The fierce is strong with this one.
When Solo: A Star Wars Story star Thandie Newton attended a screening of the film at the Cannes Film Festival on Tuesday, she hit the Palais wearing past faces of the franchise. Her custom Vivienne Westwood gown was cut from fabric printed with action-figure likenesses of all the black Star Wars characters who have come before her.
To create the print for the dramatically draped gown, photographer Christian Högstedt took pictures of action figures from Newton’s own collection, which were then layered over a pale gold and grey floral print. Newton’s stylist Erin Walsh shared a design illustration and some close-up photos of the fabric, which was embellished with Swarovski crystals, on her Instagram Tuesday.
“Thandie had the brilliant idea to make a dress covered in a print with photos of iconic black @starwars characters,” Walsh captioned the images. “She wanted to celebrate her role in the iconic history of the franchise!! She is the first black woman onscreen in a @starwars movie with a leading role.”
As Solo star Donald Glover asked in the May 12 episode of Saturday Night Live, “Where the hell are all the black people in space?” It’s no surprise Newton could fit all of them (multiple times!) on one gown, which features the likenesses of Billy Dee Williams as Lando Calrissian, John Boyega as Finn, Samuel L. Jackson as Mace Windu, Forest Whitaker as Saw Gerrera, and Hugh Quarshie as Captain Panaka.
So far, it’s a very short list, and there are no women on it. But the last few years of new Star Wars films have begun to balance the race and gender demographics of the faraway galaxy’s roster of heroes. Starring as Val in Solo, Newton is a part of that promising shift — and we have a very good feeling about her intergalactic style.
Solo: A Star Wars Story hits theaters May 25.