There are spoilers ahead for Solo: A Star Wars Story.
One of the best things about Solo: A Star Wars Story is that Thandie Newton is in it. One of the worst things about Solo: A Star Wars Story is that Thandie Newton’s character, Val, dies about 30 minutes into the movie. It’s an incredibly upsetting moment, considering we had just gotten to know — and love — the resourceful, take-no-prisoners character. But in order to get the heist done, and for Han Solo to actually start down his smuggling path, it’s something that needs to happen.
We first meet Val when Han meets Val, and that’s in the trenches of a pretty crazy blaster fight, and Val is fighting for the Empire. Or, well, she’s masquerading as someone fighting for the Empire along with her partner (and partner in crime), Beckett. Han, seeing that the life they’re leading is way better than his in the trenches, begs to join them. After much reluctance on everyone’s part, Han becomes the latest member of their crew, and the group sets off for their next target.
It’s here where Val meets her end. Seeing no other way to secure a stash of hyperfuel coaxium — and stop the other smugglers from getting it — Val detonates an explosive nearby, making the ultimate sacrifice. But knowing that she wouldn’t make it to the end of the film didn’t stop Newton from giving the role her all. For her, the role of Val was hella important, because it helped shape the future of one of her favorite Star Wars characters: Han Solo.
Newton came onboard Solo knowing what would happened to her character, and that was fine by her since she was more concerned with knowing how that would eventually end up affecting Han.
As for whether we’ll ever see Val back on the big screen again? Newton’s not so sure, but never say never.
So do you hear that? If we want another Star Wars movie with a strong female lead and Val at the helm, we’ve got to start tweeting a lot at the Star Wars twitter account, since that’s how things get done.