Personally, I enjoyed SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY. I thought it was good fun, and a great way to spend two hours. Alden Ehrenreich was good as Han, the Millennium Falcon was on point, and L3-37 was fantastic. But let’s be real. The real star of SOLO was easily Lando Calrissian.

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Sadly, I seem to be in the minority regarding SOLO, which isn’t doing too great at the box office. Moving forward, Disney might need to be more careful about what stories they work with. Now, word is that the next STAR WARS anthology film will be about Boba Fett. May I offer an alternative? Give us a Lando Calrissian movie. You won’t regret it.

Lando Calrissian is SOLO’s Breakout Star

SOLO may have had some flaws. But it also gave us a marvelous gift: a young Lando Calrissian. When we met Lando in EMPIRE STRIKES BACK, he wasn’t old, per se. But he was an established adult, with a legitimate job and responsibilities. SOLO’s Lando is different.

This time, Lando is young and free. He is a recently retired former smuggler, with a reputation as one of the best in the business. He is living large, with his own ship, a snarky co-pilot, and a magnificent cape collection. When funds start to get low, Lando supplements his retirement with gambling. He agrees to take on the job in SOLO for the money — and to impress a beautiful lady, of course.

lando calrissian
Courtesy of Disney.

SOLO also shows us the backstory behind Lando and Han’s friendship. EMPIRE STRIKES BACK shows an uneasy alliance, with a lack of trust on both sides. RETURN OF THE JEDI shows deep caring, couched behind sarcasm. SOLO shows how we got to that point.

On the job, Han and Lando clash. They first meet in a sabaac tournament, where Han loses because Lando cheats. Han takes it personally and doesn’t get along terribly well with their newly hired pilot. Later, when the job goes south, Lando expresses his frustration with Han. He hopes they never see each other again. Sadly for Lando, they do meet again when Han challenges him to a rematch — and this time, Han wins, taking Lando’s beloved ship.

Why Should Disney Make a Lando Calrissian Movie?

Even before SOLO premiered, much of the hype surrounding the movie revolved around Donald Glover’s portrayal of Lando Calrissian. Glover is on a bit of a high right now, and acting in SOLO only added to the fire. It doesn’t hurt that Lando has been a fan favorite since 1980.

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After seeing the movie, most people seem to agree that the hype was well-deserved. Glover’s Lando was easily one of the high points. And he was a well-written, multi-faceted character. It would have been easy to give us only the sleazy, cheating-at-cards Lando Calrissian. But SOLO gave us hints of the hero that Lando would one day be, by showing his devotion to L3.

Disney should capitalize on the positive buzz and put a Lando Calrissian movie into motion. Right now, people want more of Lando. If they move fast, Disney can play right into that. Move too slow, and the affection might die down some. Plus, Donald Glover’s star is on the rise. Signing him now for a spin-off would ensure that he doesn’t move on to bigger and better things.

Up The Diversity Cred

It should also be noted that Disney could use the popularity of Lando to up their diversity street cred. STAR WARS has always been a sadly narrow view of a wide galaxy. Diversity has always been their weak point. Lando Calrissian was the first non-white character to have a speaking role… and we haven’t come very far in the nearly 40 years since.

The new trilogy has given us Finn, and ROGUE ONE gave us a fantastically diverse main cast. But the time is ripe for a STAR WARS movie whose main character is a person of color. Given that Lando is already well-established and well-liked, why not choose to focus on him? You get your diversity cake and (hopefully) avoid trolls arguing that a person of color starring in STAR WARS is social-justice-bullshit (or whatever they say these days).

lando calrissian
Image of Lando courtesy of Disney. Quote courtesy of Donald Glover.

To be fair, a Boba Fett movie would also accomplish this. Boba Fett is canonically a person of color. He is a clone of Jango Fett, who was played by a Maori actor in ATTACK OF THE CLONES. This would be a great opportunity for a Maori actor to headline a major vehicle, and a Boba Fett movie gets all due respect for that step forward.

But Lando Calrissian is not just non-white. We now know that Lando is canonically queer. So far, the galaxy far, far away has been astonishingly straight. But both the filmmakers and Donald Glover have stated that Lando Calrissian is pansexual. It would be great to have a queer main character in a STAR WARS film — especially if they actually acknowledged it in the film, not just in later interviews.

What Could a Lando Calrissian Movie Be?

If Disney chose to make a stand-alone Lando Calrissian movie, the sky is the limit. Though Lando is an already established character, there’s a lot of open stories to work with. Disney could make a whole series about Lando if they so choose.

Why not focus on the Lando Calrissian Chronicles? In SOLO, Lando appears to be recording some sort of memoir of his adventures. There’s a gold mine there. Show us Lando and L3 exploring the galaxy. Let us see how Lando got his reputation as the best smuggler in the business. Tell us how the Lando Calrissian Chronicles came to be.

lando calrissian
Courtesy of Disney.

Alternately, give us pre-EMPIRE Lando Calrissian. How did Lando move from cheating gambler and smuggler to administrator of a major mining facility? Give us the backstory to Bespin. In SOLO, Lando remarks that mining colonies are the worst. How does he then end up running one later in life?

Or even give us post-RETURN OF THE JEDI Lando Calrissian. Lando has not yet shown up in the new trilogy. What did he get up to post-JEDI? Does he stick around while they start the Republic? What adventures does he undertake after helping save the galaxy? Why isn’t he around when THE FORCE AWAKENS happens? Is he a part of the Resistance? There’s a lot to work with here.

Obligatory Expanded Universe Plug

Of course, I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t bring up the Expanded Universe. Lando Calrissian has a long history in the now-no-longer-canon stories. If Disney is looking for material to work with, they have ready-made stories to adapt. Disney is showing some willingness to reinstate canon for some of the EU material, so why not Lando?

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Give us Lando during the rise of Thrawn, now that Thrawn is canon again. Show us how vital he was to preventing another galactic war when Thrawn “returned.” Hell, give us the story of Lando wooing rich heiresses for money, only to fall in love with Tendra Risant and settle down. Who wouldn’t love a Lando-centric wacky romantic comedy?

The Time for a Lando Calrissian Movie is Now

lando calrissian
Courtesy of Disney.

Alright, Disney, all eyes are on you. Are you ready to make the right moves? The time is ripe for a movie about Lando Calrissian, a black pansexual suave reluctant hero with an utterly fantastic cape collection. You’ll have your audience — when will we have our movie?

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