The new Star Wars sequel trilogy has something for everyone: unless you want a cool, smooth-talking scoundrel. We're two movies in now and neither J.J. Abrams or Rian Johnson have answered a consistent, lurking question: where is Lando Calrissian?
The Force Awakens brought back Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, and Mark Hamill to portray Han Solo, Leia Organa, and Luke Skywalker, alongside Chewbacca, C-3P0 and R2-D2. In The Last Jedi, we also got Yoda, played by Frank Oz back to banter with Luke one final time. The burnt remains of Darth Vader's helmet got screen time in The Force Awakens and the Dark Lord of the Sith is constantly name-dropped in The Last Jedi, and even Obi-Wan Kenobi's voice is heard in Rey's vision. The original trilogy characters are well represented in the current films - except for Lando. We know the youthful version of Calrissian, played by Donald Glover, will appear in Solo: A Star Wars Story, but what of the actor who first brought him to life, Billy Dee Williams?
After sharing their formative years together, Han and Lando met up again in The Empire Strikes Back after the latter had 'gone legit', given up the smuggling business, and became the administrator of Cloud City on Bespin. Lando played a pivotal role in both Han being frozen in carbonite by Darth Vader and later being freed from that same carbonite and rescued from the clutches of Jabba the Hutt. Once he committed his skills and charm to the Rebel Alliance, he meteorically rose through the ranks and became General Calrissian. At the Battle of Endor, Lando became the second man to destroy a Death Star, and was last seen partying with Luke, Han, Leia and the Droids on Endor in the final shot of Return of the Jedi.
What Happened To Lando After Return of the Jedi?
Little is known of what happened to Lando in the years since the Empire fell, with most info coming from novels Aftermath: Empire's End and Bloodline. In the former novel, Lando was in command of the Rebel Fleet during the Battle of Naboo before he and his trusted lieutenant Lobot returned to Bespin to retake control of Cloud City. During this time, Lando looked forward to being "Uncle Lando" to Leia and Han's son Ben Solo, and joked that he should gift Ben a little cape and a mustache. As depicted in Bloodline, set about five years before The Force Awakens, when a political scandal erupted in the wake of Darth Vader being publicly revealed as the true father of Senator Organa, Lando was one of many who wrote to lend Leia his loyalty and support.
That loyalty may have been subtly referenced in the closing scenes of The Last Jedi. The remnants of the Resistance took refuge in an abandoned Rebel base on Crait and put out a call urging all supporters of Leia to rally to the side of the Rebels against the First Order. There would be no better time for Lando to return than by answering Leia's call to help the Rebels in Episode IX.
Whatever the case, Lando's current whereabouts are a mystery. Before the role of duplicitous code-breaker was turned into Benicio Del Toro's character DJ, Lando was actually considered by director Rian Johnson to appear in The Last Jedi. This may turn out for the best. Fans want to see Lando once more, but if he does return, the smoothest scoundrel in the Galaxy should be firmly on the side he made the biggest impact fighting for - the Rebellion.
Now, with Han dead, Luke one with the Force, and an appearance by the late Carrie Fisher in Episode IX doubtful, the stage is set for Lando to answer the call of the princess. Hopefully, J.J. Abrams will place his own call to Billy Dee Williams and make it happen.
- Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) release date: May 25, 2018
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: Episode IX (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019