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Friday, October 21, 2016

HAN SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY Casts Donald Glover as Lando Calrissian


This deal is getting better all the time.

The official Star Wars site has confirmed that the upcoming Han Solo: A Star Wars Story spinoff film has cast Donald Glover as the younger Lando Calrissian.  Glover joins Alden Ehrenreich as the young Han Solo, in the film directed by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller.

According to the press release, the Han Solo film "depicts Lando in his formative years as a scoundrel on the rise in the galaxy’s underworld — years before the events involving Han, Leia, and Darth Vader in The Empire Strikes Back and his rise to Rebel hero in Return of the Jedi."

Glover, 33, is best known as Troy Barnes on the NBC sitcom Community and as a recording artist under the stage name Childish Gambino.  He currently stars in the FX series Atlanta and has appeared in the films Spider-Man: Homecoming, The Martian, Magic Mike XXL, The Lazarus Effect, and The Muppets.  He's also voiced Miles Morales/Spider-Man for the Ultimate Spider-Man animated series, and has appeared on episodes of Girls, Sesame Street, and 30 Rock.

"We’re so lucky to have an artist as talented as Donald join us," said Lord and Miller. "These are big shoes to fill, and an even bigger cape, and this one fits him perfectly, which will save us money on alterations.  Also, we’d like to publicly apologize to Donald for ruining Comic-Con for him forever."

Created in 1980 by Lawrence Kasdan and George Lucas, Lando Calrissian first appeared in the film The Empire Strikes Back, played by Billy Dee Williams.  As the administrator of Cloud City, Lando was concerned primarily with keeping the Empire out of his affairs.  Bounty hunter Boba Fett, working for Darth Vader, tracked Han Solo, Princess Leia, Chewbacca, and C-3PO to Bespin, traveling in the damaged Millennium Falcon, which used to belong to Lando.  Shortly before they arrived at Bespin, Darth Vader and a contingent of Imperial forces arrived and threatened to take over the city.  Lando was 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 did as he was instructed, but his conscience got the better of him when Vader went back on his word and took Leia and Chewbacca as prisoners. When Lando set Leia, C-3PO and Chewbacca free, Chewbacca choked him for giving Han to Vader and Fett, and Leia angrily told Lando that they didn't need his help before chasing after Fett, who escaped with Solo, now frozen in carbonite.  In the ensuing evacuation of Cloud City, Lando helped Leia, Chewbacca, C-3PO, and R2-D2 escape.  He then assisted Leia in rescuing the maimed Luke Skywalker, who had fallen into Vader's trap and lost his right hand in a duel. Afterward, he joined the Rebel Alliance and promised Leia that they would find Solo.

In the following film Return of the Jedi, Lando went undercover to help Luke rescue Han from the crime lord Jabba the Hutt.  During a battle with Jabba's henchmen, Han saved Lando from being devoured by a desert creature known as the Sarlacc.  Lando then helped Han and the others destroy Jabba's barge.  For his heroics, he was made a general in the Rebel Alliance.  Lando then resumed the pilot chair in his old ship, the Millennium Falcon, and led the attack on the second Death Star.  He helped the Rebels achieve victory by destroying the gigantic Imperial battle station during the battle above Endor.

Lando has also appeared in the animated series Star Wars Rebels and briefly in the animated The LEGO Movie, both voiced by Williams.

Han Solo: A Star Wars Story is scheduled to arrive in theaters on May 25, 2018.

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