|Star Wars character|
Billy Dee Williams as Lando Calrissian in Return of the Jedi.
|First appearance||The Empire Strikes Back (1980)|
|Full name||Landonis Balthazar Calrissian III|
Lindo Calrissian (father)
Chance Calrissian (son)
|Spouse||Tendra Risant (Legends)|
|Significant other||L3-37 (Solo: A Star Wars Story)|
Baron Landonis Balthazar "Lando" Calrissian III[a] is a fictional character in the Star Wars franchise. In The Empire Strikes Back (1980), Lando is introduced as an old friend of Han Solo. Prior to the events of the film, Lando made a career as a gambler, con artist, playboy, mining engineer, businessman, and was the owner of the Millennium Falcon until losing the ship to Han in a bet. He has become the administrator of Cloud City on the gas planet Bespin, and in the film, reluctantly betrays Han to Darth Vader. In Return of the Jedi (1983), he helps rescue Han from Jabba the Hutt and becomes a general in the Rebel Alliance and leads the attack on the second Death Star. He is portrayed by Billy Dee Williams in the original trilogy, as well as The Rise of Skywalker (2019), marking one of the longest intervals between portrayals of a character by the same actor in American film history.
Donald Glover portrayed a younger version of the character in the standalone Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018). Lando also appears frequently in the Star Wars Expanded Universe of novels, comic books and video games, including a series of Legends novels.
The character has become one of the franchise's most popular, with Billy Dee Williams' performance receiving praise. Donald Glover's performance in Solo was also well received, being hailed as one of the film's highlights. Williams was nominated for the Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actor twice for his performances in The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi.
Lando is portrayed by Billy Dee Williams in The Empire Strikes Back (1980), Return of the Jedi (1983), and The Rise of Skywalker (2019), and was played by Donald Glover in the film Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018).
Lando Calrissian first appears in The Empire Strikes Back as the administrator of Cloud City, an old friend of Han Solo (Harrison Ford), and the previous owner of Han's ship, the Millennium Falcon. When Han, Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher), Chewbacca (Peter Mayhew), and C-3PO (Anthony Daniels) arrive at Cloud City, Lando welcomes them as guests of honor - only to betray them to Darth Vader (portrayed by David Prowse, voiced by James Earl Jones), who plans to use them as bait to ensnare Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill). Lando had reluctantly agreed to betray Han and company after Vader threatened to put Cloud City under the Galactic Empire's control if he refused. Lando allows Vader to freeze Han in carbonite and give him to bounty hunter Boba Fett) (Jeremy Bulloch); when Vader takes Leia and Chewbacca prisoner, however, Lando's conscience gets the better of him and he helps them escape. In the ensuing evacuation of Cloud City, he helps them escape in the Falcon. He later assists in rescuing Luke from the underside of Cloud City. Afterwards, he promises to help find Han.
In Return of the Jedi, Lando goes undercover to help Luke rescue Han from crime lord Jabba the Hutt. During a battle with Jabba's henchmen, Han saves Lando from being devoured by the Sarlacc; Lando then helps Han and the others destroy Jabba's barge. For his heroics, he is made a general in the Rebel Alliance. Lando then takes the pilot chair in his old ship, the Millennium Falcon, and leads the attack on the second Death Star. He leads the Rebel strike on the battle station, and personally destroys its power core, causing the station to explode. He then joins the other Rebels on Endor in celebrating their victory and the end of the Empire.
Lando did not appear in the first film of the sequel trilogy, The Force Awakens (2015). According to Williams, the reason Lando did not return may have been that he did not fit into the storyline. His absence from the casting announcement caused the displeasure of some fans.
Lando was also absent from The Last Jedi (2017). During the early development of the film, director Rian Johnson briefly considered bringing back Lando as the codebreaker that Resistance members Finn (John Boyega) and Rose Tico (Kelly Marie Tran) seek in the coastal city of Canto Bight, but Lando was finally written out of the film's script, with the codebreaker role ultimately going to Benicio del Toro's character DJ.
