Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Rian Johnson Shares How He Briefly Considered Putting Lando in 'The Last Jedi'

By: Dominic Jones

One question Star Wars fans, especially original trilogy fans, ask about the sequel trilogy is why hasn't Lando Calrissian made an appearance?  Lando was a key player in The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi and many hoped he would be given the same treatment as Han Solo, Luke Skywalker, and Leia Organa and Billy Dee Williams would reprise his role for one of the films.  However, Lando has not appeared in either installment so far, meaning Episode IX is the last chance to see the old card playing swindler in the sequel trilogy.

While he gave us fair warning ahead of time that Lando would not be in the movie, The Last Jedi writer/director Rian Johnson did briefly consider including the character.  Johnson spoke about this idea in an interview with The Playlist, saying,

"I briefly considered — would he work in the Benicio [del Toro] part, [DJ]. I don’t think you would ever buy that Lando would just completely betray the characters like that and have that level of moral ambiguity. Cause we love Lando and you’d come into it with that [expectation]. And also, DJ, the character that they met, for the purposes of Finn’s character, had to be a morally ambiguous character that you’re not sure about, that you’re guessing about, and we already know that we love the character of Lando so it just wouldn’t have played in that part story wise."

I think it's safe to say that Johnson made the right call here.  Having Lando betray our heroes to the Empire again First Order would have been a massive regression for the character, going against all of his development in the original trilogy.  Fortunately Johnson recognized this and decided rather quickly to go in a different direction and create the character of DJ for Benicio Del Toro to fill that role instead.

Fans looking for more Lando on the big screen can catch a younger version of the character, played by Donald Glover, in May 2018's Solo: A Star Wars Story.

Follow The Star Wars Underworld on Twitter @TheSWU for more updates about this story and other breaking Star Wars news.


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