Sorry Donald Glover, Billy Dee Williams Is the One True Lando Calrissian, According to Billy Dee Williams

Sorry Donald Glover, Billy Dee Williams Is the One True Lando Calrissian, According to Billy Dee Williams

This past September, Disney decided that the Donald Glover-led Star Wars spin-off/prequel centered around a young Lando Calrissian will be a movie instead of a streaming series. According to Billy Dee Williams, it doesn’t matter which format the project will take — it’s all just an expensive fanfic anyways.

When George Lucas introduced audiences to Cloud City’s gambling playboy of a proprietor in the 1980 masterpiece Star Wars: Episode V — The Empire Strikes Back, the power balance of the franchise shifted in two major ways. First, Han Solo was removed from his position as the biggest sweet-talker in the galaxy, and secondly, Lando’s addition to the series established that the coolness of every character in the Star Wars universe would forever be graded on the Billy Dee Williams curve. Lando may have been a lying, double-crossing and dubiously debauched scoundrel, but with Williams wearing the cloak, it was impossible to root against the smoothest man in the system, especially when he found his heart at the end of Empire.

Today, despite Disney’s devotion to digging up old legends, slapping a new coat of paint on them and pumping out a series of mediocre movies and TV shows centered around nostalgia, there’s still exactly one real Lando Calrissian, and he’s too old to be messing around in the Disney+ content churn — unless they find the right price. In a recent review for Radio Times, Williams spoke about his most iconic character’s lasting legacy and uninspiring future, saying of Glover’s performance as Lando starting in the prequel film Solo, “I mean, when it comes to Lando Calrissian there’s only one Lando Calrissian. I created that character.”

“I had a nice little lunch with him. He’s a delightful young man. Extremely talented,” Williams said of Glover, even though Williams admitted that he’ll never consider the multi-hyphenate mega-star to be a legitimate Lando. Williams did, however, impart some OG wisdom to his lesser successor about how to handle the role, saying of the advice he gave Glover, “I told him to be charming — two words! That’s all I needed to tell him. That’s all I could think of.”

Despite his caveats, Williams made it clear that he was happy to pass the roguishly seductive torch to Glover, saying, ”He’s part of a whole new generation. He’ll create whatever he needs to create, to bring appeal to the character. He’s a very talented young lad and very imaginative. I mean, it’s not for me to say what he should do with the character at this stage.”

Still, Williams hasn’t strayed far from the character in recent years, returning to the role of Lando in the 2019 film Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. And, though the 86-year-old isn’t exactly itching to get back on set, much like Lando, Williams is all about business. Said Williams about another possible reprisal, ”Pay me a lot of money, and I’ll sell my soul.”


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