Aside from Han Solo, Lando Calrissian is the coolest guy in the Star Wars galaxy. The fan-favorite character was first introduced in The Empire Strikes Back, with Billy Dee Williams playing him. Although much of Calrissian’s life was fleshed out in the old “Legends” Expanded Universe, there is still much to learn about him in the new canon. Sadly, Lando was left out of the events in The Force Awakens, but we still might see the character on the big screen.
Lando Calrissian will be played by Donald Glover in the Han Solo stand-alone film.
Here’s a look at Calrissian and his future in the Star Wars universe.
1. Calrissian Will Be in the ‘Young Han Solo’ Movie & Donald Glover Is Playing Him
It would be difficult to please anyone without including Calrissian in the Young Han Solo stand-alone film The LEGO Movie directors Christopher Miller and Phil Lord are working on. So it was no surprise when The Wrap reported on August 11 that the luckiest sabacc player in the galaxy would make an appearance in the film.
On the same day as The Wrap’s report, Birth.Movies.Death reported that Donald Glover is the top pick to play Lando.
On October 21, Disney and Lucasfilm announced that Glover will play Lando in the film.
“We’re so lucky to have an artist as talented as Donald join us,” Lord and Miller said in a statement. “These are big shoes to fill, and an even bigger cape, and this one fits him perfectly, which will save us money on alterations. Also, we’d like to publicly apologize to Donald for ruining Comic-Con for him forever.”
In the film, Glover will play a much younger Lando, before he acquired Cloud City.
Glover is best known as the rapper Childish Gambino and also starred in the NBC series Community. In 2015, he starred in The Martian and has an unknown role in Spider-Man: Homecoming. He stars in the FX series Atlanta, which starts on September 6.
In a new Time Interview, Glover wouldn’t confirm or deny his involvement in Star Wars and admitted that he loves the franchise. He said:
I mean, I grew up on it. My dad was a big fan. I had all the toys when I was little. I had a Darth Vader with the lightsaber he has. It was cool. It’s a dynasty. It’s like the bible. I love that franchise.
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2. Writer Lawrence Kasdan Teased the Return of Calrissian in a Future ‘Star Wars’ Movie
In a 2015 interview with Vanity Fair before The Force Awakens opened, writer Lawrence Kasdan confirmed that Calrissian wasn’t in the new film. “But Lando I don’t think is finished in any way, shape, or form,” he teased.
This could have been a reference to the Han Solo movie. Kasdan, who co-wrote The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens, is also working on the Han Solo movie with his son Jon Kasdan.
Williams, 79, is still playing Calrissian. He voiced the character in two episodes of Star Wars Rebels and has voiced Calrissian for various Lego Star Wars shows and movies. He certainly still has a connection to the character.
“…I’m with that character every year,” he told Cinelinx in February 2015. “I go out on the road and do these conventions, so that character is perpetually with me. I’m never without that character at some point or another. Lando is very much a part of my life.”
Williams also explained to Cinelinx:
You know, Star Wars has been around for several years now, and I think, in my opinion, this gives Lando a certain kind of credence that he really deserves. For years there’s been these books about Lando and his adventures. So this is great that we can actually see Lando in some of his adventures.
3. His Life After ‘Return of the Jedi’ Has Been Barely Explored in the New Canon
Calrissian hasn’t shown up often in post-Return of the Jedi era stories that are part of the new, Disney-established canon. He popped up in a single panel in Marvel’s Shattered Empire series, a comic that followed Shara Bey, a Rebel pilot who was at Endor and turns out to be the mother of Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac). He helped Princess Leia and Shara to stop the Empire from making Naboo inhospitable.
We do know that Calrissian is still alive around the time of The Force Awakens. In the book Bloodline, which focuses on Leia’s career as a Senator six years before The Force Awakens, he voiced support for Leia after the New Republic learned about Darth Vader being her real father.
4. Calrissian Had His Own Marvel Comics Series Set Before ‘The Empire Strikes Back’
If you’re looking for more Calrissian adventures, just pick up a copy of Star Wars: Lando, the five-issue mini-series Marvel published last year. Written by Charles Soule and drawn by Alex Maleev, it finds Calrissian trying to pull off an art heist in order to pay off a big debt. The art, found on a gleaming yacht owned by a higher-up in the Empire, turns out to be more dangerous than he bargained for. Lobot, who was Calrissian’s aide on Cloud City, is revealed to be a close friend of his.
“Is Lando Calrissian the coolest character in all of Star Wars? Depends on who you ask, probably. But if you ask me, the answer is yes, and I plan to prove it with this story,” Soule told StarWars.com when the book was announced.
The series doesn’t lead up directly to the game of sabacc he won that gave him control of Cloud City, but we do see Lobot try his best to convince Calrissian that he needs to find a more stable life.
Calrissian’s pre-Empire Strikes Back adventures are also seen in two episodes of Rebels when he meets the Ghost crew. He appears in “Idiot’s Array” and “The Siege of Lothal.”
Calrissian is also the star of Rebel Bluff, a short story written by Michael Kogge that appeared in Star Wars Insider in June 2015.
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5. Calrissian Eventually Married & Had a Child in the “Legends” Stories
Although no longer canon, Calrissian did eventually get married in the “Legends” storylines. Eighteen years after the Battle of Yavin (seen in A New Hope), he met Tendra Risant in the Corellian Trilogy novels by Roger MacBride Allen. The character continued to play a role in the “Legends” universe through the New Jedi Order books and into the Fate of the Jedi series. They also had a son, named Lando Calrissian, Junior.
Calrissian also had his own trilogy of adventures, published in 1983 and written by L. Neil Smith. The novels were all set before he lost the Millennium Falcon to Han Solo.
“Lando is fun-loving, kind of roguish — in some ways good, in some ways bad, but mostly good,” Williams told Parade in November 2015. “He was dubious in some ways, but had a vulnerability that gave him a sort of presence and a persona. He was a swashbuckling character, kind of an Errol Flynn. I wanted to make the character bigger than life. (And I should have kept that cape.)”
Calrissian is such a popular character that Key & Peele featured him in a sketch, seen below.
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