First appearing in The Empire Strikes Back and described by Han Solo as "a card player... gambler... scoundrel," Lando Calrissian went on to become one of the most popular characters in the Star Wars saga. Yet Lando remained something of a mystery, despite his prominence.
What little we do know about Lando's past from the films is tied to his relationship with Han Solo. We know that the two "go way back" and he was the previous owner of The Millennium Falcon. We also know that he lost the ship to Han in a game of chance, which Han may or may not have cheated at.
We also know something of what kind of person Lando is from his behavior. A charmer and schemer, he was still fiercely loyal to his friends - but not above betraying one to protect other people who needed him. It was later revealed this was the only reason he cooperated with The Empire when they came to Cloud City. When he discovered The Empire had no intention of honoring their bargains, he was quick to follow his heart and make amends for past crimes.
With Lando having a major role in Solo: A Star Wars Story, the time has never been better to take a closer look at the smoothest smuggler to ever rock an Aeien silk cape. So pull up a chair and ante up!
Here are 26 Things Only True Fans Know About Lando Calrissian.
26 He was originally going to be a clone
George Lucas wrote several drafts for the first Star Wars movie before he began filming and various aspects and names of different characters changed even as the movies were being made. In some drafts, for instance, Luke Skywalker was named Luke Starkiller. In other drafts, the central character was named Anakin Starkiller and was a teenage girl!
Lando underwent a similar metamorphosis during the early planning stages for The Empire Strikes Back. Lucas suggested that Lando might be a clone - perhaps the leader of an entire clan, all made up of clones of the same man. Lucas further suggested that there might be whole countries on different planets, all populated by these various clone clans, who were bred for different jobs and that Lando might be part of the clone ruling class.
One early script gave Lando's full name as Lando Kadar and listed him as part of The Ashandi Family, who reproduced purely through cloning.
Another script made reference to Lando having led a group of his fellow clone soldiers during the Clone Wars. While these ideas were abandoned in relation to Lando, it is interesting to consider how these ideas were later utilized to create the character of Jango Fett in Attack of The Clones.
25 He won The Millennium Falcon in a game of Sabacc
Sabacc is a popular game of chance in the Star Wars universe. First mentioned in the novel Lando Calrissian and the Mindharp of Sharu, an official set of rules was created for the Star Wars Role Playing Game supplement Crisis on Cloud City, along with a complete Sabacc deck. The card game is comparable to both Draw Poker and Blackjack, with the players attempting to build a hand that comes close to positive or negative 23 without going over or under.
Sabacc was Lando's game of choice, according to various novels in the Star Wars Legends line and he made his living for a time as a professional gambler at high-stakes sabacc tournaments around the galaxy. It was at one such tournament that he acquired ownership of the Millennium Falcon from a gambler named Cix Trouvee.
Trouvee's luck turned for the worst even before he lost his ship to Lando. Trouvee flew his ship into the middle of the Battle of Yag'Dhul, having made a bet with several Hutt crime lords regarding the outcome of the fight. When an Imperial warship accidentally destroyed two of their own fighters in their efforts to destroy the Millennium Falcon, Trouvee found himself on the run from The Empire and The Hutts, who lost the wager thanks to those two deaths!
Going into hiding and unable to afford the repairs to the Millennium Falcon, Trouvee entered a sabacc tournament against Lando and the rest was history.
24 He lost it to Han Solo in another card game of Sabacc
While the game was never explicitly identified as sabacc in The Empire Strikes Back, it has long been a part of the Star Wars canon that Han Solo won the Millennium Falcon from Lando Calrissian in some kind of game of chance. One of the original shooting scripts referred to the game being called sabacca, but it was not codified as sabacc until later novels.
Whatever the game was and whatever it was called, the legends around that game have been built up for decades in the minds of Star Wars fans everywhere. Small wonder then that when the makers of Solo: A Star Wars Story decided to show a scene from the movie making use of a revolutionary new 360 degree camera used by Industrial Light and Magic Experience Laboratory to create virtual reality experiences, they elected to put viewers right in the middle of the legendary card game between the two scoundrels.
While the scene showcases the playful banter between Han and Lando well enough, it does not reveal the final outcome of the game, despite being a well-known part of the canon. Presumably they're trying to hide the mystery of whether or not there's any truth to Lando's claims that Han cheated.
