Star Wars: Lando Is Now Another Franchise Movie?

By Jonathan Klotz | Published

Star Wars: Lando

The failure of Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker to push the franchise forward in movie theaters, along with the success of The Mandalorian on Disney+, has resulted in the sci-fi series moving to streaming. One of those shows, Star Wars: Lando, has gone through a series of tumultuous ups and downs, and for years, information was scarce.

This is everything we know about Star Wars: Lando, from behind-the-scenes shake-ups to the plot and setting. And now, it might not be a show but rather a bigger movie.

Lando Won’t Be A Series, But A Prequel Movie?

Stephen Glover revealed on the Pablo Torre Finds Out podcast that the next addition to the Star Wars franchise will be a full-length movie centered around the charismatic character Lando Calrissian.

Initially conceived as a Disney+ series in 2020 with writer Justin Simien attached, it has now evolved into a movie, with Donald Glover and his brother Stephen serving as writers.

Donald Glover, who previously portrayed Lando in Solo: A Star Wars Story, is well-suited for the project. Lando Calrissian, known for his suave persona, initially appeared in The Empire Strikes Back (1980) as a gambler and con artist, losing the Millennium Falcon to Han Solo in a bet. He later becomes a vital leader in the fight against the Empire, showcasing his bravery and resourcefulness.

However, the ongoing writer strikes, including the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes, have slowed down progress on the Lando movie. Details about the film remain uncertain, with Stephen Glover likening the situation to a game of “telephone.”

Until the strikes are resolved, the future of Star Wars, including Lando, remains uncertain. Nevertheless, fans can enjoy Lando’s appearances in various Star Wars films and shows on Disney+ while awaiting updates on the movie’s development.

It’s Was A Prequel Series

lando series

Taking place before Star Wars: A New Hope, Lando could dive into what the galaxy’s most charming con man was doing before he settled down in Cloud City. Fans got their first taste of Donald Glover as the young Lando Calrissian in Solo: A Star Wars Story, and it was presumed that the series would be set in the same timeframe.

Solo was a failure with fans and critics and a disaster behind the scenes, but Donald Glover’s take on Lando was met with universal praise. As for whether any of the other characters from Solo will be involved, including Emilia Clarke as Qi’ra or Darth Maul, nothing has been revealed, but Han and Chewbacca will likely not appear.

The Potential Plot Of Star Wars: Lando

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The time period between Solo: A Star Wars Story and The Empire Strikes Back has not been as well-explored as that after the fall of the Empire, making it a potentially fertile ground for stories about Lando. In Star Wars: Rebels, Lando ran into the crew of the Ghost, including Sabine Wren and Hera Syndulla, now more well-known from Ahsoka.

While the potential exists for a cross-over, even one with Diego Luna’s Andor making an appearance, it’s more likely that Star Wars: Lando will remain a standalone series. As a smuggler, young Lando could be involved in plots involving the criminal underbelly of the Star Wars universe, similar to Andor.

Building off of Solo, Lando could be wrapped up with the Black Sun, the criminal organization from the Nintendo 64 game Shadows of the Empire, which was then brought into modern Star Wars canon in The Clone Wars.

Using Black Sun instead of Crimson Dawn, the syndicate from Solo would help differentiate the series from the movie while also introducing a villain that could still be operational in a post-Rise of Skywalker universe if needed.

Star Wars: Lando Was Almost Canceled

Solo: A Star Wars Story

In 2020, when Star Wars: Lando was first announced, Justin Siemen was attached as the writer and showrunner. For three years, not much information was released about the show, while other projects announced at the same time were quietly shut down by Disney, including Star Wars: Droids and Rangers of the New Republic, a spin-off from The Mandalorian.

Though there was never an official announcement about the cancelation, that didn’t stop fan speculation, and it didn’t help that Donald Glover was keeping busy with other projects, developing the horror series Swarm while writing and starring in Atlanta.

To make it worse for fans, Justin Siemen gave interviews in July 2023, while promoting Disney’s The Haunted Mansion, that he was uncertain what the future held for Lando:

“I haven’t investigated further, but I’m not an idiot. I’m not alone in that experience. But I can’t help but wonder, ‘Am I too Black? Am I too queer? And people just don’t want to say that?’ Because it seems like I develop things with these companies and they just never happen for reasons unknown.”

Justin Siemen on Star Wars: Lando

Donald Glover Is Now The Star And Head Writer

donald glover

The Hollywood Reporter broke the news on July 27, 2023, that Donald Glover and his brother, Stephen Glover, took over after Justin Siemin left the project. Working together, the pair will be writing Star Wars: Lando, though how much will be kept from Siemen’s work over the past three years is unknown.

Though the star and writer are in place, the ongoing WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes will delay when writing can resume, and without any scripts or stars, production is constantly being pushed back.

Donald Glover had campaigned for years to play a young Lando Calrissian, and he’s still enthusiastic about playing the charming gambler. Given the ability to plot out the fan favorite’s next big adventure, there’s no telling what Glover will put together.

Will Billy Dee Williams Return?

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It’s already been over 40 years since Billy Dee Williams brought Lando Calrissian to life in The Empire Strikes Back. Williams even reprised the role already in Rise of Skywalker. If both Glover and Williams are involved, it could mean that Lando will include present-day scenes.

Turning Star Wars: Lando into a generational story would help the series avoid the same pitfall that ensnared Solo: A Star Wars Story, which included no scenes with Harrison Ford. Billy Dee Williams teased on social media that there was something “truly magnificent” coming, which ended up being his autobiography, What Have We Here? Portraits of a Life, which is expected to be released next year.

Star Wars: Lando Release Schedule

Star Wars: Lando

Three years after Star Wars: Lando was announced, with an announcement changing writers, even under the best of circumstances, it would be years before the series hits Disney+. It’s impossible to know how long it will take until the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes are over, but that’s not all.

Disney’s ongoing issues with VFX artists and ballooning production budgets have already impacted the planned slate of Marvel-related projects. With multiple Star Wars series in development, there’s a chance that not all of them will make it through.

As it stands, Star Wars: Lando will arrive after Star Wars: Acolyte and Skeleton Crew and is currently the last series officially announced by Disney. After years of focusing on streaming, it seems Star Wars is getting ready to return to the big screen, with films in the work by Dave Filoni and Taika Waititi.