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Lando Calrissian is a fictional character in the Star Wars franchise. He is portrayed by Billy Dee Williams in The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, and will be played by Donald Glover in the upcoming standalone film, Solo: A Star Wars Story. He also appears frequently in the Star Wars expanded universe of novels, comic books and video games, including a series of novels in which he is the protagonist.
|Star Wars character|
Williams as Lando Calrissian
|First appearance||The Empire Strikes Back (1980)|
|Last appearance||Star Wars: Aftermath:
– Empire's End (2017, novel)
|Created by||George Lucas|
|Portrayed by||Billy Dee Williams (Episodes V–VI)
Donald Glover (Solo: A Star Wars Story)
|Voiced by||Billy Dee Williams (most media)
Arye Gross (Return of the Jedi; radio drama)
Dave Fennoy (X-Wing Alliance)
Kevin M. Richardson (Demolition)
Obba Babatundé (Star Wars Rogue Squadron II: Rogue Leader, Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds, Star Wars Rogue Squadron III: Rebel Strike, Kinect Star Wars and Disney Infinity 3.0)
Tabitha St. Germain (The Yoda Chronicles (young)
|Aliases||Captain Drebble (Legends)|
|Occupation||Administrator of Cloud City
General in the Rebel Alliance
CEO of Tendrando Arms
Rebel Alliance/New Republic
Lindo Calrissian (father, non-canon in the Legends continuity)
Lando "Chance" Calrissian Jr. (son)
|Spouse(s)||Tendra Risant (Legends)|
Concept and creationEdit
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The first draft of The Empire Strikes Back featured a character named Lando Kadar, a veteran of the Clone Wars who lived on Hoth. His name and familiar aspects of his backstory materialized in the second draft.
Lando was portrayed by Billy Dee Williams in The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, and will be played by Donald Glover in the upcoming Han Solo film.
Lando Calrissian first appears in The Empire Strikes Back as the administrator of Cloud City, concerned primarily with keeping the Empire out of his affairs. Bounty hunter Boba Fett, working for Darth Vader, tracks Han Solo, Princess Leia, Chewbacca, and C-3PO, traveling in the damaged Millennium Falcon, to Bespin. Shortly before Solo and crew make it to Bespin, Darth Vader and a contingent of Imperial forces arrive at Bespin and threaten to take over the city. Lando is strongarmed by Vader into betraying his old friend and turning him over to Boba Fett.
Unwilling to leave the city in the hands of the Empire, Lando reluctantly does so, but his conscience gets the better of him when Vader goes back on his word and takes Leia and Chewbacca as prisoners. When Lando sets Leia, C-3PO and Chewbacca free, Chewbacca chokes him for giving Han to Vader and Fett, and Leia angrily tells Lando that they don't need his help before they chase after Fett, who escapes with Solo. In the ensuing evacuation of Cloud City, he helps Leia, Chewbacca, C-3PO, and R2-D2 escape. He then assists Leia in rescuing the maimed Luke Skywalker, who had fallen into Vader's trap and lost his right hand in a duel, from the underside of Cloud City. Afterwards, he joins the Rebel Alliance and promises Leia that they will find Han.
In Return of the Jedi, Lando goes undercover to help Luke rescue Han from crime lord Jabba the Hutt. During a battle with Jabba's henchmen, Han saves Lando from being devoured by the Sarlacc; Lando then helps Han and the others destroy Jabba's barge. For his heroics, he is made a general in the Rebel Alliance. Lando then takes the pilot chair in his old ship, the Millennium Falcon, and leads the attack on the second Death Star. He helps the Rebels to victory by destroying the gigantic Imperial battle station.
Lando did not appear in The Force Awakens, although Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Leia Organa and other members of the Rebel Alliance made appearances in the film. The fate of Calrissian, following the Battle of Endor, is currently unknown. During the early development of the film, Lando was meant to appear, with Williams expressing interest to reprise the role again, but he was ultimately cut from the film. According to Williams, the reason for which his character didn't return was possibly that Calrissian didn't fit in the film's storyline. This action caused the displeasure of some fans.
Lando was also absent from The Last Jedi despite that Skywalker's and Organa's presence like in the previous installment. During the early development of the film, director Rian Johnson briefly considered to bring back Calrissian as the codebreaker that Finn and Rose Tico went to search in the coastal city of Canto Bight at the planet of Cantonica, but Calrissian was finally written out from the film's script and the codebreaker role ultimately went to Benicio del Toro's character DJ, who, like Calrissian did in The Empire Strikes Back, betrayed the film's protagonists. Unlike Calrissian, however, DJ's betrayal is for more selfish reasons and he doesn't redeem himself afterwards.