23 Where he was born
According to the reference book Ultimate Star Wars, Socorro is a small planet located on the Outer Rim of the galaxy. Apart from being home to several asteroid belts that were rich in doonium ore (a metal in the Star Wars universe that is primarily used in starship construction), the only notable thing about Socorro in the current canon is that it was the birth planet of Lando Calrissian.
The reality of Star Wars Legends (the name now applied to what was once called the Star Wars Expanded Universe) went somewhat further in defining Socorro. There, Socorro was described as a largely mountainous world, with many volcanoes and black-sand deserts. Originally a colony world of the planet Corellia, its name means "scorched earth" in the Old Corellian language.
Socorro was a lawless world, lacking any central planetary government and few local ruling bodies apart from a few tribal councils among the nomads who inhabited the wastelands. The cities, for the most part, were ruled by various criminal gangs. This made Socorro a haven for every manner of criminal imaginable. In other words, it was just the place for a young scoundrel like Lando Calrissian to find an education in the fine arts of smuggling and gambling.
22 His many failed schemes
Following the loss of his beloved Millennium Falcon (and, presumably, the events of Solo: A Star Wars Story), Lando couldn't see himself continuing to live the life of a high-speed smuggler in the style to which he had grown accustomed. Surprisingly, given his long history on the wrong side of the tracks, Lando elected to retire from gambling and smuggling to make an honest attempt at going into business for himself.
Lando's efforts at starting his own businesses were more on the up-and-up than smuggling, but just barely. Lando attempted a number of "get rich quick" schemes over the years, skirting the Imperial laws and regulations regarding his enterprises, while still trying to maintain a reputation for fair-dealing and honesty with the contacts whom he called upon to help him with various plans.
One of his many plans saw Lando attempting to open an independent mining operation on the Outer Rim world of Lothal.
Lando acquired a plot of land from Cikatro Vizago - the crime boss who ran much of the criminal underworld on Lothal - and planned to start digging for precious minerals. Unfortunately, Lando's attempts to secure the equipment he needed for deep digging failed due to an Imperial blockade around the planet.
21 Lando visited Star Wars: Rebels
Lando's life on Lothal would be profiled in two separate episodes of the animated series Star Wars: Rebels. Set in the years before Star Wars: Rogue One, the show focused on The Spectres - a Rebel cell based on the starship Ghost.
Actor Billy Dee Williams returned to the role he had originated in The Empire Strikes Back to provide the voice for Lando.
In the episode "Idiot's Array", The Spectres were forced to assist Lando in sneaking contraband past the Imperial blockade around Lothal, after Lando won the team's droid, Chopper, in a sabacc game. Lando had need of a fast, stealthy ship and The Ghost fit the bill. The contraband turned out to be a puffer pig - an animal capable of sniffing out rare minerals with the accuracy and efficiency of a dozen mining scanners.
Lando and the crew of The Ghost would cross paths again in the episode "The Seige of Lothal". This time, it was The Rebels who turned to Lando for help, needing his assistance in escaping from Lothal after having been perused there by Darth Vader, following their arranging for the destruction of The Sovereign - the personal Star Destroyer of Grand Moff Tarkin. Lando agreed to help smuggle them off-world, in exchange for three military-grade shield generators.
20 He was an arms dealer
Fans of Star Wars: Rebels may well wonder just why Lando had need of three military-grade shield generators for his mining operation. The short answer is that he didn't. The long answer may be found in Star Wars: Commander - a mobile strategy game produced by Disney Interactive, set in the Star Wars universe.
Set in the early days of the war between The Empire and The Rebellion, Star Wars: Commander allowed players to choose between one of the two armies. The player would then build up a base for their faction, train troops, and manage their resources, all while enduring raids from the other side and launching their own attacks.
Unsurprisingly, the game featured cameos by many of the most popular characters in the original trilogy of Star Wars films and Lando Calrissian was one of them.
The game revealed that Lando had gotten into the arms dealing business. Lando complained about having run afoul of an Imperial ambush in the Halthor sector when an Imperial ship dropped out from hyperspace. As a result, Calrissian lost the shipment of AT-AT walkers into which he'd sunk a small fortune, buying them from an Er'Kit arms dealer in the Noonian sector.
