Solo: A Star Wars Story star Donald Glover offered a preview of his take on Lando Calrissian during a skit on last night's episode of Saturday Night Live. Ticket pre-sales for Solo: A Star Wars Story have reportedly outpaced the record-breaking advance sales for Black Panther. Just more evidence of the mounting excitement over the Ron Howard-directed Han Solo origin film, starring Alden Ehrenreich as a younger version of the galaxy's greatest pilot and smuggler.
Of course, it isn't just seeing the origins of Han Solo's career that has fans stoked about the movie. Folks also can't wait to see Donald Glover's take on Lando Calrissian, suave gambler and latter-day tibanna gas miner. Trailers have given us a few little glimpses of Glover's incredibly smooth, well-dressed version of Lando. And of course there was Glover's video tour of the Millennium Falcon in its original tricked-out pre-grungy form, complete with all-important cape room.
Now, thanks to SNL we've gotten another small taste of Lando ahead of the release of Solo. Donald Glover took over the show last night, hosting and also performing as the musical guest under his alias Childish Gambino. Of course, SNL wasn't going to let Glover get away without doing at least one Star Wars related sketch. Glover delivered the goods by appearing in full costume as Lando, attending a summit of black people in the Star Wars universe. See the clip above.
The sketch has a simple, but topical premise: Lando has arranged a summit of all the black characters in the Star Wars universe, and learns to his disappointment that there are almost no black characters in the Star Wars universe. "I held out hope that there was a black human planet somewhere but I guess it's just us," Lando laments after witnessing the sparse turn-out. "Lots of lizardmen wearing vests. Just four black people though." Lando is then joined at the podium by one of Star Wars' few black characters, Saw Gerrera (Kenan Thompson), who is still alive at this particular point. Gerrera reads a list of all the black humans who came before. That list contains one name: Mace Windu.
Later, Leslie Jones takes the podium as Key Beeba and has to scold that "old smoothie" Lando for kissing her hand. The skit wraps up with an appearance by Max Rebo, who accompanies Lando on a silly song called "Making Love in Space." The song, and frankly Lando's whole manner, feels like a shout-out to Bill Murray's Nick the Lounge Singer - who famously "sang" the Star Wars theme on SNL back in the '70s. Of course, Billy Dee Williams' version of Lando was also known for being quite the suave ladies' man, and that too is being parodied in the clip.
Overall, the Saturday Night Live skit gets a lot of mileage out of something many fans have complained about for years, namely the lack of diversity in Star Wars. Back in the day, non-white human characters were very scarce in the Star Wars universe to be sure. Disney and Lucasfilm have made a greater effort toward diversity in the newer films, including a push for more female protagonists. And recently there's even been some effort made toward greater diversity behind the scenes. But for his part, Lando thinks the racial make-up of Star Wars remains suspiciously skewed.
Source: Saturday Night Live
- Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) release date: May 25, 2018
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: Episode IX (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019