The names of the characters portrayed by Thandie Newton and Phoebe Waller-Bridge in Solo: A Star Wars Story have been revealed. Lucasfilm has finally pulled the curtain back on this year's much-discussed spinoff, hoping to calm any nerves the production woes and marketing delay might have caused. The promotional campaign finally kicked off with a 45-second Super Bowl spot, followed by the full teaser trailer today. Also unveiled was a collection of character posters, highlighting the young Han, Chewie, and Lando - as well as Emilia Clarke's Qi'Ra.
Fans will surely learn more about the movie over the next couple of months as they get acquainted with the newest Star Wars ensemble. In addition to the "returning" original trilogy figures (with different actors), there's also a handful of new individuals audiences will meet for the first time in Solo. Previously, the names for Qi'Ra and Woody Harrelson's Tobias Beckett were confirmed via toy leaks, and now more have been revealed.
Per official trailer stills from Lucasfilm, it's been confirmed Waller-Bridge plays the female droid L3-37 and Newton stars as a mysterious figure named Val. Based on the footage from the trailer, the former appears to be Lando's robotic co-pilot before he loses the Millennium Falcon to Han and the latter could be a member of Beckett's crew he assembles. Obviously, details on both are hard to come by at this juncture, but that could change as advertising heats up.
All of the Star Wars films to date have featured a droid in a main role, so it isn't surprising director Ron Howard's prequel continues that grand tradition with L3. What is noteworthy here is that Waller-Bridge - as previously reported - is bringing to life the first principal female Star Wars robot. In the eight episodes of the Skywalker saga and Rogue One, all of the principal droid companions had male programming, so this is a nice change-of-pace. The Fleabag star has her work cut out for her to meet the bar set by R2-D2, BB-8, and K2-SO before her, but she should be able to deliver a strong performance and be a worthy addition to the franchise. L3-37 already has one standout moment with a synchronized launch procedure she does with Lando.
As for Newton, one of Howard's famous set photos fueled speculation she was a member of the Empire, but the trailer makes it seem like her Val is a member of the criminal underworld always on the prowl for a score. Perhaps a Solo set piece involves our "heroes" disguising themselves as Imperials to pull off a heist. That's another classic Star Wars staple seen in several of the previous movies, and it would be fun to see another spin on that concept.
- Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) release date: May 25, 2018
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: Episode IX (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019