Lando Calrissian is a smooth talking so-and-so, great with the ladies (or so he thinks and says at least), quick on his feet, and maybe better than even Han Solo at talking his way out of dangerous situations. He's also, however, still in it for himself and can't pass up a good deal.
He's the prototypical scoundrel, the Han Solo type is really more of a watered-down Lando type. He's also in much more of the Star Wars story than just two movies. The character's history and personality has been fleshed out in canon appearances in novels, comics, and even on Star Wars Rebels.
So before Donald Glover picks up the torch from Billy Dee Williams, playing a young Lando in the Han Solo: A Star Wars Story (not final title) movie, here are some things you might not know about the guy with the best looking cape in the galaxy.
He Helped the Rebellion Long Before Empire Strikes Back
Long before the Rebel Alliance had truly formed, before the first Death Star had been destroyed or the despair of Han's capture and freezing had washed over the Rebellion, Lando Calrissian, smuggler and scoundrel, was already helping them.
Lando has appeared on a couple of episodes of Star Wars Rebels, usually helping them while also finding a way to benefit himself, naturally. Still, when none other than Darth Vader was on Lothal and trying to capture the crew of the Ghost, Lando came to the rescue with escape right under the news of the dark lord of the Sith - of course, he still got something out of the deal (three shield generators) because Lando isn't a sucker.prevnext
He Doesn’t Like Using Violence
This may seem to contradict what you'll read later in this about his time actively fighting in the Rebel Alliance, and you know, blowing up a Death Star, but Lando Calrissian actually abhors violence, mostly because he thinks it's boring.
"Only people with no imagination use blasters." Lando told Lobot in the Lando comic from Marvel Comics. The situation was grim, as they were meeting with a crime lord to whom Lando owed lots of money - apparently in the Star Wars universe, no smuggler ever just takes good deals and jobs and has a decent under-the-radar career. Still, Calrissian used his smarts, and his ability to manipulate the situation, to get out of yet another tight spot.prevnext
He Kept His Alliance Commission After the Main War
If he abhors violence, and tends to only do things for himself, it may surprise you that Lando Calrissian remained General Calrissian in the Rebel Alliance Fleet after the Battle of Endor (the destruction of the second Death Star that ended Return of the Jedi). While his full career is unknown as of yet, in the comic Shattered Empire, General Calrissian helped free Naboo from Imperial Remnant control, as the Empire was under orders to scorch Naboo, killing all life and making it uninhabitable; Palpatine's last revenge to his old home. Lando and the Rebel Fleet successfully saved the day, though.prevnext
He Gave the Falcon Back to Han After the Battle of Endor
Lando, of course, owned the Millennium Falcon before Han Solo did (he lost it to him in a card game, something we'll hopefully see in the Han Solo movie). So getting back into the pilot's chair of the Falcon for the Battle of Endor, it may have been tempting for him to just keep the 'ole beauty. He didn't, though. Various other pilots flew it here and there, like Shara Bey and later Evaan Verlaine, but we know from the Aftermath series of novels that it belonged to Han Solo still, that entire time. Lando may be a scoundrel, but he's not that big of a scoundrel.prevnext
He Is Still Alive in the Sequel Trilogy Era
Or at least close to it - he's mentioned in Star Wars: Bloodline, a book centering on Leia, which takes place about five years before The Force Awakens. In the book, Leia is running for First Senator (against her initial wishes and better judgement), the new position that's meant to replace Chancellor within the New Republic. During the campaign, after two and a half decades, it finally leaks across the galaxy that Darth Vader was Leia's birth father (a big moment in the saga, since she had also held that information back from her son Ben Solo, and discovering it, plus the fact his parents and Uncle lied to him for his entire life, may have been the catalyst to his dark side turn, but we digress). While it's just a cursory mention, Lando does send well-wishes and encouragement to Leia. That means he's alive in that general era - and hey, it at least leaves the door open for Billy Dee Williams to have one last go as Lando in the sequel trilogy.prev