News, Culture & Society

Thandie Newton wears gown adorned with black Star Wars characters

She declared herself ‘the first woman of colour to have a prominent role in the Star Wars legacy’ when the trailer was released in April.

And Thandie Newton paid homage to the black actors who have come before her as she premiered the latest installment, Solo: A Star Wars Story, at Cannes Film Festival on Tuesday night.

Thandie, 45, made quite the statement in a red carpet dress adorned with the faces of fellow stars – including Samuel L. Jackson and John Boyega – as she prepared to make history with her own leading role in the cult franchise. 

Take a stand: Thandie Newton made a huge fashion statement in a gown adorned with black Star Wars characters at the Solo: A Star Wars Story premiere at the Cannes Film Festival on Tuesday

Thandie – who plays the mysterious Val in the franchise spin-off – worked alongside British designer Vivienne Westwood to create the decadent couture gown for the event.

The Westworld star’s stylist, Erin Walsh, shared an illustration of the dress in the design process on Instagram, and explained that Thandie wanted to dedicate her red carpet moment to those who came before her. 

In the lengthy caption, Erin said: For tonight’s #Starwars premiere, Thandie had the brilliant idea to make a dress covered in a print with photos of iconic black @starwars characters! She wanted to celebrate her role in the iconic history of the franchise!!’

Stunning: Thandie - who plays the mysterious Val in the franchise spin-off - worked alongside the British designer to create the elaborately embellished ensemble

Stunning: Thandie – who plays the mysterious Val in the franchise spin-off – worked alongside the British designer to create the elaborately embellished ensemble

Paying tribute: Thandie gave a huge nod to the black Star Wars characters in her custom Vivienne Westwood design, which featured  Samuel L. Jackson and John Boyega to name a few

Paying tribute: Thandie gave a huge nod to the black Star Wars characters in her custom Vivienne Westwood design, which featured  Samuel L. Jackson and John Boyega to name a few

Paying tribute: Thandie gave a huge nod to the black Star Wars characters in her custom Vivienne Westwood design, which featured Samuel L. Jackson and John Boyega to name a few

Iconic moment: Thandie is the first black actress to play a leading role in the 71-year franchise

Iconic moment: Thandie is the first black actress to play a leading role in the 71-year franchise

Thandie is the first black actress to play a leading role in the 71-year franchise, and the fashion expert described how the dress finally came together. 

Erin continued: ‘[Christian Högstedt] photographed the action figures from her personal collection and @viviennewestwood made a SICK print on a gown that’s totally ethical’. 

The stunning tan floral gown was embellished with the action figures of Samuel L. Jackson as Mace Windu, Billy Dee Williams as Lando Calrissian, Forest Whitaker as Saw Gerrera and Hugh Quarshie as Captain Panaka.

Thought process: Thandie's stylist, Erin Walsh, shared an illustration of the dress, and explained that she wanted to dedicate her red carpet moment to those who came before her

Thought process: Thandie’s stylist, Erin Walsh, shared an illustration of the dress, and explained that she wanted to dedicate her red carpet moment to those who came before her

Representing: The stunning tan haute couture gown  also included Billy Dee Williams as Lando Calrissian, Forest Whitaker as Saw Gerrera and Hugh Quarshie as Captain Panaka

Representing: The stunning tan haute couture gown  also included Billy Dee Williams as Lando Calrissian, Forest Whitaker as Saw Gerrera and Hugh Quarshie as Captain Panaka

Representing: The stunning tan haute couture gown  also included Billy Dee Williams as Lando Calrissian, Forest Whitaker as Saw Gerrera and Hugh Quarshie as Captain Panaka

Making history: While very little is known about Thandie's character in the hotly anticipated sci-fi flick, the actress got very candid about her feelings towards the long-running series 

Making history: While very little is known about Thandie’s character in the hotly anticipated sci-fi flick, the actress got very candid about her feelings towards the long-running series 

While very little is known about Thandie’s character in the hotly anticipated sci-fi flick, the actress got very candid about her feelings towards the long-running series and its checkered history with diversity. 

In an interview with Page Six last month, Thandie admitted she found it ‘extraordinary’ that it had taken 10 different films for the first black woman to be cast in a starring role. 

The screen queen explained: ‘I felt excited that I could let go of my own personal resentment and frustration and feeling of hopelessness, frankly.’

Shock: In an interview with Page Six last month, Thandie admitted she found it 'extraordinary' that it had taken 10 different films for the first black woman to be cast in a starring role

Shock: In an interview with Page Six last month, Thandie admitted she found it ‘extraordinary’ that it had taken 10 different films for the first black woman to be cast in a starring role

'Let go': Thandie explained: 'I felt excited that I could let go of my own personal resentment and frustration and feeling of hopelessness, frankly'

‘Let go’: Thandie explained: ‘I felt excited that I could let go of my own personal resentment and frustration and feeling of hopelessness, frankly’

In character: Thandie also revealed her delight at her casting to the Radio Times and shared her excitement over her character getting its own action figure

In character: Thandie also revealed her delight at her casting to the Radio Times and shared her excitement over her character getting its own action figure

Crediting director J.J Abrams for ‘starting the conversation’ by casting fellow Brit John Boyega in the series reboot The Force Awakens, Thandie shared her elation at the film finally shining a spotlight on diverse characters.  

‘It felt brand new,’ Thandie continued. ‘It had that vibe of just rebels out there and that’s kind of what I feel like, because in order to break glass ceilings, you kind of got to be a rebel. Rebels get s–t done.’

‘I’m just so grateful to [Abrams]. He’s a single individual and what he’s doing in cinema is unprecedented. I wish it wasn’t unprecedented, but it is.’ 

So happy: Thandie credited director J.J Abrams for 'starting the conversation' by casting fellow Brit John Boyega in the series reboot The Force Awakens

So happy: Thandie credited director J.J Abrams for ‘starting the conversation’ by casting fellow Brit John Boyega in the series reboot The Force Awakens

In the spotlight: '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' reasoned Thandie

In the spotlight: ‘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’ reasoned Thandie

Thandie also revealed her delight at her casting to the Radio Times and shared her excitement over her character getting its own action figure. 

Of her character being the first black female lead, the Crash actress told the publication: ‘I’m the first woman of colour to have a prominent role in the Star Wars legacy.’ 

‘There have been others with one line and Lupita Nyong’o was a computer-generated character [in The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi], but you didn’t get to see the colour of her skin.

‘I’m the first. I’m going to have a toy and everything. It’s exciting, but that’s all I can say. It is a big deal.’ 

Little has been revealed about Thandie’s character, but from the film’s trailer it’s clear that she’s part of the crew that works alongside young Han Solo (Alden Ehrenreich) as he takes on the criminal underworld.  

The film is set to be released in the UK on May 24, and in the US on the 25th. 

Making a comeback: Thandie posed beside fellow Solo star Donald Glover, who takes over from Billy Dee Williams as the charming smuggler and Rebel Alliance leader Lando Calrissian

Making a comeback: Thandie posed beside fellow Solo star Donald Glover, who takes over from Billy Dee Williams as the charming smuggler and Rebel Alliance leader Lando Calrissian



Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


Do you like it? Share with your friends!


Comments are closed.