Donald Glover Calls Out ‘Star Wars’ on 'SNL' for Lack of Representation

"Where the hell are all the black people in space?"

When Donald Glover landed the role of Lando Calrissian in the upcoming Solo: A Star Wars Story, he didn’t have to do much research. As a lifelong Star Wars fan, Glover had a deep understanding of the galaxy long before he played the smooth-talking smuggler. This fandom also means he’s best equipped to point out a glaring problem in the franchise.

Glover, who was both host and musical guest for the May 5 episode of Saturday Night Live, reprised his role of Calrissian in the sketch “Lando’s Summit.” The sketch reimagines Calrissian as the chairman of the first-ever “galactic summit for all black humans,” a conference where all the black characters in the Star Wars galaxy can connect.

“It all started with one question: where the hell are all the black people in space?” Glover says in the sketch. “For a while, I thought it was only me, but now I see before me all the black humans in the galaxy.” The camera then pans to the large conference room of a hotel in Naboo. The entire room is empty besides three characters played by SNL cast members Leslie Jones, Kenan Thompson, and Chris Redd. The trio slowly class as they look around at the empty tables.

The disaster of a summit includes remarks from Saw Gerrera, Forest Whitaker’s character in Rogue One, played by Thompson in the sketch. The conference takes a moment to remember the black characters that have died (by listing just Mace Windu) before announcing that the summit’s other events have been canceled due to lack of participants. “I’ll say it, turn out was a little low,” Glover laments. “Lots of lizards wearing vests. Just four black people, though.”

In the past, Glover has argued that Lando Calrissian is a more complex character than Han Solo and that complexity will be explored when Solo opens on May 25. Presale tickets became available on May 4 and have already doubled Black Panther presale purchases.

“Lando’s Summit” was Glover’s only sketch on SNL that explored his upcoming role, so it’s noteworthy that he used the opportunity to call out the lack of representation in the Star Wars franchise. Past films have faced criticism for lack of diversity and even racist caricatures, but Glover’s sketch reminds the audience that he’s still searching for better representation in the galaxy.

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