Lando finally reappeared in 2019's The Rise of Skywalker, marking one of the longest intervals between portrayals of a character by the same actor in American film history. In the backstory to the film, in the years of peace after the Galactic Civil War, Lando attempted to start a family, and his daughter was born. In the time they were together, he was a loving father, however when she was two years old, she vanished, kidnapped by unknown culprits. In time, it became clear that the First Order was behind both her abduction and those of other children of former Rebel leaders. After the tragedy of losing his daughter and his failure in a quest with Luke Skywalker to find answers about the growing darkness in the Force, Calrissian settled on the desert planet of Pasaana and adopted a life of solitude.
Lando first appears in The Rise of Skywalker on Pasaana, guiding Rey (Daisy Ridley), Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac), Finn, and Chewbacca toward a clue for the whereabouts of the Sith wayfinder. Poe asks Lando to aid the Resistance, but Lando refuses, saying he does not fly anymore, but sends his regards to Leia. Lando reappears much later in the film, upon Leia's death, and he tells a grieving Poe that he, Luke, Leia, and Han were similarly unprepared when they were fighting the Empire, but that they were able to succeed because they had each other. This inspires Poe to launch an offensive against the forces of the Sith Eternal, with Lando traveling the galaxy to recruit Rebel veterans and other supporters of the Resistance's cause to help in the final battle. Just as the Resistance appears most overwhelmed in the battle, Lando, Chewbacca, and Wedge Antilles (Denis Lawson) arrive in the Millennium Falcon alongside a massive fleet of Resistance sympathizers, allies, and veterans, and they help to win the battle and the war. At the end of the film, as the galaxy is celebrating the Resistance's victory, Jannah (Naomi Ackie), a former stormtrooper, approaches Lando and says she does not know where she is from; he tells her that they will find out together.
Donald Glover portrays a young Lando Calrissian in Solo: A Star Wars Story, which takes place before the original trilogy. Glover had the opportunity to speak with Billy Dee Williams and seek his input. "He said, 'Just be charming'. Which is the best advice." Williams had expressed interest in making a cameo appearance (though likely as another character) in the film, but he did not ultimately appear.
Lando is introduced as a gambler and "retired" smuggler who owns a ship fast enough for Han (Alden Ehrenreich) and his associates to use in stealing a load of raw starship fuel. Han tries to win the ship (the Millennium Falcon) from him in a game of sabacc, but Lando cheats and cleans Han out. However, Lando agrees to join the team in exchange for a percentage of the profits from the mission. During the heist and subsequent escape, Lando is injured and his droid co-pilot L3-37 is irreparably damaged, but Han brings the Falcon to safety with help from L3's navigational database after he hotwires it into the ship's computer. Lando later takes the Falcon and abandons the team, but Han tracks him down and wins it from him in another game of sabacc, having stolen the card Lando had up his sleeve to let him cheat.
In "Idiot's Array", Lando wins Chopper (voiced by Dave Filoni), the repair droid of the crew of the Ghost, in a game of sabacc, forcing the crew to assist him with a dangerous smuggling run to get their droid back. The crew become Lando's reluctant business partners following the ordeal, leading to their first encounter with the crime boss Azmorigan (voiced by James Hong). In "The Siege of Lothal", the crew of the Ghost approach Lando for help in getting off of Lothal, which is under Imperial occupation. He is also mentioned on occasion in various other episodes, becoming one of a couple of aliases employed by series protagonist Ezra Bridger (voiced by Taylor Gray).
In July 2020, the Kessel Run Transmissions YouTube Channel revealed that they heard word that Lucasfilm was developing a Lando spin off series for Disney+, with Donald Glover reprising his role from Solo. In the same video, they also revealed that there may be plans for a Disney+ series focusing on Lando and Jannah (Naomi Ackie) set after the events of The Rise of Skywalker. Lucasfilm has yet to comment on the existence of either of these shows.
Billy Dee Williams reprises his role as Lando Calrissian in various games, including as a playable character in Star Wars Battlefront and Battlefront II. However, only the second is canonical to the storyline of the films, due to the first game not containing any kind of narrative.
