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Rolling Solo: Thandie Newton Made a Stylish Statement About Representation at Cannes 

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Thandie Newton and Stormtroopers attend a ‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’ party at the Carlton Beach following the film’s out of competition screening during the 71st International Cannes Film Festival on May 15, 2018 in Cannes, France.Photo: Antony Jones (Getty Images for Disney)

Fun fact: Thandie Newton collects Star Wars action figures. Well, only the black ones.

How do we know? Because she incorporated them into the Vivienne Westwood gown she wore to Tuesday night’s European premiere of Solo: A Star Wars Story, which opens May 25th in the U.S. That’s right: Newton, who plays explosives expert Val Beckett in the film, figuratively brought Billy Dee Williams, John Boyega, Samuel L. Jackson, Forest Whitaker, and Ghanaian actor Hugh Quarshie along as her guests, literally wearing her love for the characters they’ve played in the franchise on her sleeve (and her skirt, and her bodice, and her train).

How, you ask? Newton’s ivory silk gown was made using Westwood’s iconic “absence of roses” print, which was then customized with an overlay of silkscreened images of Newton’s collection of Star Wars action figures, photographed by fashion photographer Christian Hogstedt.

Paired with golden platform sandals and Newton’s natural curls swept up into a stunning pompadour, the effect was a dazzling tribute to the few black actors who have been immortalized as action figures by the Star Wars franchise (soon to be joined by Donald Glover). It’s also exactly the type of subversive yet subtle statement about black representation we’d expect from the actress who continuously knocks Westworld off its axis.

Thandie Newton attends the screening of ‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’ during the 71st annual Cannes Film Festival at Palais des Festivals on May 15, 2018 in Cannes, France.Photo: Pascal Le Segretain (Getty Images)

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But Newton wasn’t the only one who arrived at the premiere in style; aside from her Solo costars, other notables on the carpet included models Lais Ribeiro, Maria Borges and Winnie Harlow, rapper and mogul 50 Cent and … a Michael Jackson impersonator?

(l-r, top to bottom) Lais Ribeiro, Donald Glover, Maria Borges, Winnie Harlow, 50 Cent, a Michael Jackson impersonator, Thandie NewtonPhoto: Pascal Le Segretain (Getty Images), Andreas Rentz (Getty Images), Antony Jones (Getty Images for Disney)

Want to know more about Newton’s character and what to expect from Solo: A Star Wars story? Check out


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