Presumably the shield-generators he bargained for in Star Wars: Rebels were part of another deal for another buyer.
19 He lost all of his money in a train robbery
With his mining operation on Lothal having apparently failed and his arms-running operation shut down by The Empire, Lando was forced to fall back into his old habits. Luckily, for Lando, going back into the life of a professional gambler proved to be just like riding a bicycle. Soon professional sabacc players around the galaxy were once again cursing the name of Lando Calrissian.
Sadly, while Lando's infamous luck at the card table had stayed with him, ill fortune still dogged him in other areas.
"Off The Rails", a comic story printed in Star Wars: Rebels Magazine #31, detailed Lando's adventures on the desert world of Tyegin, which was famous for its luxury train lines, catering to the excessive lifestyles of the rich and powerful. Lando was in his element among the high-stakes sabacc games that the train's clientele enjoyed. Unfortunately, the wealth of Tyegin proved an inviting target for other scoundrels, who didn't play games to make their fortunes.
Lando lost his money and his pride when his train was robbed. To add injury to insult, the robbers sabotaged the train's controls and set it on fire to cover their tracks. Thankfully, Lando and the other passengers were able to stop the train before the fire claimed them but losing his money to common thieves was still a mighty blow to his ego.
18 He had a clean criminal record
Remarkably, despite a long life on the dodgy path and even his legitimate business operations skirting the letter of the law if not the spirit, Lando Clarissian was able to maintain a clean criminal record with The Empire. This astonishing fact was revealed in "Rebel Bluff" - a short story by Michael Kogge, which was published in Star Wars Insider #158.
The story found Lando, unsurprisingly, enjoying a game of sabacc among other "legitimate businessmen" on Lothal. The game goes well enough for Lando, until a dark-haired human woman steals the pot while Lando and another player were arguing about whether or not Lando was cheating.
Not coincidentally, an Imperial patrol enters the bar at that moment, searching for the dark-haired woman. Naturally curious, Lando asks why The Empire wants this woman so badly. When the lead trooper demands to know he is, Lando gives them his real name, describing himself as a "recent transplant to Lothal and loyal patriot of the Galactic Empire."
The troopers look up his record and determine that Lando has the record of a sterling citizen. As well he should, given what Lando paid to have a hacker clear his criminal record when he gave up smuggling and gambling after losing The Millennium Falcon.
17 He wasn't a true Rebel
While Lando was no fan of Imperial rules and regulations, he was slow in joining the cause of The Rebellion. Despite partnering with Rebel cells and individual Rebel agents in the early days of the war between The Rebellion and The Empire, Lando's concerns were personal and financial, in that order.
As an independent businessman, Lando would work with anyone so long as their word was good and the work didn't conflict with his personal moral code.
It's possible Lando's attitude toward The Rebellion began to change following the events of "Rebel Bluff." The story saw Lando seeking out a dark-haired human woman who stole the sabacc pot of a game he had won. Lando later discovered the woman to be Ria Clarr - a former geologist with the Imperial Mining Institute, who was rightly believed to have joined The Rebellion.
Lando tracked Ria down, discovering Ria had been responsible for discovering a mineral cache under several local farms that had been seized by The Empire through Imminent Domain without fair compensation. Ria had deleted the records, hoping to get the farmers their land back and had stolen Lando's money in order to give the starving farmers a leg up.
Lando let the theft slide after Ria saved his life when the Imperial troops caught up to them. At least, that was what Lando claimed. In truth, Lando had begun to reflect on whether or not The Rebels' fight was about to become his own.
16 He stole Emperor Palpatine's ship
After losing his fortune on Tyegin, Lando was forced to get back into the smuggling game. Thankfully, his talents in this area had not failed him over the years, though he did have perhaps his worst run of luck ever after accepting one particular commission.
The 2015 Star Wars: Lando comic book series detailed how Lando found himself in debt to a loan shark known as Papa Toren. He agreed to clear all of Lando's debts in exchange for a single job - stealing a certain high-class pleasure starcraft, that was being refitted at a nearby shipyard. Grand Theft Starship was usually beneath the great Lando Calrissian, but he had no choice.
Papa Toren and Lando came to an understanding - Toren would keep the ship and Lando would get anything of value on-board. Given that Toren's sources told him that the ship belonged to "some piece of rich Imperial scum" who had a high-quality art collection, it was a good deal for Lando. Good enough for him to hire on some additional muscle for the job, at least.
