Jennifer Heddle, Executive Editor for Disney Publishing’s Star Wars books, confirms Rae Carson’s upcoming novelization includes a plot thread largely deleted from Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker revealing Lando Calrissian (Billy Dee Williams) as the father of Jannah (Naomi Ackie). In Rise of Skywalker, ex-First Order Stormtrooper Finn (John Boyega) encounters Jannah and her band of rebel fighters, also revealed as dissenting Stormtroopers, on the ocean moon Kef Bir. Jannah tells Finn she was taken as a child and conscripted into the oppressive regime, but defected when the First Order commanded her troop to fire on innocent civilians; information revealed only in the film's Visual Dictionary ties her to Lando, leaving their scene together at the end of Skywalker largely ambiguous:
On Ajan Kloss, site of the Resistance base, Lando and Jannah are seen connecting following the Resistance's defeat of the First Order and, during the celebrations, Lando asks Jannah where she's from. When she tells him she doesn't know, he replies with a smile, "Well, let's find out." Plot details that leaked online months earlier revealed Lando had a child abducted by the First Order some time after the events of Return of the Jedi, a backstory confirmed only in the Visual Dictionary:
“When peace reigned, [Lando] attempted to start a family, but tragedy struck and his infant daughter vanished,” reads a selection from Lando’s page. “It was only later that it became clear who the culprits behind the abduction were: the First Order, building their fighting forces but also specifically striking at the old Alliance leadership.”
On Twitter, Heddle said the plot point confirming the familial relationship between Lando and Jannah deleted from Skywalker remains in the film's novelization. Asked in a subsequent tweet if the novel is considered canon, Heddle affirmed it is:
They left in the resolution but not the setup, so in the movie it reads as a beloved character being a weirdo perv.— Brandon Bird (@Brandon_Bird) December 20, 2019
It will still be in the novelization!— Jennifer Heddle (@jenheddle) December 20, 2019
It's considered canon, yes.— Jennifer Heddle (@jenheddle) December 22, 2019
It’s not yet known if deleted scenes related to this trimmed down storyline will be included on the Skywalker home release, expected to be available to own in March.
Lucasfilm and director J.J. Abrams join forces once again to take viewers on an epic journey to a galaxy far, far away with Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, the riveting conclusion of the seminal Skywalker saga, where new legends will be born and the final battle for freedom is yet to come.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is now in theaters.