Thandie Newton's 'Solo' Red Carpet Gown Pays Tribute To Every Black 'Star Wars' Character

Talk about a fashion statement.

History is being made with Solo: A Star Wars Story. Thandie Newton is playing the first Black female live-action character (Val) in the franchise and, while venturing into uncharted territory, the Westworld star isn't forgetting the Black characters that came before her — and she's honoring them.

At the Cannes Film Festival premiere of Solo, Newton's fashion choice — a custom Vivienne Westwood gown — paid tribute to the likes of Lando Calrissian (played by Billy Dee Williams in Episodes V-VI and Donald Glover in Solo), Finn (played by John Boyega in Episodes VII-VIII), Saw Gerrera (played by Forest Whitaker in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story), Captain Panaka (played by Hugh Quarshie in Episode I), and Mace Windu (played by Samuel L. Jackson in Episodes I-III).

The gown, according to Red Carpet Fashion Awards, features the likenesses of the Star Wars characters based on Newton's personal figurine collection that was photographed and layered on top of Westwood's "Absence of Roses" print. This style choice succeeded by making an already gorgeous outfit truly one of a kind. And, better yet, the dress also follows the Eco-Age Green Carpet Challenge.

Yes, Lupita Nyong'o has played Maz Kanata in Episodes VII-VIII, but that was a CGI character. While the latest Star Wars trilogy has been focusing on White female stories, thanks to Rey (Daisy Ridley) and Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones), Newton's casting is a major win for Black women whose stories have yet to be explored in the Star Wars series. With the first Black female director hired, perhaps that will be changing soon.

After all, there's a whole universe out there. In the meantime, let's celebrate Newton's achievement and diversity in film.

Cover image credit: Stephane Mahe / Reuters

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