Solo: A Star Wars Story is only a month away. It’s crazy to think that a new Star Wars film is just around the corner after we just experienced the epicness of The Last Jedi (read FANDOM’s review). But, some fans have been cautiously optimistic about this newest prequel. However, one element that everyone seems to agree on is Donald Glover taking on the role of Lando Calrissian.
And after a sneak peek we got at CinemaCon, it’s pretty clear that Lando is going to be Solo‘s secret weapon.
How Han Met Lando
We got to see the extended scene where Han Solo (Alden Ehrenreich) is introduced to Lando thanks to Qi’ra (Emilia Clarke). Along with Chewbacca, the group finds a dingy little hovel on some icy planet where patrons watch droids battle each other in deathly cage matches. Qi’ra tells Han about how awesome Lando is: his fashion sense, his wealth, and even a not-so-subtle implication about Lando’s *ahem* sexual prowess. From the get-go, Lando is set up as one of the coolest characters in the galaxy.
Going down even deeper into the establishment, we see Lando surrounded by a bunch of alien creatures. They are all playing or watching Sabacc, a card game where Lando is clearly owning the entire table. Han and Qi’ra need a ship and they know Lando has one: the Millenium Falcon. Can Han win the ship by taking advantage of Lando’s confidence and ego? I think you know the answer.
From the second we see Lando, Donald Glover owns the screen. He is effortlessly cool, responding to a question about his many exploits with, “Everything you’ve heard about me is true.” When a droid refills his drink, he casually says, “Thanks, love,” and it’s just so indescribably suave. He commands the room and the screen with natural charisma. He even mispronounces Han’s name to establish a power dynamic — one where he’s in control. It’s a performance that feels true to the swagger that Billy Dee Williams originated with the character.
That’s not good news for Han himself.
Not Leading with Confidence
It’s telling that Disney decided to show off a clip from Solo that centered around Lando instead of the title character. Disney knows how good Glover is in this role. However, what does that say about Ehrenreich as Han? Granted, the young actor has Harrison Ford’s enormous shoes to fill and nobody envies the task he’s been given. Still, the clip we saw didn’t show Ehrenreich brandish the roguish charm we know is at the core of Han Solo. He came across as flat and unengaging, especially when playing opposite to Glover’s Lando.
More and more, it seems like Solo should really have been Lando. Maybe there are more scenes where we’ll get to see Ehrenreich really shine, but this was not one of them and that’s a bummer. But, if that means we’re going to get a lot more Lando than we expected, Solo might have a secret weapon up its sleeve. If nothing else, this clip proved that Solo will be a worthwhile viewing experience if just to see how spot-on Glover is as the iconic character.
Solo: A Star Wars Story hits theaters on May 24 in the UK and Australia and May 25 in the US.