One of the most suave and most charismatic characters in the Star Wars universe is Lando Calrissian. It’s just so hard not to be attracted to his unrivaled charm and sarcastic wit. Sure, he did betray Han Solo and inadvertently got him frozen in carbonite, but at least he redeemed himself. The man did fly the Millennium Falcon and led the attack on the second Death Star and did destroy it. How does that not earn him redemption? Oh, and then he was in the Rise of Skywalker as an older man. For the limited time he was in it, he basically did the same thing, but it just didn’t feel the same. Still, he had the charisma of Billy Dee Williams behind him. How can you possibly match that? The answer is Donald Glover.
If you were one of the few people who watched the 2018 Han Solo origins movie, you’ll remember Donald Glover playing a younger version of Lando. And if you ask me, he was probably one of the best things about that movie. Sure, he was a scoundrel who had a weird droid companion, but did we really expect anything else? Okay, maybe all equal rights-preaching droids aside, this younger version of Lando is exactly what he should have been. I never would have thought any actor could have measured up to the charisma of Billy Dee Williams, but to my surprise, Donald Glover managed to come pretty close.
Heck, he managed to cheat his way into beating the younger Han Solo in a gambling game. But as we would expect, Han Solo figured out his trick and turned the tables on him in the end. And because of that, Lando lost the Millennium Falcon to him. With the way the Solo movie ended, it’s hard to believe they would ever become such good friends when we first saw them together for the first time in The Empire Strikes Back. That’s why it would be nice to see how their relationship develop from there in the sequel. The thing is, we probably shouldn’t expect a sequel to the Solo movie because, well, it’s the only Star Wars movie to be a bonafide box office bomb. That is bad news for any possibility of a Solo sequel.
But hold on, there is a chance some element of the Solo movie can survive. Back when Disney made their announcements of upcoming Star Wars projects back in 2020, one standout project was a Disney+ that would center around Donald Glover’s Lando. It sounds like an exciting idea, but I think we should always remember how Solo flopped. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, doing a Han Solo movie without Harrison Ford was a risky idea and in the end, the risk was not worth the reward. That’s because there basically was no reward. The failure of Solo prompted Disney and Lucasfilm to rethink their game plan, which involved no longer recasting the original characters with younger actors. It didn’t work before and it probably won’t work again.
Now could things be different for this Lando series? After all, this is a series and not a ridiculously expensive summer blockbuster movie. That could work to its advantage, not to mention that many fans did like Donald Glover as Lando. On top of that, Disney and Lucasfilm have had far more success with their Disney+ shows on top of their movies. I’m pretty torn on the idea of this Lando series, but I’m still curious of whether or not it will actually happen. Well, according to Kathleen Kennedy herself, the series is still in the works and Donald Glover is still on board.
This was all confirmed during an interview with GamesRadar at the Star Wars Celebration ceremony, where Kennedy was asked to clarify about the decision to no longer recast major Star Wars characters. According to her, they still have no intention of recasting any classic characters from the original trilogy. However, she did mention that they are still working on the Lando series with Donald Glover. This was some surprising news, given that they seem serious about the no recasting news. Then again, they have already confirmed and seemingly committed to this Lando series. Why would they stop now?
The obvious answer is still the box office failure of the Solo movie. We shouldn’t blame Disney and Lucasfilm for wanting to separate themselves from that failure. It’s another risk that could lead to another failure. However, with a name like Donald Glover attached to this project, it should have a good chance at success. But even with Donald Glover playing the titular character, what could this series possibly be about? Are we going to see Lando fly around the galaxy conning the rich and outsmarting them in gambling games? I think it has to be more exciting than that.
Personally, I’d rather see how he became actual friends with Han Solo. Perhaps this could be an introduction with their first interaction with Jabba the Hutt? If not the notorious slug crime lord, then we need to see more of the galaxy’s criminal underworld. The Lando series could be a good opportunity to dive deeper into that element. That was actually, in my opinion, the most intriguing thing about the Han Solo movie. If a sequel won’t show us more of the criminal underbelly of the galaxy, then the Lando series can do exactly that. I’m sure the man has built a reputation amongst the scoundrels of the galaxy and that’s something he would proudly carry. He wouldn’t be Lando if he didn’t.
That’s my idea for the Lando series, if it happens. To be honest, I’m still not totally convinced it will happen. Kathleen Kennedy did mention it, but that can still change. Unless I hear official confirmation that it’s moving forward, I won’t get my hopes up. I think it can fair better than the Han Solo movie and it could be a fun space adventure. Heck, it could be the closest thing we could ever get to a Solo sequel.
What are your thoughts, Star Wars fans?