Lando Calrissian is the lead character in Lando, a five-issue miniseries published in 2015. Lando has a brief appearance in the comic miniseries Shattered Empire published by Marvel Comics in 2015. Lando is also the lead character in the comic Lando: Double or Nothing, a five-issue miniseries released in 2018.
The novel Star Wars: Last Shot reveals that between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens, Lando is considering settling down with a Twi'lek girlfriend.
Legends novels, comics, and video games are not considered canonical to the films. With the 2012 acquisition of Lucasfilm by The Walt Disney Company, most of the licensed Star Wars novels and comics produced since the originating 1977 film Star Wars were rebranded as Star Wars Legends and declared non-canon to the franchise in April 2014.
The Star Wars comic book series released by Marvel Comics featured Lando as a prominent character following The Empire Strikes Back. In the comic series, he has a crime lord nemesis named Drebble, and Lando will frequently make use of his foil's name as a cover identity so that any animosity he generates while using the alias will be brought against the real Drebble, not Lando himself. This eventually backfires when "Drebble's" exploits are recognized by the Rebellion and Lando - being the only person who knows of him - has to present the real Drebble with an award for his own activities.
Lando is a supporting character in Legends novels that took place after Return of the Jedi commonly depicted Lando as getting involved in a variety of entrepreneurial schemes, including Nomad City in Timothy Zahn's Thrawn trilogy and the Kessel Spice Mines in the works of Kevin J. Anderson. During The Corellian Trilogy, Lando goes on a galaxy-wide hunt for a rich wife, ultimately marrying Tendra Risant. With his in-laws' money and his entrepreneurial abilities, he opens a mining facility on the outer rim planet of Dubrillion. In The New Jedi Order and beyond, Lando continues being a valuable ally and friend to the Skywalker/Solo family. In Fury, the seventh novel of the Legacy of the Force series, Lando announces to Han and Leia that he and Tendra are having a child.
Kevin J. Anderson stated that Lucasfilm toyed with the idea of killing off Lando, noting the character had run his course for Expanded Universe authors in the 1990s.
The collected trilogy
|Author||L. Neil Smith|
The Lando Calrissian Adventures
The Lando Calrissian Adventures is a 1983 trilogy of science fiction novels by L. Neil Smith. Set in the Star Wars Expanded Universe, the novels chronicle Lando's smuggling days before the events of the original Star Wars trilogy. The series has been described as "space pulp", and highlights the differences between Lando and Han Solo. The books were released in July, October, and December 1983, and were the first Star Wars books released since The Han Solo Adventures (1979–1980); both trilogies were originally published by Del Rey, a division of Ballantine Books. They were also among the last novels in the franchise until Timothy Zahn's Thrawn trilogy was released in the early 1990s. The series was retroactively set ten years before the original Star Wars film, and is brought into chronological context with the rest of the Expanded Universe in Rebel Dawn (1998), the final book of A. C. Crispin's Han Solo Trilogy.
The novelization of Solo: A Star Wars Story makes reference to the events of the first book as a previous adventure of Lando's, which he recounts while composing his autobiographical "Calrissian Chronicles". He further estimates that it will be the first in a trilogy of his adventures.
Lando Calrissian and the Mindharp of Sharu is the first novel in Smith's Lando Calrissian trilogy, published by Del Rey on 1 July 1983. It is noted as being more of a psychedelic fantasy novel than hard science fiction. The book begins shortly after Lando wins the Millennium Falcon in a game of sabacc, as well as a robot which must be picked up in the Rafa system. Upon the planet of Rafa IV, convicts are made to harvest mind-draining "life-crystals" which prolong the life of elite citizens. Lando is arrested and brought before the colony's corrupt governor and the sorcerer Rokur Gepta, who will let him keep his life and liberty if he can locate the legendary Mindharp of the ancient and long-lost Sharu civilization. The Mindharp is revealed to be kept inside a multidimensional pyramid with mind-altering properties, which provides a strange adventure for the daring Lando.