Once Lando and his team had the ship, which was called The Imperialis, they found themselves being pursued by three Imperial Star Destroyers. It was then that they realized that The Imperialis didn't belong to just any piece of rich Imperial scum - it was the personal pleasure cruiser of Emperor Palpatine himself!
15 He's responsible for his best friend losing his mind
The events of the Star Wars: Lando comic series cost Lando dearly - both financially and personally. Not only did he fail to secure The Imperialis for Papa Toren, but he lost his best friend, Lobot.
Lobot was a cyborg who allowed The Empire to implant an AJ^6 headset into his brain, so that he could better run battlefield calculations.
Lobot had to fight a constant mental battle with the implant which sought to take over his body.
He left Imperial service and befriended Lando Calrissian, who, unlike another famous smuggler, liked having someone who could tell him the odds.
Lando and Lobot partnered up on several jobs, along with Chanath Cha - a bounty hunter with whom Lobot enjoyed a brief romance. By sheer coincidence, Chanath was hired by Emperor Palpatine to track down the thieves who stole The Imperialis, ordering her to either destroy the thieves or destroy the ship. When Chanath discovered that Lobot and Lando were the thieves, she went with the latter option.
As they made their escape, they discovered that the ship's escape pods were locked and that unlocking them required a droid interface. Having been wounded earlier in the heist and already fighting a losing battle to retain his sense of self, Lobot elected to give himself over to his implant to save them. Lando vowed to find a way to restore Lobot's mind, no matter how long it took.
14 He also won Cloud City in a game of sabacc
Following the failed heist to steal Emperor Palpatine's personal pleasure craft, Lando hit the jackpot in more ways than one. Not only did he score a major victory on the professional high-stakes sabacc circuit but he finally found the legitimate business of his dreams.
In the reality of Star Wars Legends, Lando found himself on the planet Bespin. Touring the many high-class casinos in Cloud City, Lando quickly made a name for himself among the local gamblers. Word of his success reached the ear of Dominic Raynor - the chief bureaucrat of Cloud City, who fancied himself as much of a master gambler and ladies' man as the infamous Lando Calrissian.
Dominic Raynor arranged for a private high-stakes game of sabacc between himself and Lando. In the final match, Raynor gambled his position against Lando's four million credits and ownership of a used starship lot on the moon of Nar Shadda. Lando won and suddenly found himself in control of a small fiefdom as well as a profitable business concern.
It has yet to be revealed precisely how Lando came to take over Cloud City in the current Star Wars canon, though it has been confirmed that he won it in a game of sabacc.
13 He was royalty
Not only did Lando's victory over Dominic Raynor make him into a legitimate businessman - it also made him a nobleman.
The official title of the ruler of Cloud City was Baron Administrator.
Though the Baron aspect of the title of Baron Administrator was largely ceremonial, it did still confer an additional level of responsibility and power. The office was officially symbolized by a belt with a distinctive buckle, which only the Baron Administrator was allowed to wear. The Baron Administrator was also encouraged to wear a ceremonial cape made of Aeien silk - a particularly rare and expensive fabric.
Despite being the nominal noble ruler of Cloud City, Lando's authority was not absolute. There were a number of governing bodies in Cloud City - such as The Parliament of Guilds and a council of business leaders called The Exex - who had to officially ratify his ascension into the position of Baron Administrator.
Ultimately, it was determined that while Lando's method of gaining the office was unorthodox, it was not disallowed by any law on Cloud City. The story of Lando's rise to power quickly made him into a local celebrity, offering the gambler another avenue for adventure in his new position.
12 Ruling Cloud City changed him
Despite once referring to his position as Baron Administrator of Cloud City as "the strangest scam I've ever run," Lando quickly came to take the responsibilities of his new office quite seriously. Ever loyal to his friends, despite his nature as a scoundrel, Lando came to see all the people of Cloud City as his friends and worthy of his best. Though he enjoyed the prosperity that came with his title and the perks of the position, the welfare of his people became Lando's first priority.
