Donald Glover’s role as Lando Calrissian in Solo: A Star Wars Story will apparently continue with his own cinematic spinoff.
To paraphrase Zoolander’s Mugatu, “It’s that damn Donald Glover! He’s so hot right now!”
Solo: A Star Wars Story may still be waiting to hit theaters, but the reviews are already in (and that includes our own review), and there’s a general narrative out there that’s saying that Donald Glover’s version of young Lando Calrissian is an enigmatic scene-stealer who just needs better things to do. Consequently, the big brass at Disney/Lucasfilm are acknowledging those shifting winds.
Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy made some potentially crucial comments when speaking at the Solo: A Star Wars Story premiere at the Cannes Film Festival. There, Kennedy teased (with a fair amount of certainty) the identity of the next character to receive the spinoff treatment. As Kennedy explained to Premiere (by way of Google Translate):
“We think the next spin-off will be dedicated to Lando Calrissian. Of course, there are still many stories to tell about Han and Chewbacca, but Lando will be next.”
The ever-sly Lando Calrissian has always been a popular character, as played onscreen by Billy Dee Williams in Original Trilogy films The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi and via voice in an assortment of multimedia projects, most notably in a duo of episodes of the beloved animated series, Star Wars Rebels. However, as mentioned, Glover – formerly best known from TV on NBC’s Community – is riding some Midas-touch-like momentum at the moment, not only with the Solo movie Lando role, but his hit FX television drama, Atlanta, increasing momentum in his Childish Gambino rapping side hustle, as well as recent roles in major films such as The Martian and Magic Mike XXL. He’s also set to voice the role of Simba in Disney’s upcoming live-action The Lion King movie. Things like that tend to shift priorities, even for Star Wars.
Of course, the spinoff film talk has taken several twists and turns over the years. The post-Disney effort kicked off with 2016’s Rogue One and now Solo, and the news cycle has pointed to projects (now up in the air) focusing on characters such as Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi (as played by Prequel Trilogy star Ewan McGregor); the wheezing black-clad Sith Lord himself, Darth Vader; as well as a perennial cult-fan-favorite, the stoic Mandalorian bounty hunter, Boba Fett.
There will certainly be plenty of room in the official Star Wars canon for more Lando stories, likely set after the events of Solo. Yet, with the 2015 Star Wars Rebels Lando appearances seemingly bridging a gap between his gambler/smuggler phase, as seen in Solo, a prospective spinoff movie showcasing the events that facilitate Lando’s transition into a legitimate businessman and administrator of the Bespin tibanna gas mining colony, Cloud City (his status in Empire), would be intriguing. Indeed, fans would be delighted to see how – as Han famously explained – Lando “conned somebody out of it” before reinventing himself as “the respectable one.”
Solo: A Star Wars Story is making its own Kessel Run toward theaters on May 25.