Lando Calrissian and the Flamewind of Oseon is the second novel in the trilogy, published on 1 October 1983. After selling a load of life-crystals, and accompanied by his droid Vuffi Raa, Lando attempts a career as an honest freighter captain. After some bad luck, he is soon nostalgic for his old trade. Fortunately, he is invited to a sabacc game on Oseon celebrating an event called Flamewind, but is followed by Rokur Gepta. After an explosion rocks the hull of the Falcon, they safely land. During the sabacc game, Lando is distracted by the apparent sabotage of his ship, and is assaulted. He comes under trial for having a weapon, illegal on the planet. He is offered a smuggling deal as an alternative to execution.
Lando Calrissian and the Starcave of ThonBoka is the third novel, published on 1 December 1983. Nearly a year after Lando and Vuffi Raa have left the Oseon system, while traveling in deep space they encounter Lehesu, a vacuum-breathing creature. Able to establish communication, they find out he is also on an adventure away from his home, the ThonBoka nebula. A month later, Lando and Raa receive word that ThonBoka is under attack from the Imperial Centrality Navy. Lehesu's exploration of the Centrality apparently provoked the attack on his species. Lando and Raa rush to assist their friend. The Imperial blockade makes Lando nervous, but he cons his way through the fleet. When the Millennium Falcon strays from its course and is ordered to return, they dump explosives and go into hyperspace to fake the Falcon's destruction. Meanwhile, Rokur Gepta forms an alliance with a confederate squadron. Lando and Raa reunite with Lehesu, and hear of a negotiation attempt which only results in an outbreak of battle. The vacuum-breathing creatures use their projection and hyperspace abilities to fool the Imperial Navy, which fires on its allied ships. As Vuffi Raa pilots the Falcon, Lando engages the enemy in battle from the quad-gun in one of their last adventures before Raa is resummoned to his original programming.
Williams reprised his role as Lando in Legends videogame Star Wars: Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast. In Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga, Calrissian is an unlockable playable character, having the characteristic of being able to kiss Leia's hand if she is nearby. Lando is also a playable character in the multiplayer aspect of the 2017 game Star Wars: Battlefront II.
Concept and creation
This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (March 2017)
Actor Yaphet Kotto was an early choice for the role of Lando Calrissian, but chose to appear in the prison drama Brubaker instead. In writing The Empire Strikes Back, Lucas initially considered that Lando Calrissian was a clone from a planet of clones which caused the Clone Wars mentioned in the original Star Wars film.
The Verge noted that despite Han Solo's first name being written as "Han" and franchise creator George Lucas also pronouncing the name as "Han" (hæn) off-screen, within the films most characters, including Luke Skywalker, pronounce it as "Hahn" (hɑn). The Verge also noted how Billy Dee Williams' Lando seems to be the only character to pronounce it as "Han" like Lucas, and that when, in The Empire Strikes Back, Lando is choked by Chewbacca for betraying Han, Lando causes most other characters to shift to "Han". In Solo: A Star Wars Story, Glover decided to deliberately use "Han" instead of "Hahn" in order to honor the character's trait.
Dialogue in Solo suggests that Lando is sexually interested in men, women, and droids, including both Han and L3-37. When asked about a scene where L3 jokes about Lando's flirtatiousness towards Han, writer Lawrence Kasdan said, "That is her personality. Maybe it means something, maybe it doesn't." Co-writer Jonathan Kasdan implies that Lando is pansexual, stating, "There's a fluidity to Donald and Billy Dee's [portrayal of Lando's] sexuality ... I would have loved to have gotten a more explicitly LGBT character into this movie. I think it's time, certainly, for that, and I love the fluidity ― sort of the spectrum of sexuality that Donald appeals to and that droids are a part of. He doesn't make any hard and fast rules."
