Reviews for Solo: A Star Wars Story aren’t the best, but almost every critic is in agreement about one thing: Donald Glover’s Lando Calrissian is terrific. The Atlanta star portrays the suave gambler, originally played by Billy Dee Williams in the first Star Wars trilogy, and along with the character’s droid companion L3 (Phoebe Waller-Bridge), he’s stealing the movie out from under young Han Solo himself, Alden Ehrenreich.
Solo, which comes out next week, leaves room for a sequel. Ehrenreich has a three-picture option for the character, and director Ron Howard has suggested it’s up to the fans (via box office success) to determine if Solo 2 actually happens. However, critics and possibly the fans might prefer a Lando spin-off instead of more young Han Solo chronicles. Or at least in addition to them. Apparently, such a wish may actually be granted.
Lucasfilm head honcho Kathleen Kennedy, who produces all the Star Wars movies, seemed to spill the beans this week. “There are still many stories to tell about Han and Chewbacca, but Lando will be next,” she was quoted as having said at the Solo premiere at the Cannes Film Festival, as shared by the French site Premiere (translated by Google). And there’s more: “We think that the next spin-off will be dedicated to Lando Calrissian.”
Kennedy saying she thinks Lando: A Star Wars Story will be next would have hardly been an official announcement. After being reached for comment by io9, Lucasfilm claimed a mistranslation but did confirm they are considering the idea for the future. The expectation is that Obi-Wan Kenobi will actually be the focus of the next Star Wars Story prequel spin-off, while there may also be plans still for stand-alone movies about Boba Fett, Yoda and Jabba the Hutt.
Glover as Lando is about to be a big deal, though, if the first wave of reactions is any indication. And Lucasfilm would be smart to go ahead and make it happen for real.
Others involved with Solo are also down for more Lando. One of the movie’s writers, Jonathan Kasdan, told Screen Crush that he’s hoping for a spinoff centered on the future leader of Cloud City. And he says he would like to be involved:
I’m dying to see a Lando film. I would help in any way I was asked to. I think that’s a great movie…I want to see a Lando film very similar to the way I think Larry was excited by a Han film. Which is in this movie, Lando gets to occupy the role that Han occupied in the earlier films, which is he doesn’t have to carry the burden of being the protagonist. He gets to have all the jokes. He gets to be the foil, you know? So one of the tricky challenges of making a Lando movie is, suddenly Lando is at the center of it. He, somebody else is going to step into that role of being the… maybe even Han, you know? So it’s a fun universe to play around [in] and then think about what we can do with it. Certainly, as much as Larry insists he’s done, we couldn’t have written a movie more pregnant with possibility for future adventures, so I don’t trust him a hundred percent.
By “Larry,” he means his father and Solo co-writer Lawrence Kasdan, who has claimed he’s done with Star Wars movies. Meanwhile, the younger Kasdan has a pretty specific character he believs should be in Lando: A Star Wars Story:
If there is a Lando movie, it’s hard to imagine doing it without Lobot.
For those who don’t remember, Lobot is Lando’s right hand man in Cloud City as seen in The Empire Strikes Back. With his wraparound electronic earmuff-looking headgear, Lobot has become a cultish fan favorite character in the Star Wars franchise, and him being a supporting character in Lando would be for some sect of the audience for that movie what Lando is for Solo. He’d have to show up, because the movie would have to show us how Lando came to be in charge of Cloud City.
While we await proper confirmation or announcement from Lucasfilm, watch Solo: A Star Wars Story when it opens on May 25 to see for yourself why a Lando movie is so in demand.