Lando Calrissian[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 original owner of the Millennium Falcon until losing the ship to Han in a bet. He has become the Baron Administrator of Cloud City on the gas planet Bespin, and in the film, betrays Han to Darth Vader. In Return of the Jedi (1983), he 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 and the forthcoming 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 Lando 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 in which he is the protagonist.
- 1 Concept and creation
- 2 Appearances
- 3 Reception
- 4 Notes
- 5 References
- 6 External links
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 star 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 A New Hope. An early trailer for the film introduced him as Landau Calrissian.
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 the other characters "Hahn" in order to honor the character's trait.
Lando Calrissian first appears in The Empire Strikes Back (1980) as the administrator of Cloud City. The rebels arrive in Lando's old ship, the Millennium Falcon. Shortly before Han Solo and crew made it to Bespin, Darth Vader and a contingent of Imperial forces arrived and forced Lando to betray his old friend in a plot meant to ensnare Luke Skywalker. Lando reluctantly leaves the city in the hands of the Empire, but his conscience gets the better of him when Vader takes Leia and Chewbacca prisoner. When Lando sets them free, Chewbacca tries to strangle Lando for giving Han to bounty hunter Boba Fett. In the ensuing evacuation of Cloud City, he helps Leia, Chewbacca, C-3PO and R2-D2 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 (1983), 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 helps the rebels to victory by destroying the gigantic Imperial battle station.
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 Finn and Rose Tico 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.
In July 2018, it was confirmed that Lando will appear in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, which will mark one of the longest intervals between portrayals of a character by the same actor in American film history.
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 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, 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 reluctant business partners to Lando following the ordeal, leading to their first encounter with the crime boss Azmorigan. In "The Siege of Lothal", the crew of the Ghost reluctantly 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.
Billy Dee Williams reprises his role as Lando Calrissian in various games, including as a playable character in Star Wars Battlefront and Star Wars 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 will be the lead character in the upcoming 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.
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.
Lando Calrissian and the Mindharp of Sharu is the first novel in Smith's Lando Calrissian trilogy, published by Del Rey on July 1, 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 Lando Calrissian trilogy, published on October 1, 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 in the Lando Calrissian trilogy, published on December 1, 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.
Legends video games
- 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.
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.
Billy Dee Williams has publicly admitted that he received backlash from children who were angered by Lando's betrayal of Han Solo in Empire Strikes Back. Williams felt that the situation would have been different if Lando had been played by a white actor.
The Verge criticized writer Jonathan Kasdan's behind-the-scenes retcon of Lando into a pansexual man as "a piss-poor shot attempt at representation", and argued that Kasdan seemed to be confusing the traits of pansexuality for those of promiscuity. The article compared the retroactive change in sexual orientation to J. K. Rowling's rebranding of Albus Dumbledore as gay, despite none of the Harry Potter books mentioning the character's sexual orientation in any way.
- 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.
- Lando is revealed to be short for "Landonis" in Solo: A Star Wars Story. His full name is "Landonis Balthazar Calrissian III".
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