According to Alyssa Rosenberg of The Washington Post, Lando is a "fascinating and fraught part of the 'Star Wars' legacy and the conversation around race in science fiction". She added that "Lando's the only character in 'Star Wars' with a truly comfortable sense of style." On his portrayal, she wrote, "One of Williams's accomplishments in 'Empire' and 'Return of the Jedi' is how much he [feels] like an old-fashioned movie star in a futuristic setting without making the performance seem incongruous."
Lando Calrissian was chosen as the 11th best Star Wars character by IGN and the 12th best Star Wars hero by IGN's Jesse Schedeen, who also said that he was one of the characters he'd most like to see in Star Wars: The Force Unleashed.
In 2015, Billy Dee Williams publicly admitted that he received backlash from children who were angered by Lando's betrayal of Han Solo in The Empire Strikes Back. Williams felt that the situation would have been different if Lando had been played by a white actor. Williams wrote that "Lando is not black or white, he's just Lando. Above and beyond the arguments or discussions of bygone eras, he is of the future." He further stated,
The one thing I always find myself explaining is that Lando didn't betray Han and his friends. He was dealing, as best he could, with a situation that was presented to him by the Empire upon their arrival. One of the most amusing moments for me was that Lando decided to challenge Darth Vader (for about three seconds) until he realized that maybe he'd better back down and figure out another way to save his friends.
Writing for The Verge, Megan Farokhmanesh criticized Jonathan Kasdan's assertion that Lando is pansexual as "a piss-poor shot at representation", and argued that Kasdan was conflating pansexuality with promiscuity. Farokhmanesh compared the assertion to J. K. Rowling's statement that Albus Dumbledore is gay, despite none of the Harry Potter books mentioning the character's sexual orientation. In 2019, Billy Dee Williams criticized the decision as well, blaming Solo's underperformance at the box office on its focus on this "topical" issue.
In popular culture
- A Kenner Lando Calrissian action figure appears among Elliot's toys in E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial.
- In Something, Something Dark Side and It's A Trap!, Family Guy's parodies of The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, Mort Goldman served as a stand-in for Lando Calrissian.
- In the TV series Timeless season 2 episode 22 ("The King of the Delta Blues," 4/22/18) Connor Mason (Paterson Joseph) uses Lando Calrissian as his alias and stands in as the technician for the legendary recording session with Robert Johnson; when he returns to the present, his record dust jacket has Lando Calrissian listed as the recording technician.
- Lando is revealed to be short for "Landonis" in Solo: A Star Wars Story. His full name is "Landonis Balthazar Calrissian III".
- Breznican, Anthony (27 July 2018). "Leia and Lando return: Carrie Fisher and Billy Dee Williams will appear in Star Wars: Episode IX". Entertainment Weekly. New York City: Meredith Corporation. Retrieved 28 July 2018.
- Kasdan, Jon (25 September 2018). "Jon Kasdan on Twitter: 'It's actually Landonis Balthazar Calrissian III and we recorded Pheobe saying that but to put in his full name would've meant reediting like two weeks before we had to lock picture and I was told we couldn't. Another regret.'". Twitter. Retrieved 5 October 2018.
- Wild, Allison (10 July 2018). "Billy Dee Williams to Return as Lando in Star Wars: Episode IX". The Portalist. Retrieved 21 October 2018.
- "Donald Glover Cast as Young Lando Calrissian in Upcoming Han Solo Star Wars Stand-Alone Film". StarWars.com. 21 October 2016. Retrieved 20 December 2016.
- Williams, Billy Dee (December 2015). "Billy Dee Williams (Lando Calrissian)". StarWarsInterviews.com (Interview). Interviewed by Dennis Pellegrom. Retrieved 23 December 2017.
- Hooton, Christopher (30 April 2014). "Star Wars 7 cast: Where is Lando Calrissian?". The Independent. London, England: Independent Print Ltd. Retrieved 20 December 2016.
- Agar, Chris (21 November 2017). "Star Wars 8: Billy Dee Williams Will Not Appear". Screen Rant. Montreal, Quebec, Canada: Valnet, Inc.
