In the Star Wars original trilogy, Lando Calrissian went from a skeezy double crossing businessman to a General of the Rebel Alliance and one of the biggest heroes of the Battle of Endor. Needless to say, many fans were upset to find him without an appearance in The Force Awakens, even though the rest of the main cast from the OT was reunited.
With Donald Glover putting on the cape and mustache for the now-officially-in-production young Han Solo movie, Lando is officially on his way back to the big screen. While he hasn’t had a presence in the new movies yet, the character hasn’t been entirely unused in other stories – he’s had a couple appearances in Star Wars Rebels, and even got his own Marvel miniseries.
There have only been a few books and comics that take place in the 35 year span between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens, but the real heavy lifting during that era has been done by Chuck Wendig’s Aftermath trilogy, which is about to be concluded with Aftermath: Empire’s End on February 21.
Aftermath previously served as the only post Return of the Jedi story to include Wedge Antilles in any significant way in modern canon, and it looks like Empire’s End is going to do the same thing for Lando Calrissian. As is revealed in a recent excerpt from the book, released by io9 (read the full excerpt here), Lando is back at Cloud City, trying to pick up where he left off before the Empire showed up on his doorstep.
The excerpt includes a couple major connections to previous Star Wars stories. The first is from the (now cancelled) mobile game Star Wars: Uprising, where the Imperial Governor Adelhard creates a blockade in the Anoat sector (home to Bespin and Hoth), and attempts to retain imperial control immediately after the Battle of Endor.
“After Endor, he thought he would just be able to sweep in here like a handsome king retaking his throne in the sky—but then that son-of-a-slug Governor Adelhard formed the Iron Blockade. He kept the people here trapped not only by a well-organized Imperial remnant, but also by a grand lie: that Palpatine was not dead.”
The second reference ties back to one of the “interludes” from the first book in the trilogy, Star Wars: Aftermath, where an uprising in Cloud City is led by a pirate, Kars Tal-Korla, who’s working with Lando’s right hand man, Lobot. Not so surprisingly, the Empire’s End excerpt reveals that Lobot is still working with Lando, who had slowly led this uprising from the shadows to eventually beat Governor Adelhard’s blockade and retake Cloud City.
The excerpt takes place on Cloud City’s casino level, which may remind many fans of rumors that some characters visit a “casino planet” in The Last Jedi. Obviously Lando doesn’t run every casino in the galaxy (as much as we’re sure he’d like to), but fans hoping for a Billy Dee Williams appearance in Episode VIII will obviously be encouraged by this passage.
The passage also features a Hamilton Easter egg (“The Rebellion was easy, Lando. Governing’s harder.”), and Lando stresses about a baby gift for Han and Leia. While it’s only a brief tease of what Empire’s End has in store – outside of finally revealing more details about the Battle of Jakku – it’s definitely enticing for Star Wars fans, especially those that love the cape-wearing Baron Administrator of Cloud City, Lando Calrissian.