Beyond protecting the people who had already settled in Cloud City, Lando sought to bring more settlers and traders into his barony. He spearheaded several trade agreements with both Corellia and Alderaan and repealed the restrictive immigration laws of his predecessor that favored humans above all other species. Ironically, given his criminal past, he also cleaned up The Wing Guard - Cloud City's notoriously corrupt police force - and established a special police force to patrol Cloud City's ports.
Honest work suited Lando, much to his surprise.
Despite finance and politics proving to be as exciting in their own ways as a high-stakes sabacc game, he still found himself missing the life of a gambler. To that end, while still living the life of a responsible administrator by day, Lando would frequently sneak off to the casinos in disguise at night, in search of romance and the familiar thrill that came from a strong sabaac hand.
11 He commanded the Alliance Fleet that saved Naboo from annihilation
Awarded a commission as a General in the Rebel Alliance, Lando proved to be as successful as a General as he had been as a Baron Administrator. He famously volunteered to lead the starfighter strike team that would go on to destroy the second Death Star, piloting The Millennium Falcon once more. Yet even this was not General Lando's proudest accomplishment.
The comic book mini-series Star Wars: Shattered Empire detailed The Rebellion's efforts to finish the war with The Empire following The Battle of Endor. Though the destruction of the second Death Star was a major victory for The Rebel Alliance, there were still many Imperial officers who refused to surrender.
One of these officers - Imperial Fleet Admiral Gallius Rax - had been charged by The Emperor to enact Operation: Cinder. In the event that something happened to The Emperor, Admiral Rax was to facilitate the release of a series of satellites that would alter the climates of certain key worlds, rendering them uninhabitable.
It was Lando who led the Rebel Alliance forces against Rax's forces as they attacked the planet of Naboo. The victory not only cemented Lando's reputation as a masterful military leader but also inspired Naboo to officially join The Rebel Alliance.
10 His support helped save Leia's political career
It would be fair to say that Princess Leia Organa did not approve of Lando Calrissian at first and it is not hard to see why. It says a lot when Han Solo says someone is a scoundrel who can't be trusted. It did not help matters that Lando put way too much effort into trying to be charming towards Leia, drowning her in complements and making a show of kissing her hand.
While Lando did eventually redeem himself in Leia's eyes, there was still some tension between them in some of the Star Wars Legends novels. Despite their maturing in the wake of The Galactic Civil War, Han and Lando did tend to bring out the worst in each other and they fell into their old habits whenever they got together. This put some amount of strain on Leia and Han's romance.
Whatever feelings Leia had about Lando over the years, Lando grew to respect Leia as a person and as a leader.
This is why, when Leia found her political career threatened, Lando did all he could to help her. The novel Star Wars: Bloodline saw Leia - now a respected Senator - nominated for the role of First Senator. Her appointment was halted by political rivals, who revealed that Leia was the daughter of Darth Vader. This cost Leia considerable support, until various popular figures - like the great war hero Lando Calrissian - lent their public support to Leia.
9 He's still alive just before The Force Awakens starts
Despite his prominent role in the original Star Wars trilogy and the novels and comics devoted to his life before his first appearance in The Empire Strikes Back, there has been surprisingly little material in the current line of Star Wars novels, games and comics regarding Lando's fate after Return of the Jedi.
Lando's last official appearance in the Star Wars canon occurred in the novel Star Wars: Bloodline, where he made the aforementioned public statement of support for Senator Leia Organa. This occurred in the year 28 ABY, which is 24 years after the foundation of The New Republic and 6 years before the events of Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
The official word from Lucasfilm is that Lando is still considered to be alive at the time of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, though there is no word on how he has been keeping himself busy in the years since his time as a General in the Rebel Alliance.
The novel Aftermath: Empire's End saw Lando leading the New Republic forces working to retake Cloud City from The Empire, but it is unknown if he resumed his position as Baron Administrator of Cloud City afterward.
8 He had a son named Lando Junior
While the events of Lando's life in the current Star Wars canon are still waiting to be determined, his exploits following the events of Return of the Jedi have been fairly well documented in the reality of Star Wars Legends. Not surprisingly, Lando had a hard time sticking with any one task, putting his fingers into many pies as he sought new business opportunities while still helping The New Republic in times of need.
Eventually, Lando began to envy Han's status as a husband and father and the gambler decided it was time for him to settle down.
