Photo: Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi / 20th Century Fox

15 Things 'Star Wars' Fans Probably Didn't Know About Lando Calrissian

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Vote up the most surprising things you learned about Lando.

Ever since the moment Billie Dee Williams strolled onto the silver screen as Lando Calrissian in The Empire Strikes Back, he's been a fan-favorite character. Lando was a scoundrel, a ladies' man, a frenemy, and much more, and Williams's portrayal of him made him one of the most compelling Star Wars characters created up to that point. Like many characters in the Star Wars franchise, a lot has been written about Lando over the years, which has helped flesh out exactly who the man is, what his backstory before Empire is, and what he did following the Rebellion.

Unfortunately, the Disney acquisition of everything Star Wars sent a lot of that information to the realm of Star Wars Legends. While that left a lot of what made Lando out of canon, he's since been featured prominently in comics, novels, video games, and, of course, Solo: A Star Wars Story. Donald Glover managed to recapture Williams's gravitas while putting his own mark on the character. Regardless, there's still plenty of things most fans don't know about Lando Calrissian. For example, did you know Lando had a daughter? He was also involved in several significant events on Cloud City before and after the Galactic Civil War.

Despite Star Wars being one of the most exciting and impressive franchises of all time, there's still a lot the general fan base doesn't know about Lando Calrissian. This list takes a look at the lore from as many sources as possible to uncover the things you didn't know about Lando Calrissian.

Photo: Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi / 20th Century Fox

  • 1
    56 VOTES

    Lando Was A Clone In Early Drafts Of 'The Empire Strikes Back'

    There were a lot of things that changed in the Star Wars films before, during, and after they were filmed. In Lando's case, early drafts of The Empire Strikes Back portrayed him as a clone. It all started in November 1977 when George Lucas hired Leigh Brackett to help him write the sequel to Star Wars. Lucas brought up the idea of a scoundrel (who didn't have a name yet) who was also a clone:

    I wanted to bring in someone from Han's past. Even though the Star Wars saga is essentially about Luke's destiny and his past, I wanted to round out Han Solo's character a little bit. The "gambler" used to hang with Han but is a different kind of person, more of a rogue and a con artist type than a fast-shooting, fast-talking type like Han.

    That was the initial direction for the character who would become Lando, but Lucas thought of him as being inhuman or possibly a clone. He had a large yet generalized concept of what he was thinking about in regards to the clone aspect of the character:

    If we set him up as a clone, maybe in one of the other Episodes, we can have him run across a clan of them who are all exactly like him. We won't go into the whole mythology of where they come from or whether clones were good or bad. We'll assume that they were slightly weird in their own way and were partly responsible for the war. We'll assume that on these planets of clones, there are many countries, say about 700 countries, and he's from one of the ruling clone clans... Make him almost too perfect looking. We assume that in the cloning process, they manipulated genes and improved on the original.

    When Brackett finished writing the script, she used Lucas's ideas for Lando. In this draft, Hand and Leia seek refuge with Han's pal, Lando Kadar, on the planet Hoth. When Han describes his old friend to Leia, he says that he and his family were refugees from the Clone Wars. Clearly, the final draft of the script changed things considerably.

    56 votes
  • 2
    75 VOTES

    There's More Going On Between Lando And Lobot Than 'Empire' Reveals

    In The Empire Strikes Back, Lando is frequently seen with Lobot, and he's one of those characters you know when you see him even if you've never learned his name. He didn't say much - or anything - in the film, but he's a big part of Lando's backstory, which has been fleshed out in several comics. Lobot and Lando were good friends before the events of The Empire Strikes Back, and Lobot functioned as Lando's voice of reason.

    Lobot ultimately sacrificed his mind and humanity to save Lando's life. That's how he ultimately became the cyborg shown in the film. Before the procedure was carried out, Lobot recorded a message to his friend, urging him to pursue a life where he could use his skills for the greater good. Lando became even closer to Lobot following this event, and he's sworn to find a way to restore Lobot to his pre-cyborg state, at whatever the cost.

    75 votes
  • 3
    57 VOTES

    Lando (Accidentally) Stole Emperor Palpatine’s Personal Yacht, The ‘Imperialis’

    Before his time on Cloud City, Lando was something of a galactic entrepreneur, and while he was good at acquiring items to sell for a profit, his penchant for gambling resulted in a lot of debt. Things didn't go according to plan when he tried to settle a debt to a loan shark named Papa Toren. Toren refused to eliminate their debt, but he would (possibly) consider doing so if Lando pulled off a job for him. He wanted him to steal a pleasure craft that was being refitted at a shipyard.

