The “Star Wars” franchise has introduced fans to many lovable and interesting characters in its nearly four-decade history, many of whom have become iconic symbols of cinema. Films, television shows and even video games focusing on the space drama have further explored the many personalities that the series has showcased.
It was recently announced that one particular character will have his own Disney+ show coming out within the next few years. No, not Luke Skywalker; we already have three films about him. It’s not Obi-Wan Kenobi either; his show was already announced last year.
It’s Lando Calrissian.
That’s right. It was announced that the lovable, smooth-talking scoundrel of “Star Wars” will have his own show produced by Disney+, the platform that gave fans “The Mandalorian.” The Twitter page @StarWarsStuff tweeted the news, and fans of the space saga were ecstatic to see that one of the original trilogy’s “side characters” will be getting a show focused solely on him.
Billy Dee Williams, also known for his roles in “Batman” (1989) and “Lady Sings the Blues” (1972), originated the character in the 1980s film, “Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back.” Calrissian is depicted in the film as Han Solo’s old friend who lost his famous ship, the Millennium Falcon, to Solo in a gamble.
Calrissian’s appearances in the original trilogy showed him betraying Solo only to later redeem himself by rescuing him, and by joining the Rebel Alliance in “Return of the Jedi” (1983).
After “Return of the Jedi,” Williams does not show up as Calrissian again until the 2019 movie, “The Rise of Skywalker,” where he assists the new age of rebels against a new galactic empire known as the First Order.
While fans only know a little bit about Calrissian’s life between “Return of the Jedi” and “The Rise of Skywalker,” they do get to learn some new information about his life as a young con artist. 2018’s “Solo: A Star Wars Story,” directed by Ron Howard, focused on the life of young Han Solo (Alden Ehrenreich) in his days before “A New Hope” (1977). However, it was Donald Glover’s portrayal of a young Lando Calrissian that many considered to be the redeeming factor of an otherwise mediocre film.
Han Solo and Lando Calrissian had an already-formed friendship in “The Empire Strikes Back,” but “Solo” further established the origins of their relationship. The film finally showed people how exactly Solo won the Millennium Falcon from Calrissian, and why the two have such great harmony with one another, since Calrissian almost died assisting Solo during a dangerous heist mission.
For many people, Glover was the number one choice to play Calrissian, years before his actual casting. The actor and rapper, otherwise known as Childish Gambino, exuded Calrissian’s charisma and charm, without completely mimicking Billy Dee Williams’ iconic portrayal, so it is no mystery why Lucasfilm and Disney want to bring Glover back to play the scoundrel-hero in his standalone series.
While the show will most likely focus on Glover’s rendition of the character, it would be a great opportunity for Disney to bring back Williams as well.
“The Rise of Skywalker: The Visual Dictionary” revealed that Calrissian started a family after the events depicted in “Return of the Jedi.” However, the First Order kidnapped and brainwashed his child into being a stormtrooper. At the end of “The Rise of Skywalker,” Calrissian meets a newly introduced character, Jannah. Jannah tells Calrissian that she does not know of her origins, to which Calrissian replies, “Let’s find out.”
Fans questioned what that truly meant, until the aforementioned visual dictionary confirmed that Jannah is Calrissian’s long-lost daughter.
Most people would probably not know this, though — not everyone has read the visual dictionary. Rather than leaving fans in the dark with a rather open-ended cliffhanger, Disney could use this plot point to their advantage and make it a part of the Calrissian-focused show.
Perhaps the series could implement Williams as an older Lando, telling his life story to his daughter — à la “How I Met Your Mother” — while Glover plays the younger version of the character for the majority of the show.
The end of “The Rise of Skywalker” revealed that Calrissian is once again the owner of the iconic Millennium Falcon, with Chewbacca at his side, since — spoilers — Han Solo dies in the 2015 film, “The Force Awakens.” This leaves yet another opportunity for Disney to bring back the Falcon for Williams to co-pilot with his daughter as he recounts memories of being a young scoundrel.
Since it takes place in such a vast universe, the show could take fans on a number of exciting adventures. Disney+’s track record with “Star Wars” original series, like “The Mandalorian,” has so far been outstanding.
With that in mind, it will be no surprise if Disney does something completely different for Calrissian’s show.
Lando Calrissian has held many titles, from gambler to businessman, so there are several different routes this show could go on.
For instance, if it were to explore his career as a smuggler and con artist, fans could expect to see a heist series, with Calrissian facing close encounters during treacherous missions. The show could also recount his relationship with his piloting droid, L3-37, who also played a role in “Solo.”
On the other hand, the series could delve into Calrissian’s life as a businessman, since it was revealed in “The Empire Strikes Back” that he’s the leader of the gas-mining colony known as Cloud City. It was discovered that he won control over the city by gambling and, assuming Calrissian has no experience in business, it would be quite hilarious to see him learn the ropes of being in charge of a huge enterprise.
Fans should be able to trust that Glover will carry on Williams’ legacy in his own series. There is much to learn about the character, so we can only hope that Disney fulfills fans’ desires and rounds out Calrissian’s background and history even further. No matter which direction the show takes, “Star Wars” fans should be excited that they will be receiving more refreshing content than they had ever wished for.