The production of the Han Solo spinoff movie has been shrouded in secrecy since before new director Ron Howard took over. And though he’s offered teases here and there with photos from the set, he’s been careful not to give anything away.
That might have changed with his latest post to social media, because Howard might have given a major detail about Thandie Newton’s character in the movie with a minor slip of the finger.
In the photo, Howard reveals that Newton has wrapped on the reshoots for the Han Solo movie. He also states that she was added to several new scenes that are apparently key in his version of the film. But look at what he’s covering up with his hand on her shoulder. That’s a patch. And if you look at the sliver of the patch that’s uncovered, it’s the insignia of the tyrannical ruling force in the galaxy.
Thandie Newton is wearing garb adorned with the crest of the Galactic Empire. Does that mean she’s the villain in the new Star Wars movie? And is she a character we’ve already seen before?
When Thandie Newton was first cast in the film, fans thought she could be playing Sanna Starros, a fellow con artist who faked a marriage with Han to help pull a con.
New details have teased she might be Rae Sloane, an Imperial commander who aided the fleet before the Battle of Yavin and who also helped create the First Order after the Emperor’s death.
Both seem to be unlikely, considering those are fully formed characters whose major traits were fleshed out in tertiary media before the Han Solo script was written and filming began.
Though the movies include some characters, such as Saw Gerrera from Star Wars: Clone Wars who later appeared in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story or Grand Admiral Thrawn from the Extended Universe books who later appeared in Star Wars Rebels, those are different cases.
The movies will rarely include characters who have been so thoroughly defined, and who have established trajectories in the canon. They have to fit there characters into an already woven tapestry. That leaves little room to adapt their characters to the story they want to tell, because they have to respect everything that came before and what will come after.
Instead of limiting themselves with restrictions, directors and writers would much rather be able to tell stories unencumbered by character minutiae that might be contradicted by a throwaway line of dialogue in a book or comic.
Thandie Newton is likely to be playing a brand new character in the Star Wars universe, but is she friend or foe? It looks like Howard’s latest photo might have revealed the answer to that question…
However, it should be considered that this is a cast and crew jacket and the insignia means nothing. But, then again, why would it be covered up?
The untitled Han Solo spinoff is due in theaters May 25, 2018.