The “Han Solo movie” doesn’t have an official title, but until it does, we should stop putting all the focus on Han. Sure, the next standalone Star Wars movie is ostensibly about Han’s younger days, but there’s another hugely important character in the film too: Lando Calrissian. And for that reason, everyone should start calling the Han Solo movie the “Han and Lando movie” instead.
Donald Glover’s star power is enough of a reason to believe his young Lando will be just as important to the film as Han. Relatively speaking, Glover is a household name, whereas Alden Ehrenreich isn’t. People all over the internet and the world are more hyped than ever about the film because of Glover being cast. The man gives great interviews, wins tons of awards, crafts critically acclaimed albums, and is an all-around creative polymath. Donald Glover is beloved by his fans. This isn’t to say Alden Ehrenreich isn’t great. He is. It’s just that he doesn’t have a following yet. Glover does.
Just as Glover is more established than Ehrenreich in the public eye, of the two characters in the film, Lando will probably have his shit together a little bit more than Han. Chronologically, it will make sense for the movie to begin with Lando in possession of the Millennium Falcon, prior to losing the ship to Han Solo in an infamous card game. This means Lando is ahead of Han in the whole smooth criminal game. Part of this is because, objectively, Lando is a bit cooler than Han.
Affecting a more refined air, and with the proclivity to smooth-talk his way in and out of crime, Lando is a slick con artiste. By comparison, Han is just a cocky criminal. This isn’t to say Han isn’t cool, it’s just that as extralegal space scoundrels go, they’re actually pretty different. And it’s in this contrast that having them hang out a lot — and possibly in competition with each other — makes for some dynamic possibilities.
Han Solo is not James Bond, meaning Lando cannot be relegated to being like Felix Leiter or Moneypenny. Lando is Han’s friend and partner-in-crime. Han will end up screwing Lando over, which means their relationship will start out as be one of somewhat equals.
Giving equal screen time to both Lando and Han also makes sense because the audience knows way less about Lando Calrissian’s entire biography than they do about Han Solo. Han’s middle life and death are events which everyone understands, but Lando’s place in the zeitgeist is more legendary; more about the myth than the man. So, if you’ve got a prequel movie in which Lando is a younger man it would be a huge waste not to explore his backstory. Which means, this standalone movie will almost certainly fill in some of those gaps. One doesn’t put Lando in a movie and not tell us new things about Lando. And the nice thing is, unlike Han, some of those details might be surprising.
Sure, it’s easier to call the standalone Han Solo-centric movie the “Han Solo movie,” but it’s wrong. And until Lucasfilm actually releases a title (Scoundrels? Crooks in Space? Take the Falcon, Please?) everyone should see clearly, it’s not “the Han Solo movie.” Instead, let’s all agree to call it by its proper, albeit temporary, title: “The Han and Lando Movie.”
The “Han and Lando Movie” opens sometimes in 2018. Here’s everything we know about it.