Not trusting to luck for once, Lando browsed the personal ads in search of his perfect woman. He found her in Tendra Risant - a wealthy heiress from the Core World of Sacorria.
Tendra was everything Lando wanted in a woman - beautiful and regal, but also possessing a keen head for business and a gambler's instincts. Tendra, for her part, sought a man who would see her as an equal and partner and not a link to her family's resources. It proved to be a perfect match, with the two becoming fast friends and business partners before eventually marrying one year after they met.
Nearly two decades would pass before the two had their first child - a son whom Lando, with his usual sense of bravado, named Lando Calrissian Junior. A lively toddler, he was nicknamed "Chance" and was the delight of his parents' lives.
7 He wasn't supposed to survive
Lando Calrissian spent most of his life - on screen and in the books - defying mortality in some form or fashion. This is ironic, given that some drafts of Return of the Jedi ended with Lando having made a hero's sacrifice, going down with the ship he loved so much, as the Millennium Falcon was consumed by the explosion of the second Death Star.
Beyond that, Lando almost saw an early demise as the Star Wars Legends universe was just getting started back in the 1990s. Author Kevin J. Anderson, who wrote several stories starring Lando for the Legends line back when it was still called The Star Wars Expanded Universe, claims that Lucafsfilm had nearly given the go-ahead for Lando's life to be ended.
Why? The Powers That Be apparently felt that the character had "run his course" and that there were no more stories to tell with him!
Thankfully, someone changed their minds, and Lando's story never did see an official end in any of the Star Wars Expanded Universe stories. Perhaps someone thought better of treating the first major black character of the franchise in so cavalier a fashion or perhaps some author wrote a story that made them see the value in keeping Lando around. Either way, he's still lived to a ripe old age officially.
6 His status as the first major black character in Star Wars
Lando Calrissian occupies an odd position in the mythology of Star Wars. He was the first named character in the franchise to be played by a person of color and Billy Dee Williams was the most visible minority actor in the original trilogy. Of course James Earl Jones lent his voice to the Sith Lord Darth Vader, but he was never visible on-screen and was portrayed by Caucasian actors under his armor.
This gave Lando a role of special significance and his existence is credited with having paved the way toward improved representation of minority actors in general and black actors in particular in fantasy and science fiction movies.
Despite this, the character of Lando Calrissian faced as much criticism as he did praise.
New York Times film critic Janet Maslin described the character as "exaggeratedly unctous, untrustworthy and loaded with jive." Other black filmgoers agreed with Maslin's assessment, feeling that Lando presented a negative stereotype of black men, being a flirtatious con-artist who seemingly sold out his friends to save his own skin. This feeling was best exemplified by a speech in the movie Chasing Amy, where the character of Hooper decries the marginalization of black characters in fantasy and science fiction and dismisses Lando Calrissian as "an Uncle Tom" when he is mentioned.
5 Billy Dee Williams still deals with angry fans
Some people have difficulty in separating actors from the characters that they play. This seems to be particularly prevalent in the arena of science-fiction and fantasy fandom. Some actors found themselves typecast after playing a prominent role and complained about being unable to find work because everyone saw them as their most popular character. Many actors who played villainous characters have reported being booed during panels at conventions when they took to the stage.
Billy Dee Williams, the actor who originated the role of Lando Calrissian, has not escaped this problem.
Immediately following the release of The Empire Strikes Back, Williams felt the sting of his character's perceived status as a traitor and a coward. Star Wars fans reportedly heckled Williams in the street and sent him angry letters, complaining about his betrayal of his old friend, Han Solo, and turning him over to Boba Fett. The fact that Lando was motivated by trying to save his city and the people who depended on him counted for little, apparently.
Thankfully, things improved after the release of Return of the Jedi. Lando's risking his life to save Han Solo from Jabba the Hutt and joining the Rebel Alliance helped to cement the character's ultimately good intentions, as did Lando's later appearances in the video games and animated series. While Williams still gets the occasional bit of heckling, both he and Lando are now largely beloved by the Star Wars fandom.
4 He was originally meant to be played by Yaphet Kotto.
Lando Calrissian is easily actor Billy Dee Williams' most famous role. The two are inseparable in the minds of most Star Wars fans and the idea that anyone else could ever play Lando is still as blasphemous to many as the idea of anyone but Harrison Ford playing Han Solo. This is ironic, given that Williams was not the first choice for the role.
