Solo prequel's Thandie Newton celebrates being "first woman of colour" with major Star Wars role

Representation in the Star Wars franchise is far, far away from what we want it to be, but that doesn’t mean it’s not making steps towards lifting up more diverse actors.

And one of those actors, who is set to play an important part in Solo: A Star Wars Story, is Thandie Newton – and she’s very happy about that.

Speaking to the Radio Times about her role in the upcoming prequel, Thandie said that her character Val is not only “exciting” but “a big deal”. Maz Kanata, eat your heart out.

“I’m the first woman of colour to have a prominent role in the Star Wars legacy,” Thandie explained of the mysterious Val.

Meet Val! #solo

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Meet Val! #solo

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“There have been others with one line and Lupita Nyong’o [as Maz Kanata] was a computer-generated character, but you didn’t get to see the colour of her skin. I’m the first.”

Proving that she’s about to make waves in the Star Wars galaxy, Thandie added: “I’m going to have a toy and everything. It’s exciting, but that’s all I can say. It is a big deal.”

We don’t know too much about Thandie’s role in the Han Solo spin-off, but we do know that almost all of her material is at the hands of original directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller.

Revealing all about the decision to replace Lord and Miller with Ron Howard, the actress dismissed claims that re-shoots were rife: “Their work is everywhere in it.”

“90 per cent of my stuff is with them,” she said. “And it certainly wasn’t about, ‘Oh we have to start again and do it all over.'”

Solo: A Star Wars Story will be released on May 24 in the UK and in US cinemas on May 25.

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