Tag Archives: Solo: A Star Wars Story

Thandie Newton gives back-to-back mean mugs in “Westworld 2” and “Solo: A Star Wars Journey” trailers

Thandie Newton as Val, sitting by a campfire in Solo: A Star Wars Story and as Maeve in Westworld Season 2

While the Philadelphia Eagles won the Super Bowl and made their city proud, I think it’s safe to say the real winner of the Super Bowl, as far as celebrity exposure goes, was Thandie Newton.

The veteran actor was seen in the splashy (and scary) trailer for the second season of HBO’s Westworld. While the first season wasn’t my most favorite thing in the world, Newton was one of the handful of women actors who buoyed the entire production and made it a lot more interesting that would have been without them. If I were to strap myself in for another season of body horror and acts of physical and sexual abuse, the only reason I’d watch were to see what would become of Newton’s sympathetic and righteous character Maeve.

The day after the Super Bowl, we finally got the full trailer for Solo: A Star Wars Story. Like with the image of Lando in the Super Bowl teaser trailer, we only see Newton on screen one time as mysterious mercenary Val. And, like with the uprising of Twitter over the lack of a Lando movie, I wish there was an entire movie about Val and how she fits into this wild galaxy. Basically, I just want a film with Lando and Val doing awesome bounty hunter stuff. I don’t think that’s too much to ask.

In any event, Westworld and Solo: A Star Wars Story places Newton as one of the reigning queens of Black Women in Sci-Fi, and I’m extremely excited to see what she does in both Westworld and Solo. But, while the Solo does look incredibly beautiful, I’m still not sure if I’m sold on the plot or on Alden Ehrenreich as Han. We’ll see I guess.

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Judging by the fur coat, “Solo: A Star Wars Story” should have been “Lando: A Star Wars Story”

Ron Howard and Donald Glover on the set of Solo: A Star Wars Story

I’ve seen the Solo: A Star Wars Story teaser trailer, and let’s just be honest: the film should be Lando’s. Just look at the one still that has got the interwebs talking:

Donald Glover as Lando Calrissian in Solo: A Star Wars Story
Lucasfilm/YouTube

If one image–ONE IMAGE–can get people excited, and that image isn’t featuring Han Solo, then either you have a big problem–your lead character doesn’t really have a fantastic backstory or it isn’t being approached in an innovative, exciting way–or your lead character is someone else in the story instead of the character who is actually cast as “the lead.” For instance, Harry Potter is the lead in his story, but the true lead is actually Hermione Granger, since she’s the actual brains behind the group.

Just from the one look at Donald Glover in that huge fur pimp coat, and you immediately get Lando’s story. Right away, you want to know everything about this guy, the story behind that coat, and what makes him tick. Meanwhile, I’m already bored with Alden Ehrenreich as Han, and Han is actually a very fun character who should have a very thrilling backstory. Why does his story look so boring? So standard?

One quick thing to say is “It’s because he’s a white guy and movies are moving away from white guys.” That’s a trite way of describing today’s shift from all white all the time to diversity and inclusion. But I actually don’t think diversity is all that’s making Han Solo’s story boring. It just looks like it’s going to be portrayed in the most pedantic way–he’s a rogue who’s stuck in jail who will probably bust out by pretending to want to be a part of the resistance. That’s my guess at what the story is, and I’ll be surprised if the film doesn’t start with Han in jail. In other words, we can already figure out what Han is about. What mystery is there left with Han?

Lando, on the other hand–we know next to nothing about him except that he lives in Cloud City, is the coolest MF in the galaxy, and has a plethora of fabulous capes and coats. Let’s hope we get a lot of Lando in this film, because otherwise, I might be bored silly.

As you’ve probably read before on this websiteSolo: A Star Wars Story is not high on my list of must-see films, mostly because it seems like a film plagued with behind-the-scenes creative problems. But another reason it’s not high on my list is because it seems like a Star Wars retread in a lot of ways. Not only are we regressing to figure out what makes Han compelling (a fact that could be smeared by this film), but the film’s continues the annoying trend of white brunettes as leading women. It sounds like I’m singling out white women; I’m not. But you can’t deny that the only women of power in these films are brunettes. Like, enough already. Another Star Wars (and general film) trend that’s in Solo: A Star Wars Story is the use of women of color as exotic objects. Case in point: this golden woman.

Image of black woman in a gold costume in Solo: A Star Wars Story
Lucasfilm/YouTube

Who is she and will we ever meet her again in a capacity that’s not in a fetishized context? Probably not.

What did you think of the teaser trailer? Give your opinions in the comments section below!

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