Lando Calrissian

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Lando Calrissian
Star Wars character
Lando6-2.jpg
Billy Dee Williams as Lando Calrissian
First appearance Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
Created by George Lucas
Lawrence Kasdan
Portrayed by Billy Dee Williams (Episodes V-VI, IX)[1]
Donald Glover (Solo: A Star Wars Story)
Voiced by Billy Dee Williams (most media)
Arye Gross (Return of the Jedi; radio drama)
Dave Fennoy (X-Wing Alliance)
Kevin M. Richardson (Demolition)
Obba Babatundé (Star Wars Rogue Squadron II: Rogue Leader, Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds, Star Wars Rogue Squadron III: Rebel Strike, Kinect Star Wars and Disney Infinity 3.0)
Tabitha St. Germain (The Yoda Chronicles (young)
Information
Gender Male
Occupation Captain of the Millennium Falcon
Gambler
Administrator of Cloud City
General in the Rebel Alliance
CEO of Tendrando Arms (in Legends)
Affiliation Cloud City
Rebel Alliance/New Republic
Legends:
Galactic Alliance
Tendrando Arms
Title Baron Administrator
General
Gold Leader
Family Legends:
Lindo Calrissian (father, non-canon in the Legends continuity)
Chance Calrissian (son)
Spouse(s) Tendra Risant (Legends)
Homeworld Socorro

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, he 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 Episode IX (2019), marking one of the longest intervals between portrayals of a character by the same actor in American film history.[3]

Donald Glover portrayed a younger Lando in the standalone Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018).[4] 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.

Concept and creation

Development

The first draft of The Empire Strikes Back featured a character named Lando Kadar, a veteran of the Clone Wars who lived on Hoth. His name and familiar aspects of his backstory materialized in the second draft.[citation needed]

Portrayals

Lando was portrayed by Billy Dee Williams in The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, and was played by Donald Glover in the film Solo: A Star Wars Story.

Website 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.[5]

Appearances

Film

Original trilogy

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 make it to Bespin, Darth Vader and a contingent of Imperial forces arrive and force 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 a disarmed 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.

Sequel trilogy

Lando did not appear in the first film of the sequel trilogy, The Force Awakens (2015). According to Williams, the reason for which his character did not return was possibly that Lando did not fit in the film's storyline.[6] This action caused the displeasure of some fans.[7]

Lando was also absent from The Last Jedi (2017),[8] 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 on the planet of Cantonica, but Lando was finally written out of the film's script and the codebreaker role ultimately went to Benicio del Toro's character DJ.[9]

In July 2018, it was confirmed that Lando will return in Episode IX.[10][11]

Anthology films

Donald Glover portrays a young Lando Calrissian in Solo: A Star Wars Story, which takes place before the original trilogy.[4][12] Glover had the opportunity to speak with Billy Dee Williams and seek his input. "He said, 'Just be charming'. Which is the best advice."[13] Williams had expressed interest in making a cameo appearance (though likely as another character) in the film, but he did not ultimately appear.[14]

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 it is hotwired 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.

Kathleen Kennedy said, in a statement, that a film focusing on Lando Calrissian could happen, but it would not be a priority at the time.[15]

Television series

Billy Dee Williams returned to the role in the Star Wars Rebels episodes "Idiot's Array" and Star Wars Rebels: The Siege of Lothal.[16]

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 Ezra Bridger.

Video games

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.[17]

Marvel Comics

Lando Calrissian is the lead character in Lando, a five-issue miniseries published in 2015.[17] 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 of Nothing, a five-issue miniseries released in 2018.

Books

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.[18]

Legends

Legends novels and comics are not considered canonical to the films.

Legends literature

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.[19]

Lando is the main protagonist in a series of three novels by L. Neil Smith published in the 1980s and titled The Adventures of Lando Calrissian: Lando Calrissian and the Mindharp of Sharu, Lando Calrissian and the Flamewind of Oseon and Lando Calrissian and the Starcave of ThonBoka.

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, and in the seventh novel of the Legacy of the Force series, Lando announces to Han Solo and Leia Organa Solo that he and Tendra are having a child in Fury.

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.[20]

Legends videogames

Williams reprised his role as Lando in Legends videogame Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast.

