But if someone prompted you with Billy Dee Williams as Lando Calrissian, and you were like, “huh?” then you'd never be forgiven because Lando is where it's as far as Star Wars characters go, and one of the most iconic sci-fi characters ever played by a black man.
Yes, you have the space smuggler Han Solo, the wide-eyed boy Luke Skywalker, and the Wookie charm of Chewbacca, but when The Empire Strikes Back threw Lando Calrissian into the mix, we got it all – the confident ladies man with a backstory we just knew we wanted to know more about.
He was the guy who seemingly betrayed his gambling buddy but all along was desperate to help Han and his old pals. And as for Return of the Jedi, when he led the assault on Death Star II, that was Legendary.
So what is the backstory of Lando? What trivia do you need to know, and what are his best lines? Well, we'll do our best to share.
- In the original script for The Empire Strikes Back, when Lando is about to lead Han, Leia, and Chewie into the trap laid out by Darth Vader, he offers his arm to Leia as a gesture to lead her down the hallway, which she accepts. Harrison Ford ad-libbed Han rushing up to the Princess and offering his arm to her at the same moment to imply that Han was jealous of Lando's gentlemanly actions. It's far from the only thing Ford ad-libbed in the movie.
- One of the first ideas for Lando Calrissian was to have him as a clone who survived the Clone Wars and leads legions of fellow clones. Ultimately he was made his own man, and Jango Fett kind of took that role in Attack of the Clones.
- He was originally scripted by Leigh Brackett as having the name “Lando Kadar.”
- Yaphet Kotto, who we mentioned above, was offered the role of Lando Calrissian but turned it down. Kotto perhaps made a bad call.
The Backstory of the Millennium Falcon
While the Star Wars expanded universe took Lando in some exciting directions, The Empire Strikes Back suggested that he and Han had a long back story. Indeed Han Solo won the Millennium Falcom from Lando in a game of sabacc.
In the first instance, the “bat ship” fell into the hands of Lando after a game of sabacc with a gambler called Cix Trouvee.
Ever the ladies' man, Lando had some pretty sweet lines in The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi – and he briefly appeared in The Rise of Skywalker.
Empire Strikes Back quotes:
- “Why, you slimy, double-crossing, no-good swindler.”
- “Having trouble with your droid?”
- “You look absolutely beautiful. You truly belong here with us among the clouds.”
- “They told me they fixed it! I *trusted* them to *fix* it! It's not my fault!”
- “This deal is getting worse all the time!”
Return of the Jedi quotes:
- “No, wait! I thought you were blind! (Han is about to shoot at the Sarlacc's tendril that is wrapped on Lando's leg”
- “That blast came from the Death Star! That thing's operational!”
- “Break off the attack! The shield is still up!”
- “We're on our way, Red group, Gold group, all fighters follow me. Ha ha ha, I told you they'd do it!”
With Billy Dee Williams returning to the franchise as Landonis Calrissian, we enjoyed his part in the movie. While it was a little nostalgia trip, the extended cameo appearance was heartfelt and gave the film some good bones.
- “Why don't we find out?!” – This was Lando to Jannah with the significant implication she may have been his daughter who the First Order abducted.
- “Wookies stand out in a crowd.”
- “My flying days are long gone. But do me a favor. Give Leia my love.”
- “I've got a bad feeling about this.”
Extra for Experts
Luke Skywalker is arguably irrelevant to the last half of the Return of the Jedi thanks to Lando Calrissian.
If you think about it, in terms of destroying the Empire, Luke didn’t need to be on the Death Star as Lando had that covered. The Emperor and Vader operating as two Sith Lords working in tandem to rule the Galaxy would have been destroyed when Lando blew up the Death Star, right?
This article was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.