Rian Johnson Comments on Lando’s Absence From Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Rian Johnson Comments on Lando’s Absence From Star Wars: The Last Jedi

One of the things that Star Wars fans have been asking about the new Star Wars movies is the location of Lando Calrissian. So far, a lot of beloved characters from Episodes IV, V, and VI have shown up, with examples ranging from Admiral Ackbar who was killed on the bridge of the Raddus in Episode VIII to the Big 3 made up of Leia Organa, Luke Skywalker, and Han Solo. However, Lando’s continuing absence from the new Star Wars movies remains a mysterious, though it is amusing to note that some Star Wars fans have joked about the character being a deliberate no-show because of the rate at which other returning characters are getting killed off.

Did Rian Johnson Consider Including Lando Calrissian in The Last Jedi?

Recently, the Episode VIII director Rian Johnson was asked about Lando being a no-show in the new Star Wars movie, which resulted in some rather interesting responses. For example, it turned out that Johnson considered putting Lando in the latest Star Wars movies but decided against it because the character would not have been a good fit for what he had in mind.

For those who are curious, Lando was considered for inclusion in the part of the movie focused on Finn and Rose’s mission to find someone capable of shutting down the First Order’s hyperspace tracking. To be exact, Lando would have appeared in place of the new character DJ, who is played by Benicio Del Toro. However, the problem is that Johnson wanted to use that part of the movie to make a point about there being people who are more concerned about making a profit than in the well-being of the galaxy as a whole, which is why DJ wasn’t a rogue with a heart of gold but just a rogue. Unfortunately, Lando could not have played the same part as DJ for the simple reason that while the character might have been like that once upon a time, character development in Episodes V and VI meant that him being used in that particular role would have been nothing less than character assassination.

In fact, one could make an argument that Lando wasn’t used in that particular role for the same reason that Admiral Ackbar wasn’t used in the role of Admiral Holdo. Simply put, both Lando and Admiral Ackbar are well-liked characters from the first three Star Wars movies, meaning that Star Wars fans have strong expectations about who they are and thus what they can and cannot do. As a result, Lando would not have been the right character to use in making the point that Johnson wanted to make with Finn and Rose’s mission. Likewise, Admiral Ackbar would not have been the right character to use in Poe’s storyline because Admiral Ackbar is a well-established character who would receive the benefit of the doubt from Star Wars characters whereas Admiral Holdo is a newcomer who would not receive the same consideration, which was critical when Poe’s storyline relied on his superior in the Resistance seeming like someone who could not be counted upon.

Where Does This Leave Lando Calrissian?

Unfortunately, even though there was a reason, this still means that Lando is a no-show in the new Star Wars movies. Still, Episode IX is coming out in the not so distant future, meaning that there is still a chance for Lando to make an appearance, particularly if the upcoming movie will be focusing on the Resistance’s efforts to gather new allies. Furthermore, it should be noted that Lando’s actor Billy Dee Williams has stated his interest in returning to the Star Wars movie, having already returned to the Star Wars franchise with his recent appearance in Rebels.

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