    Lando reluctantly agreed, and he assembled a team to take the craft. Once they got on board, they realized that the so-called "pleasure craft" was more than it seemed. The vessel was far more advanced than it had a right to be. They didn't know it at the time, but Lando and his crew stole Emperor Palpatine's luxury yacht, the Imperialis. Before they could escape with the craft, three Imperial Star Destroyers showed up, blocking them. The Star Destroyers wiped out the shipyard for failing to protect the Emperor's property before engaging the Imperialis.

    Gravity mines were deployed, but the Imperialis' automated defenses easily destroyed them. After being caught in a tractor beam, Lando worked out a way to turn it on one of the Star Destroyers, giving them an opportunity to escape while simultaneously damaging two Star Destroyers. Unfortunately, there were a couple of the Emperor's Royal Guards onboard. Lando's crew managed to defeat them, and once they got a look at what was in the central chamber, they found numerous Sith artifacts, including Lord Momin's mask.

    57 votes
  • 4
    46 VOTES

    He Was Instrumental In Stopping Operation Cinder

    When the Empire was defeated at the Battle of Endor, and the Emperor was defeated, a plan was put into motion. Operation Cinder was the Emperor's plan to destroy numerous planets throughout the galaxy should he be killed. The plan called for the orbital bombardment of multiple planets, including Burnin Konn, Vardos, Candovant, Commenor, Abednedo, Nacronis, Abednedo, Naboo, Mon Cala, and many more. The operation was the first stage in the Emperor's plan to rebuild his Empire through the eventual founding of the First Order.

    While Operation Cinder did destroy many of its targets, it was ultimately unsuccessful. Numerous Imperial officers defected over the operation, leading to a weakening of the Imperial Remnant. Ultimately, the plot was foiled at the Battle of Jakku in 5 ABY (After the Battle of Yavin). Lando took part in defending Naboo, having arrived just in the nick of time with a Rebel Fleet. Through his command of the Rebel Fleet, the satellites designed to destroy the planet's atmosphere were wiped out, making Lando's involvement crucial in ending the Emperor's posthumous campaign of vengeance.


    46 votes
  • 5
    37 VOTES

    Lando's Blaster Pistols Are Modified And Deadly

    It seems everyone in the Star Wars franchise has a favorite weapon, and Lando Calrissian is no different. Throughout his appearances in the franchise, Lando was shown to favor two weapons, both of which were modified blaster pistols. The first blaster preferred by Lando was an X-8 Night Sniper pistol. The weapon came equipped with a computerized scope and a silencer, making it a particularly dastardly weapon and a smuggler's best friend.

    Lando used the X-8 throughout most of his smuggling days, but he changed things up a little later in life. He preferred to carry a Rossmoyne Vitiator pistol, which is similar to the DH-17 blaster pistol, but with some key differences. Lando won the pistol in a game of Six-Card Gizka Limit. Lando treasured his weapons, but at one time, he considered giving the Rossmoyne Vitiator pistol to Han Solo as a gift for his infant son (to use later, of course). Ultimately, he didn't do this on Lobot's advice, so he continued using the weapon throughout his later years.

    37 votes
  • 6
    55 VOTES

    After The Battle Of Endor, Lando Financed An Uprising In Cloud City

    When audiences first met Lando Calrissian, he was operating as the chief administrator of Cloud City, which was located high in the atmosphere of the gas planet Bespin. When he joined the Rebel Alliance, he left Cloud City behind, but he never truly left it. After the Battle of Endor, when the bulk of the Empire's military was destroyed, Lando returned to Cloud City intending to pick up where he left off as the administrator.

    The details of this were published in the novel Star Wars Aftermath: Empire's End, which focuses on the galaxy's progress following the fall of the Empire. Lando returned to Cloud City, but it wasn't the impressive and sleek place it was when he was running things. When he arrived, he told Lobot, "Guess the Empire didn't keep up with housekeeping." Things were falling apart, and Cloud City was in desperate need of an upgrade. 

    Unfortunately, Cloud City was still controlled by Imperial Remnant, which blockaded Bespin and told the people Palpatine was still alive. Lando knew this wasn't true, seeing as he was the one who killed him by destroying the second Death Star. Lando put up his own money to finance a rebellion, forcing the Imperial Remnant out so he could once more take control of Cloud City. According to Empire's End, "Cloud City is his once again. Lando starved out Adelhard. Most of the Imperials surrendered. It's over. Thank the lucky stars."

    55 votes