Reception

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."[21]

Lando Calrissian was chosen as the 11th top Star Wars character by IGN[22] and the 12th top Star Wars hero by IGN's Jesse Schedeen,[23] who also said that he was one of the characters he'd most like to see in Star Wars: The Force Unleashed.[24]

Billy Dee Williams has publicly admitted that he received backlash from youths who were negatively affected by Lando's betrayal of Han Solo.[25] Williams felt that the situation would have been different if Lando had been played by a Caucasian actor.[25]

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 Dumbledore as gay, despite none of the Harry Potter books mentioning it explicitly.[26]

Notes

  1. ^ Lando is revealed to be short for "Landonis" in Solo: A Star Wars Story. His full name is "Landonis Balthazar Calrissian III".[2]

References

  1. ^ Breznican, Anthony (July 27, 2018). "Leia and Lando return: Carrie Fisher and Billy Dee Williams will appear in Star Wars: Episode IX". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved July 28, 2018.
  2. ^ Kasdan, Jon (September 25, 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 October 5, 2018.
  3. ^ Wild, Allison (July 10, 2018). "Billy Dee Williams to Return as Lando in Star Wars: Episode IX". The Portalist. Retrieved October 21, 2018.
  4. ^ a b "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.
  5. ^ "Solo: A Star Wars Story reminds us that no one knows how to say Han's name". The Verge.
  6. ^ "Billy Dee Williams (Lando Calrissian)" (Interview). StarWarsInterviews.com. December 2015. Retrieved 23 December 2017.
  7. ^ Christopher Hooton (2014-04-30). "Star Wars 7 cast: Where is Lando Calrissian?". The Independent. Retrieved 2016-12-20.
  8. ^ "Star Wars 8: Billy Dee Williams Will Not Appear". Screen Rant. 21 November 2017.
  9. ^ "'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' cast demand JJ Abrams brings back Lando for 'Episode 9' (exclusive)". Yahoo!.
  10. ^ Kit, Borys (July 9, 2018). "'Star Wars': Billy Dee Williams Reprising Role as Lando Calrissian". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on July 10, 2018. Retrieved July 9, 2018.
  11. ^ Perry, Spencer (27 July 2018). "BREAKING: Star Wars: Episode IX Cast Officially Announced!". Comingsoon.net. Retrieved 27 July 2018.
  12. ^ Gonzalez, Umberto (11 August 2016). "'Han Solo' Film Casting Young Lando Calrissian (Exclusive)". The Wrap.
  13. ^ "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.
  14. ^ "Donald Glover confirms Lando Calrissian is pansexual. But does this count as representation?". The Washington Post. 22 May 2018. Retrieved 14 August 2018.
  15. ^ "Lando Calrissian Star Wars spinoff could happen, says Lucasfilm president (update)". Polygon.com. 16 May 2018. Retrieved 14 August 2018.
  16. ^ "Billy Dee Williams Confirms His Involvement In 'Star Wars Rebels'". Star Wars Underworld. Retrieved 29 December 2014.
  17. ^ a b "Bespin - New Hero Deep Dive". 20 June 2016. Retrieved 12 September 2016.
  18. ^ "Star Wars: Han and Lando novel Last Shot gets personal and political". Entertainment Weekly. 18 April 2018. Retrieved 14 August 2018.
  19. ^ Interview with Jo Duffy Archived 10 February 2010 at the Wayback Machine.
  20. ^ Interview: Star Wars Author Kevin J. Anderson On 'Jedi Academy Trilogy', 'Darksaber', & 'Tales of the Jedi' Archived 13 January 2016 at the Wayback Machine.
  21. ^ Rosenberg, Alyssa (November 13, 2015). "'Star Wars' and the enduring appeal of Lando Calrissian". The Washington Post. Retrieved 21 October 2018.
  22. ^ "Top 100 Star Wars Characters". IGN. Archived from the original on 17 August 2010. Retrieved 12 January 2011.
  23. ^ Jesse Schedeen (13 August 2008). "Top 25 Star Wars Heroes: Day 3". IGN. Retrieved 12 January 2011.
  24. ^ Jesse Schedeen (21 July 2008). "Players Wanted: The Force Unleashed". IGN. Retrieved 12 January 2011.
  25. ^ a b "Billy Dee Williams." Unsung Hollywood. Nar. Gary Anthony Williams. Exec. Prod. Frank Sinton, Arthur Smith, Kent Weed, and Mark Rowland. TV One, 12 August 2015. Television.
  26. ^ "Lando Calrissian's newfound 'pansexuality' is bullshit". The Verge. 17 May 2018. Retrieved 12 August 2018.

External links

  • Lando Calrissian in the StarWars.com Databank
  • Lando Calrissian on Wookieepedia, a Star Wars wiki
  • Lando Calrissian on IMDb
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