While there’s a lot that Disney’s Star Wars sequel trilogy is doing wrong, one of the things it’s doing right is nostalgically reintroducing us to characters from the original trilogy that the saga’s fans have missed seeing on the big screen since their childhoods. While the characterization of an older Luke Skywalker has been criticized, the reappearances of Han Solo and Princess Leia have been praised. In this year’s saga-ending The Rise of Skywalker, Lando Calrissian will finally make his triumphant return. From the trailers, it looks like the same old Lando.
Here are the 10 Greatest Lando Calrissian Moments To Get You Excited For His Return.
10 Punching Han Before Hugging Him
In The Empire Strikes Back, when Han takes Leia, C-3PO, and Chewie to Cloud City to see Lando again, he’s worried that Lando will be standoffish. He used his own Sabacc trick against him to win the Millennium Falcon from him, so it seems like he might be apprehensive.
As Han departs the Falcon and Lando approaches him, Lando pretends to take a swing to give Han a good scare before coming in for a hug and laughing at him. It was the perfect way to influence Lando as an unpredictable joker. It also serves to lull Han into a false sense of security.
9 “This deal’s getting worse all the time...”
The big twist in The Empire Strikes Back is that Darth Vader is Luke Skywalker’s father, but it has a lot of smaller plot twists peppered throughout it. One of these is that Lando has an ulterior motive for welcoming Han back into his life. He’s made a deal with Darth Vader to hand them over.
Of course, Vader isn’t the most trustworthy guy and he keeps altering the deal, only telling Lando to pray that he doesn’t alter it anymore, which he predictably will. “This deal’s getting worse all the time...” is one of Lando’s most iconic quotes, if not his most iconic one.
8 When Han Almost Shot Him In The Sarlacc Pit
In the opening battle of Return of the Jedi, fought over the Sarlacc Pit for the entertainment of Jabba the Hutt, Han doesn’t have his eyesight back. It’s not too long after he’s been freed from his carbonite freezing, and he was stuck in there for years, so he can hardly see.
But, when one of the Sarlacc’s tentacles gets wrapped around Lando and starts pulling him in, Han springs into action. He starts shooting at the tentacle to get it to let go of Lando, but, since he can’t see, Lando is scared he’ll accidentally hit him.
7 Rescuing L3-37
In Solo: A Star Wars Story, Lando Calrissian was canonically confirmed to be pansexual, as the film depicted a romance shared by the smooth-talking con man and his droid co-pilot, L3-37, voiced by Fleabag star Phoebe Waller-Bridge. When L3 incites a slave revolt in the mines of Kessel, she gets shot in the ensuing chaos.
Lando is stunned to see this and rushes to L3’s side to save her. It’s all captured in a breathtaking over-the-shoulder shot that sees Lando ducking, dodging, and diving out of the way of blaster fire and slave-drivers as he goes after his fallen love.
6 Taking The Rebels To Vader
After Lando has promised to Han and Leia that he’s made a deal that “will keep the Empire out of here forever” to get them to let their guard down, he takes them to what they think will be a nice, relaxing dinner. However, the second the door slides open, standing there is Darth Vader.
Han’s immediate instinct is to shoot at Vader, but he deflects his blasts with the Force. At least Lando has the decency to apologize in this scene. If nothing else, it shows that he’s a good liar. It was pretty duplicitous, but he orchestrated it perfectly.
5 Recording The Calrissian Chronicles
This moment was so brief in Solo: A Star Wars Story that most fans missed it. We see Lando recording another entry in what he has called The Calrissian Chronicles, detailing his latest adventure.
The best part about it is that this isn’t a James T. Kirk-style mission log—it’s colloquial, like a podcast, in exactly Lando’s style. Donald Glover should record an entire audiobook of The Calrissian Chronicles. It would be a great way for Disney to start rebuilding the Expanded Universe that they tore down when they first bought Lucasfilm, and Glover’s Lando was one of the few things in Solo that fans actually liked.
4 Freeing Leia, Chewie, and C-3PO
When Darth Vader starts changing the terms of his deal with Lando, Lando realizes the error in his ways. Vader and the Empire are bad news, and he shouldn’t have sold out his old friend Han and Han’s friends Leia, Chewie, and C-3PO for a quick buck. So, the first chance he gets, he shows that he does, in fact, have a good side by setting the three of them free.
It’s too late to save Han since he’s being frozen in carbonite and shipped off to Tatooine on Boba Fett’s ship, Slave I, to be sold to Jabba the Hutt. Still, he saves who he can save and then they team up to save Han.
3 Saving Luke with the Falcon
Lando had a little moment of catharsis when he got to pilot the Millennium Falcon again. He lost it to Han in a game of Sabacc years earlier, and, with Han getting sold to Jabba the Hutt as a wall decoration, he’s finally back in its cockpit.
Using her innate Force sensitivity, Leia can feel Luke’s presence and that he’s in danger, so she tells Lando to turn the ship around and go back for him. They find him hanging from an air shaft, waiting to be rescued. It’s Leia’s Force abilities that locate Luke, but it’s Lando’s flying skills that get the Falcon’s top hatch right underneath him.
2 Infiltrating Jabba’s Palace
At the beginning of Return of the Jedi, we see C-3PO and R2-D2 heading to Jabba the Hutt’s palace on Tatooine with a message from Luke Skywalker asking the infamous crime lord to free Han Solo, who is frozen in carbonite and hanging from his wall.
However, as we discover over the course of the first act, both Leia and Lando have attempted to infiltrate Jabba’s palace and save Han. Leia gets caught and becomes Jabba’s bikini-clad slave, while Lando has disguised himself as one of Jabba’s skiff guards. It’s not until Luke shows up that the plan works, though.
1 Blowing Up The Second Death Star
When the Empire started construction on a second Death Star in Return of the Jedi, pretty much the same thing could be done to destroy it that the Rebels did in A New Hope. However, since this one was still in construction, they didn’t have to use the Force to get a photon blast into a reactor shaft—they just had to fly into the core of the superweapon and destroy it from within, then fly like hell away from the ensuing explosion. While Luke got the death blow in A New Hope, it was Lando who got the glory in Return of the Jedi.