SPOILER ALERT: Warning, this article contains spoilers from Solo: A Star Wars Story. Proceed at your own risk.
Solo: A Star Wars Story is now in cinemas, meaning audiences are getting a first glimpse at Donald Glover as the young Lando Calrissian. And if the reaction to his effortlessly cool performance in my screening is anything to go by, people want more. So if young Lando gets his own spin-off movie, this is what we’d like to see.
Hustlers, Gamblers and Space Pirates
Lando Calrissian is a smuggler, a scoundrel, and a card sharp. He thinks nothing of cheating at Sabacc when he first meets Han Solo. And he has a pretty intense relationship with his droid L3-37, who claims that they haven’t had sexual relations. But we aren’t so sure.
So let’s see the darker corners of the Star Wars universe explored in a standalone Lando flick. Speaking to Entertainment Weekly Radio in the above video, Glover says that Calrissian hangs out with “hustlers and gamblers and space pirates,” so let’s spend time with these less salubrious characters.
Adopting the tone of something like Firefly, the film could focus on those background characters who frequent that den of scum and villainy, the Mos Eisley Cantina. Becoming less about the Rebellion, and more akin to Goodfellas, Ocean’s 11, or Dirty Rotten Scoundrels in space. And if the film is a less-PG Star Wars, let’s sex it up, Barbarella-style. Speaking of which…
A pansexual is someone who is attracted to people regardless of their sex or gender identity. Add aliens and droids into that mix, and we’ve got the makings of a pretty intriguing Lando movie. And while it’s a little after the fact — with Solo already very much in the can — co-writer Jonathan Kasdan has been talking to Entertainment Weekly about the character’s pansexuality.
“There’s a fluidity to Donald and Billy Dee’s sexuality [in the movies]. I mean, I would have loved to have gotten a more explicitly LGBT character into this movie. I think it’s time, certainly, for that and I love the fluidity; sort of the spectrum of sexuality that Donald appeals to and that droids are a part of. He doesn’t make any hard and fast rules.”
So let’s see Lando making love to an alien, a droid, and — if Star Wars really wants to push the envelope — a guy. Donald is game too. “How can you not be pansexual in space?” he told EW. “There are so many things to have sex with… If you’re in space it’s kind of like, the door is open. It’s like, no, only guys or girls. No, it’s anything. This thing is literally a blob. Are you a man or a woman? Like, who cares. Have a good time out here!”
Frasier in Space
Lando is cool, calm, and collected. A smooth-talking charmer who is both charismatic and debonair. Roger Moore’s James Bond would be our reference point, but when speaking about the character, Donald Glover made a very different comparison. To TV’s Frasier Crane.
When asked if he’d like to write a Lando movie, Glover told Entertainment Weekly Radio: “Yeah, I think it would be fun to do. it would be cool to see, like, Frasier in Space. Like a high-end guy in space.”
We’re onboard with that, Lando cruising around the galaxy being all funny and sophisticated. Maybe with his weird brother and cantankerous Dad. And if Glover is writing, Hiro Murai must direct. The pair make Atlanta together, and as well as looking amazing, it’s one of the smartest shows on TV. While the way in which it regularly defies expectation is something that the current crop of Star Wars films could really learn from.
Finally, we want capes. LOTS MORE CAPES. There’s a clunky Solo scene in which Qi’ra explores Lando’s cape armoire, and worries that he might have too many. NO. Lando doesn’t have enough. Costume designer David Crossman says they were inspired by the ostentatious rock stars of the 1970s.
“We were looking at a lot of our favourite rock stars [like Jimi] Hendrix, Marvin Gaye,” Crossman told StarWars.com. “[Costume Designer] Glyn [Dillon] had a picture of Marvin Gaye with this leather collar with the detail, which we looked at for Lando. And I think the cape thing just kind of grew a bit because even in the original film, Lando, fair enough, he’s always wearing a cape but… we’re doing this kind of young, aspirant Lando that’s kind of using all his money to buy clothes and project himself.”
So we want Calrissian to earn more money in a spin-off, and to then spend a chunk of the run-time shopping for capes. Do that — maybe via a montage that uses Roy Orbison’s ‘Oh, Pretty Woman’ — and the filmmakers won’t even need a trailer. Just play that scene, relax, and enjoy Lando making a billion dollars.