- Butler, Tom (14 December 2017). "'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' cast demand JJ Abrams brings back Lando for 'Episode 9' (exclusive)". Yahoo!. Sunnyvale, California: Oath Inc.
- Gonzalez, Umberto (11 August 2016). "'Han Solo' Film Casting Young Lando Calrissian (Exclusive)". The Wrap.
- "Don't copy Harrison Ford': How the new Han Solo reprised an iconic Star Wars role". ABC News Online. 23 May 2018. Retrieved 14 August 2018.
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- Alexander, Julia (16 May 2018). "Lando Calrissian Star Wars spinoff could happen, says Lucasfilm president (update)". Polygon.com. Retrieved 14 August 2018.
- "Billy Dee Williams Confirms His Involvement In 'Star Wars Rebels'". Star Wars Underworld. Retrieved 29 December 2014.
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- Breznican, Anthony (18 April 2018). "Star Wars: Han and Lando novel Last Shot gets personal and political". Entertainment Weekly. New York City: Meredith Corporation. Retrieved 14 August 2018.
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- "Disney and Random House announce relaunch of Star Wars Adult Fiction line". StarWars.com. 25 April 2014. Retrieved 26 May 2016.
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- Allison, Keith (22 January 2015). "... In a Galaxy Far, Far Away". The Cultural Gutter. Retrieved 2 March 2017.
- Garcia, Adam Lance (30 July 2018). "'Star Wars' writer reveals original vision for the sequels and his thoughts on 'The Last Jedi'". Yahoo. Retrieved 8 June 2019.
- Daley, Brian (2011). The Han Solo Adventures. Random House. p. timeline. ISBN 978-0-307-79548-9.
- "Lando Calrissian: 7 Things You Need to Know from Solo: A Star Wars™ Story". DK. Retrieved 2 December 2019.
- Whitbrook, James (8 May 2018). "Lando Calrissian and the Mindharp of Sharu Is One of the Weirdest Star Wars Stories Ever Told". io9. Retrieved 17 June 2019.
- Ratcliffe, Amy (12 April 2018). "Han and Lando Books to Read Before SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY". Nerdist. Retrieved 8 June 2019.
- Marc Shapiro (January 1992). "Yaphet Kotto: Freddy Fighter". Fangoria. Horror Spectacular. No. 5. pp. 28–32.
- Bouzereau, Laurent (1997). The Annotated Screenplays. New York City: Del Rey. p. 196. ISBN 978-0-345-40981-2.
- Kaminski, Michael (2008) . The Secret History of Star Wars (3.0 ed.). Kingston, Ontario, Canada: Legacy Books Press. p. 158. ISBN 978-0-9784652-3-0.
- Farokhmanesh, Megan (18 April 2018). "Solo: A Star Wars Story reminds us that no one knows how to say Han's name". The Verge.
- Bradley, Bill (17 May 2018). "'Star Wars' Writer Confirms Lando's Sexual Fluidity In 'Solo'". HuffPost. Retrieved 18 May 2018.
- Rosenberg, Alyssa (13 November 2015). "'Star Wars' and the enduring appeal of Lando Calrissian". The Washington Post. Washington DC: Nash Holdings LLC. Retrieved 21 October 2018.
- "Top 100 Star Wars Characters". IGN. San Francisco, California: j2 Global. Archived from the original on 17 August 2010. Retrieved 12 January 2011.
- Schedeen, Jesse (13 August 2008). "Top 25 Star Wars Heroes: Day 3". IGN. San Francisco, California: j2 Global. Retrieved 12 January 2011.
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- Williams, Billy Dee (2015). Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back. New York: Marvel Comics. p. 4. ISBN 978-0-7851-9367-8. OCLC 898924803.
- Farokhmanesh, Megan (17 May 2018). "Lando Calrissian's newfound 'pansexuality' is bullshit". The Verge. Retrieved 12 August 2018.
- Lang, Nico (9 December 2019). "Billy Dee Williams Is Not Here For Pansexual Lando Calrissian". Out. Retrieved 7 October 2020.