When Han Solo and Lando Calrissian first came together in The Empire Strikes Back it was very clear that these two characters had a long history together. After all, Han had acquired the famed Millennium Falcon from Lando, but other than that detail we really didn't know much about the pair. Now, with Han Solo getting a solo movie of his own, it appears highly likely that we'll see more of the relationship between Han and Lando.
We already know some of the people involved in the film: Phil Lord and Chris Miller are directing, Lawrence and Jon Kasdan are writing, Alden Ehrenreich has been cast as the young Han Solo, and now it appears as though Lord and Miller have set their sites on casting Donald Glover in the role of a young Lando Calrissian. Lando is a huge figure in the original trilogy, but how significant would his role be in a Han Solo origin story?
First, we should take a look at what we know about Lando and his relationship with Han in the new canon (Lando had a backstory via the expanded universe, but when Disney purchased LucasFilm that was all converted to "Legends," making it non-canon). So, other than his appearances in The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, any further knowledge about Lando is limited to his 5-issue, self-titled comic series, and his two appearances in the cartoon Star Wars Rebels. Unfortunately, neither of the comic or the cartoon tells us much about the time period that Han Solo's film will take place in, so we still don't have much to go on.
The Han Solo movie is supposed to fit into the Star Wars timeline around 10 BBY (10 years before the Battle of Yavin) and the earliest we've seen Lando was in Rebels, about five years after Han's movie will take place. With this information about the timeline in mind, I would like to make the case that Lando's presence in a Han Solo movie would be, at most, akin to the size of his role in The Empire Strikes Back. A key figure, but only a supporting role, and only in half of the film.
What we know about the film so far is that the plot is all but certain to be an origin story. It will tell us how Han Solo became the scoundrel that he is when we meet him in A New Hope. That means there are two things that are essential for us to see in this movie: how Han meets Chewbacca, and how he gets the Millennium Falcon. Based on comments that we've heard from Disney CEO Bob Iger, it seems as though the story might be focused on how Chewie and Han came together to form an unbreakable bond, and that sounds like exactly what many people would want from a Han Solo origin story. Although, I have no doubt that people would want Lando too, just not to the same degree.
And while I'm certain we'll be treated to an incredible scene where Han beats Lando in sabacc to win the Falcon (well, probably cheats him out of it), it's difficult for me to imagine a plot where this doesn't happen fairly early on in the film. The Falcon is almost just as integral to Han Solo as Chewbacca is, and to have us go the majority of his solo film without his iconic ship seems like a poor decision, to say the least. Couple this with the fact that it seems Han and Lando haven't seen each other since Han won the Falcon (when they're flying into Bespin in The Empire Strikes Back, Han and Chewie talk about something that happened "a long time ago" that Han is sure Lando has forgotten about. Intuitively, this thing would seem to be Han cheating Lando out of the Falcon), and it seems even less likely that Lando will be taking on a lead role for the entirety of the film.
I think that Lando is going to play a key role in the first half of the film, acting as something like Han Solo's closest competitor, but based on the way that Han talks about meeting Lando in Empire, I'm guessing that the pair's interaction ceases following Han's acquisition of the Millennium Falcon. Han's origin is more about Chewie than Lando, and I think that's what we're going to see in this movie.
Check out the adventures of another famous Star Wars character in the video below and see all the times that R2-D2 has saved the day:
What do you guys think about Lando being in the Han Solo movie? Is he going to take on a lead role? Will he be little more than a cameo? Something in between? Let us know in the comments!