Williams himself had hinted that he would be willing to reprise his role again in Episode IX if he is asked, in addition to possibly making a cameo (but likely as another character) in the upcoming film, Solo: A Star Wars Story, in which Donald Glover will play a younger version of Calrissian. On the other hand, Poe Dameron's portrayer Oscar Isaac has stated Calrissian could fit in the story of Episode IX and that he has hopes that it could happen given the fact that Lando is his favorite character, while Luke Skywalker's portrayer Mark Hamill has stated that it's time to start a campaign to convince the studio to bring back Lando in Episode IX.
In "Idiot's Array", Lando wins Chopper, the repair droid of the crew of the Ghost, in a game of sabacc, forcing the crew to assist him with a dangerous smuggling run to get their droid back. The crew become reluctant business partners to Lando following the ordeal, leading to their first encounter with the crime boss Azmorigan. In "The Siege of Lothal" the crew of the Ghost reluctantly approach Lando for help in getting off of Lothal, which is under Imperial occupation. He is also mentioned on occasion in various other episodes, becoming one of a couple of aliases employed by Ezra Bridger.
Billy Dee Williams reprises his role as Lando Calrissian in various games, including Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast, Star Wars Battlefront and Star Wars Battlefront II; in the latter two he appears as a playable hero.
Lando Calrissian is the lead character in Lando, a five-issue miniseries published by Marvel Comics in 2015. Lando has a brief appearance in the comic miniseries Shattered Empire published by Marvel Comics in 2015.
The Star Wars comic book series released by Marvel Comics featured Lando as a prominent character following The Empire Strikes Back. In the comic series, he has a crime lord nemesis named Drebble, and Lando will frequently make use of his foil's name as a cover identity so that any animosity he generates while using the alias will be brought against the real Drebble, not Lando himself.
Legends novels that took place after Return of the Jedi commonly depicted Lando as getting involved in a variety of entrepreneurial schemes, including Nomad City in Timothy Zahn's Thrawn trilogy and the Kessel Spice Mines in the works of Kevin J. Anderson. During The Corellian Trilogy, Calrissian goes on a galaxy-wide hunt for a rich wife, ultimately marrying Tendra Risant. With his in-laws' money and his entrepreneurial abilities, he opens a mining facility on the outer rim planet of Dubrillion. In The New Jedi Order and beyond, Lando continues being a valuable ally and friend to the Skywalker/Solo family, and in the seventh novel of the Legacy of the Force series, Calrissian announces to Han Solo and Leia Organa Solo that he and Tendra are having a child in Fury.
Kevin J. Anderson stated that Lucasfilm toyed with the idea of killing off Lando, noting the character had run his course for Expanded Universe authors in the '90s.
The Adventures of Lando Calrissian: L. Neil Smith wrote three Lando Calrissian novels in the 1980s: Lando Calrissian and the Mindharp of Sharu, Lando Calrissian and the Flamewind of Oseon and Lando Calrissian and the Starcave of ThonBoka.
Lando Calrissian was chosen as the 11th top Star Wars character by IGN and the character was chosen as the 12th top Star Wars hero by Jesse Schedeen. Schedeen also said that Calrissian was one of the characters he would most like seeing in Star Wars: The Force Unleashed.
Billy Dee Williams has publicly admitted that he personally received backlash from youngsters who were negatively affected by Lando's betrayal of Han Solo. Williams has felt that the situation would've been different if Lando had been played by a Caucasian actor.
- "Donald Glover Cast as Young Lando Calrissian in Upcoming Han Solo Star Wars Stand-Alone Film". StarWars.com. 2016-10-21. Retrieved 2016-12-20.
- "'Star Wars' Episode VII - Billy Dee Williams Open to Return". TMZ.com. Retrieved 2016-12-20.
- "BILLY DEE WILLIAMS (LANDO CALRISSIAN)". StarWarsInterviews.com (Interview). December 2015. Retrieved December 23, 2017.
- Christopher Hooton (2014-04-30). "Star Wars 7 cast: Where is Lando Calrissian?". The Independent. Retrieved 2016-12-20.
- Gonzalez, Umberto (August 11, 2016). "'Han Solo' Film Casting Young Lando Calrissian (Exclusive)". The Wrap.
- "Billy Dee Williams Confirms His Involvement In 'Star Wars Rebels'". Retrieved 29 December 2014.
- "Bespin - Hero Deep Dive". Retrieved 12 September 2016.
- Interview with Jo Duffy
- Interview: Star Wars Author Kevin J. Anderson On ‘Jedi Academy Trilogy’, ‘Darksaber’, & ‘Tales of the Jedi’
- "Top 100 Star Wars Characters". IGN. Retrieved 12 January 2011.
- Jesse Schedeen (13 August 2008). "Top 25 Star Wars Heroes: Day 3". IGN. Retrieved 12 January 2011.
- Jesse Schedeen (21 July 2008). "Players Wanted: The Force Unleashed". IGN. Retrieved 12 January 2011.
- "Billy Dee Williams." Unsung Hollywood. Nar. Gary Anthony Williams. Exec. Prod. Frank Sinton, Arthur Smith, Kent Weed, and Mark Rowland. TV One, 12 Aug. 2015. Television.