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The Legacy of Lando

We all know that familiar quote from The Sandlot. “Heroes get remembered, but legends never die.”

The Star Wars saga is full of legendary figures – is a legend, within itself. This galaxy has left its mark on our history and impacted our culture in indescribable ways. Luke Skywalker, Leia Organa, Han Solo, Chewbacca, all household names even forty-something years after Star Wars premiered in 1977. But one would be remiss to forget a vital character in the galaxy far, far, away: Lando Calrissian.

In the first two installments of the sequel trilogy, most characters from the original films have had opportunities to shine. We see Leia at her rightful place leading the Resistance as a general. Han swindles and smuggles and fights, his final moments spent confronting his son. And Luke masters the Force in a way we hadn’t seen on the big screen, sparking new hope into the Resistance.

And now, it’s Lando’s time to shine.

“When Billy Dee was game to do it, we thought we’d be crazy not to work with him,” Chris Terrio recently told Uproxx. Terrio, co-writer on The Rise of Skywalker, states that one of their focuses going into the film was the idea of living up to the legend of the original trilogy. “The question of this film is can this generation live up to the greatest generation? Can we do the kind of heroic things that they did?…The other surviving member of that generation is Lando.”

Lando is undoubtedly included in the “legend” category. Cunning, suave, and courageous, Calrissian plays a crucial role in the mythos of Star Wars. And this legend has a rocky start – selling his friends out to the Empire to save his own skin. By the end of Return of the Jedi, however, he is a hero of the Rebellion.

His is what I consider to be a true redemption arc. He makes a horrible mistake, yes. But he acknowledges his harmful actions and actively takes steps to fix them in Empire Strikes Back. And he doesn’t stop there! He goes above and beyond, becoming a leader in the Rebellion and a key factor to destroying the Empire. These actions are what make him legendary. Nobody forces his hand. He sees how the galaxy is broken and helps to fix it, at the risk of losing his life.

Is Lando essential to getting a satisfying conclusion to the saga? Absolutely. Like Terrio said, it would be crazy not to bring Lando into the final film. Rey, Finn, and Poe want to live up to their heroes, yes. But to do that, they need to fight alongside them, use their knowledge and experience, watch them do what they do best – be legendary.

And yes, they got the chance with Luke, and Leia, and Han. But how can you answer that question – can we live up to the greatest generation, can we do the kind of heroic things that they did – without including someone so vital? He is a leader, a warrior, and a friend. I believe he will be an essential example to the new kids, and a force to be reckoned with in our final chapter.

I, for one, can’t wait to see that moment, you know the one – Lando, piloting the Falcon, with that grin, that laugh, hurtling towards danger, embodying the legend that is Star Wars.

Start the discussion by clicking on the link to our Discourse forum below or select “forum” via the menu bar above. May the Force be with you!

Jamie Binegar
"You cannot stop change any more than you can stop the suns from setting.” — Shmi Skywalker

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