“Solo” Scribe: Thandie Newton Was Too Good

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With the arrival of “Solo: A Star Wars Story” on Digital HD, the film’s co-writer Jon Kasdan has posted a Twitter thread offering lots of little tidbits of information regarding the spin-off feature and its place in overall “Star Wars” lore.

One of the more interesting quotes is about “Westworld” actress Thandie Newton who was stuck in a fairly thankless role as Val, the partner of Woody Harrelson’s mentor character and whom has far too little screen time for many people’s liking. Kasdan agrees, in fact he thinks they essentially over-cast the role:

“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.

It can be a tough thing to balance when sometimes you have a character with an important role, but that role is to die at the end of the first act. Jon Kasdan says that it was always in the plan for Beckett’s crew to die on the heist and leave him with only Han and Chewbacca, but then the movie went and cast the great Thandie Newton in the role of Val, and so a lot of people took issue with her being killed off.”

The other issue with the death was that the film only had two female roles in it of any weight, the other with Val’s demise that left Emilia Clarke’s Qi’ra as the sole major female role – and another white brunette at that. Newton was an exception.

Talking about Lord and Miller’s involvement, he credits them for the speeder chase at the start along with the worm-like Lady Proxmia, making Chewie ‘the beast’ and his mudpit cage, the look of Lando’s gambling den, the closet of capes scene, the casting of Erin Kellyman as Enfys Nest, and the ill-temper and bad behavior of droid L3-37 which ties back to the 1977 original’s scene involving the two droids being barred from a Mos Eisley cantina.

“Solo: A Star Wars Story” is now available in Digital HD format and will hit Blu-ray and rental VOD on September 25th.

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“Solo” Scribe: Thandie Newton Was Too Good
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