The lies, quotes, card games and a ballsy attack on the Death Star that make space pirate Lando Calrissian awesome
If you were asked to ever name the most famous black person in a science fiction film you could be forgiven for saying Yaphet Kotto from Alien.
You could even be forgiven for suggesting Samuel L Jackson as Nick Fury or even as Mace Windu.
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 played by a black man.
Yes, you have the space smuggler of Han, the wide-eyed boy of Luke and the Wookie charm of Chewbacca but when Empire 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 buddies. And as for Jedi when he lead the assault on the Death Star II? Legend.
So what is the back story of Lando? What is the trivia you need to know and what are his best lines?
We'll we'll do our best to share!
- In the original Empire script when Lando is about to lead Han, Leia, and Chewie into the trap laid out by Darth Vader, Lando offers his arm to Leia, as a gesture to lead her down the hallway to which she accepts. Harrison Ford ad-libbed Han rushing up to the Princess and offering his arm to her at the exact same moment to imply that Han was jealous of Lando's gentlemanly actions. It's not the only thing Ford ad-libbed in Empire…
- One of the first ideas for Lando Calrissian was to have him as a clone who survived the Clone Wars who leads legions of clones. Ultimately he was made his own man and Jango Fett kind of took that role in Attack of the Clones.
- Originally scripted by Leigh Brackett as having the name of “Lando Kadar”.
- Yaphet Kotto, who we mentioned above, was apparently offered the role of Lando Calrissian but turned it down. Clearly, Kotto perhaps made a bad call.
While the Expanded Universe took Lando in some interesting directions, Empire suggested that Lando and Han had a long back story, indeed Han Solo won the Millennium Falcom from Lando in a game of Sabbac.
In the first instance, the ‘bat ship' fell into the hands of Lando Calrissian after a card game of sabacc from a gambler called Cix Trouvee.
Lando, ever the ladies man had some pretty sweet lines in Empire and Jedi.
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! – it sure was Lando, pull up
- 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!
- “Why don't we find out?!” Lando to Jannah with the big implication she may have been his daughter the First Order abducted.
- “Wookies standout 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.
If you think about it, in terms of destroying the Empire, Luke didn’t need to be on the Death Star as Lando Calrissian 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?
Paul Rose Jr has worked as TV News Producer, Forensic Analyst, and Train Conductor, among many other things. He’s the former TV Editor for Infuzemag.com and owns more books, DVDs, and comics than most people have seen in their lifetimes. When he’s not writing articles, he exercises his creative muscle writing screenplays and acting in film and television in Los Angeles, CA.