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Thandie Newton is the first 'woman of color to have a prominent Star Wars role'
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Thandie Newton is thrilled to have become the "first woman of color to have a prominent role in the 'Star Wars' legacy".

The 45-year-old actress plays the part of Val in the eagerly-awaited 'Solo: A Star Wars Story', which is due out next month, and Thandie is proud to have secured the role, describing it as a "big deal".

She said: "I'm the first woman of color 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."

The London-born actress is delighted to have been chosen for the coveted role.

But she also admitted that, at this stage, there's not much she's allowed to say about her on-screen character.

Speaking to the Radio Times, Thandie explained: "It's exciting, but that's all I can say. It is a big deal."

Earlier this month, Hollywood legend Samuel L Jackson doubted whether the success of 'Black Panther' will lead to long-term changes within the movie business.

The 69-year-old actor - who previously appeared in the 'Star Wars' prequel trilogy - doesn't think the acclaimed movie - which features a predominantly black cast - will ultimately have the impact some fans have suggested.

He said: "I'm not positive that 'Black Panther' is going to change the dynamic of black stories being told in Hollywood and being accepted all over the world.

"It's an action-adventure story and a lot of people like those, and they'll work all over the world forever because everybody loves a hero.

"But not everybody loves a drama about somebody's life experience - that's why awards have a separate category for foreign films; they are perceived as being different.

"Once we stop perceiving them as different and just see them as good films and they get recognised in the same category, we'll be laying markers."

This article originally ran on celebretainment.com.

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