It's a big week for Star Wars fans, with the 2015 Star Wars Celebration in Anaheim, CA promising loads of reveals for Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens. So far we've seen new images of characters like villain Kylo Ren, a look at the new Stormtrooper design, an close and personal encounter with R2-D2 and BB-8 - and then there's that brand new, spine-tingling teaser trailer.
Our first glimpse of Harrison Ford reprising his iconic role as Han Solo was one of the most exciting parts of this new trailer, and we were recently reunited with Han's old buddy Lando Calrissian (voiced by returning star Billy Dee Williams) on the Disney XD animated series Star Wars Rebels. That show's first season reminded us why fans fell in love with the Star Wars universe in the first place - and the return of Lando's roguish charm and swagger helped bring it home.
Now, as the Star Wars Celebration continues, Star Wars.com has announced that the old smoothie will star in his comic book series from Marvel, and that Lando #1 will debut this July. Created by writer Charles Soule (Death of Wolverine, She-Hulk) and artist Alex Maleev (Daredevil, Moon Knight), the series will focus on Lando Calrissian before his days fighting alongside the Rebel Alliance, as he "looks to steal one of the galaxy’s most valuable ships."
According to Soule:
“Is Lando Calrissian the coolest character in all of Star Wars? Depends on who you ask, probably. But if you ask me, the answer is yes, and I plan to prove it with this story.”
The Lando series will evidently pick up Lando Calrissian's story some time after his appearance in Star Wars Rebels but before the character's introduction in The Empire Strikes Back. However, he will be joined in the comic book by the character Lobot, the partly-cyborg assistant (played in Empire by the late John Hollis) who accompanied Lando in Bespin, the Cloud City.
Soule also commented on what the main theme of the comic's storyline would be, as we follow Lando around the galaxy before he grew a conscience and became a hero (after betraying Han Solo and selling Luke Skywalker to Darth Vader in Empire). Soule remarked:
“Before Cloud City, before his glorious Death Star run, Lando Calrissian was just a man trying to make his way through an uncaring universe determined not to recognize that he was undeniably the coolest man in the galaxy. But Lando’s got a plan to change all that… and it starts with the deal of a lifetime.”
With the marketing for The Force Awakens ramping up, fans might not even bother dusting off the debate on what went wrong with George Lucas' Star Wars prequels, but it could be argued that the absence of a con man/rogue/smuggler element personified by Han Solo and Lando Calrissian - as shades of gray in the black-and-white, good-and-evil Jedi vs. Sith narrative - left a huge void and drained a surprising amount of the original films' charm.
Star Wars VII director J.J. Abrams seems to realize this, and by bringing back Solo and Chewbacca - coupled with a comic book run featuring a Lando Calrissian "prequel" of sorts - the return of this world's old, intoxicating magic will keep fans holding their breath until December.
Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens opens in theaters December 18, 2015.
Source: Star Wars.com