George Lucas was a big fan of the 1979 movie Alien and was impressed by the entire production. He was particularly impressed with actor Yaphet Kotto, who played the role of Chief Engineer Dennis Parker. As luck would have it, Irvin Kershner, the director on The Empire Strikes Back, had directed Kotto in the film Raid On Entebee. When it came time to cast the role of Lando, Kershner approached Kotto and offered him the part.
Despite The Empire Strikes Back being one of the most highly anticipated films in Hollywood following the surprise success of Star Wars, Kotto turned Kershner down flat.
In an interview with The Austin Chronicle, Kotto revealed that he had two reasons for rejecting the role. The first was that he feared being typecast if he did two science-fiction film roles so close together. The second was a cynical belief that, much like his character in Alien, Lando would be quickly written off and forgotten.
3 He could appear in Episode IX
Many Star Wars fans were disappointed when Lando Calrissian failed to turn up in either Episode VII: The Force Awakens or Episode VIII: The Last Jedi. Reportedly, there had been speculation about Lando returning during the screenwriting stages on both films.
In fact, Rian Johnson almost made Lando into the master code breaker whom Finn and Rose seek out in the casino city of Canto Bight.
For his part, Billy Dee Williams is open to playing an older Lando Calrissian in the current wave of Star Wars films. It would just be a matter of his finding out how the character would be treated and being asked.
The ending of The Last Jedi, in which what remains of the Resistance is crowded onto the Millennium Falcon, has prompted a good deal of fan speculation about the circumstances of how Episode IX might open. Some have specifically imagined how this might be the point at which Lando makes his grand entrance to the final trilogy.
Episode IX might begin with the Millennium Falcon entering the atmosphere of a gaseous world, emerging within view of a certain city in the clouds. Upon landing they are greeted by a familiar caped figure, who still walks with swagger, though his steps are a bit slower. The figure then points to the Falcon and demands to know "which one of you did this to my ship?!"
2 There might be a Lando movie starring Donald Glover
The Star Wars fandom was doubly thrilled when it was announced that Solo: A Star Wars Story would feature a young Lando Calrissian as part of the supporting cast - partly because it signaled the return of a popular character and partly becaus Lando was being played by fan-favorite actor Donald Glover.
A self-described nerd who loves comic books and science-fiction, Glover once famously petitioned to play the role of Spider-Man before going on to voice the Miles Morales Spider-Man in the Ultimate Spider-Man animated series. He also produced an animated Deadpool series, which failed to be picked up by FX.
The early previews and trailers for Solo: A Star Wars Story and glimpses of Glover as Lando Calrissian were met with immediate praise and prompted a demand for the smooth-talking gambler to get a movie of his own.
Glover is certainly game, having suggested a space version of Catch Me If You Can for the story. Solo: A Star War Story co-writer Jonathan Kasdan has also expressed interest in working on such a project, noting that he'd particularly like to explore the origins of Lando's friendship with the cyborg Lobot.
Unfortunately, while Lucasfilm hasn't shot down the possibility of a future film focused on Lando outright, a recent press release said that it was "not relevant."
1 He's not straight
From the first moment he strutted onto the screen in The Empire Strikes Back, it was presumed that Lando Calrissian was every bit the classic ladies' man. From the courtly way he kissed Leia Organa's hand upon meeting her for the first time to the compliments he rained down upon her as he showed off his city, a flirtatious nature was an obvious part of Lando's character from the beginning.
Solo: A Star Wars Story seems has taken this in a new direction, with Lando (as played by Donald Glover) making eyes at women, men, aliens and even robots! This gave rise to some questions regarding Lando's orientation following the early press screenings of the movie.
According to screenwriter Jonathan Kasdan, this was intentional. He claims to have deliberately written Lando as having a pan orientation and potentially loving everyone and everything: "There’s a fluidity to Donald and Billy Dee’s [portrayal of Lando]. I mean, I would have loved to have gotten a more explicitly LGBT character into this movie. I think it’s time, certainly, for that, and I love the fluidity ― sort of the spectrum... that Donald appeals to and that droids are a part of. He doesn’t make any hard and fast rules. I think it is fun."
Is there some fun fact about Lando we missed in Star Wars? Let us know in the comments.