Every few weeks, we like to use the Star Wars Character Corner to highlight a character from the series that stays out of the spotlight. Our previous entries Chewbacca and Yoda are well-known characters that stretch from one end of the series to the other, so this week we’re doing a character that has a smaller stage to work with, but is still quite well known: Lando Calrissian!
Lando enters the picture halfway through Episode V as the administrator of Bespin. He is introduced as Han’s friend and rival, and the person that had the Millennium Falcon before Han. He betrays Han and the other rebels to Darth Vader, setting up Han’s capture in carbonite and the battle between Luke and Darth Vader.
He returns in Episode VI after switching sides back to the rebels. He helps Han escape from Jabba, and assists the rebels in the destruction of the Death Star V2.
Raised on Socorro, a planet settled by Corellians, Calrissian grew up with a distrust of the universe after losing his mother temporarily at the age of three. At the age of seventeen, he entered a sabacc tournament, breaking several laws regarding minors. He managed to win a considerable sum of money.
At the age of twenty-seven, now a professional gambler, Calrissian won the Millennium Falcon from a man named Cix Trouvee after getting the best hand possible in Sabacc, an Idiot’s Array. It was after this that Clarissian first met Han Solo; he sought Solo out to learn how to pilot the ship. After helping Solo escape Boba Fett, Calrissian became a smuggler, business man, and grew a fantastic moustache.
The many adventures of Lando Calrissian are too numerous to recount fully here. He found the Mindharp of Sharu on the planet Rafa V, saved the Starcave of Thonboka, ran a space-port, and nearly bought an amusement park. He ended up winning the administration of Cloud City on Bespin in a game of cards after first losing, but was given a five million credit buy-in by the miners of Cloud City, wishing to remove the current administrator. After that, Calrissian lost the Millennium Falcon to Han Solo in the same manner.
It was after this that the rebels tried to hide in Cloud City, but Calrissian betrayed them for his own safety. He later became a general for the rebellion, leading missions to Yinchorr, Blimph 3, against the Black Sun, and much more. Several years after the Empire’s defeat at Endor, he would become the head of a mobile mining platform called Nomad City on the planet of Nkllon. He took part in defeating the Emperor after his resurrection, was a general during the Yuuzhan Vong war, fought Grand Admiral Thrawn, and participated in the second galactic civil war.
He was married to Tendra Risant, a Sacorrian businesswoman, and had a son also named Lando. Furthermore, he was an author of two memoirs, A Toss of the Dice: This Gambler’s Life, and How to Succeed in Everything.
Lando Calrissian was played by Billy Dee Williams during both episode V and VI. Williams would revise the role many times, such as in video games or television shows. Williams has starred in numerous movies and television shows, as well as plays and more. He was born in New York City in 1937 as William December Williams. He was once the replacement for James Earl Jones in a production of August Wilson’s Fences. He even released a jazz album called Let’s Misbehave in 1961.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this edition of the Star Wars Character Corner! Come back next week for more fun trivia and Star Wars info!