On Super Bowl Sunday, Solo: A Star Wars Story made a very impressionable entrance by revealing its first TV spot to the world. But it didn’t stop there. The first teaser trailer for the upcoming spinoff then dropped, giving fans another taste of what’s to come. And now, Solo has been making the press rounds, revealing whatever details they can.
In the past few days, Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy has talked about what kind of film it is, while actor Alden Ehrenreich talked about what kind of Han Solo we would see in the film. Now we are getting to know a little bit more about the crew that he will join on the heist that will define him. So get to know Donald Glover‘s Lando Calrissian, the smooth-talking gambler, below.
EW has the full interview with Glover. In it, we learn that the actor has been getting some insights on the character from Billy Dee Williams, the original actor who played the character that was introduced in The Empire Strikes Back. The purpose of this was to know “what it was like to be an icon of representation back when he was the one and only major character of color.” Of course, representation means everything, and seeing a person of color play a huge role like that during that time was a huge gamechanger.
Glover says he asked a lot of questions about Williams’ process and thoughts that went through his mind at the time:
“I just wanted to know, Star Wars was such a big deal and then they make the second one and you’re kind of the first and the almost only black guy in the universe at that point. He gave some good advice about this, about being yourself as much as possible, making the character a real person, rather than the whole identity for a whole group of people.”
While we know Lando to be a smooth operator, what interested Glover in the role was to explore the character’s younger years:
“It tells a lot about how they got to where they are. Like, when I was a teenager I felt like I knew a lot, but I didn’t. By the time we meet him in Empire Strikes Back, he owns the city already [laughs]. So, I wanted to show the person he was before that was even possible.”
In The Empire Strikes Back, Solo talks about how they could find refuge with Lando Calrissian, who was overseeing Cloud City at the time. The smuggler hinted that they had a history. But we never really got to see that history. Now with the spinoff coming, we can learn more about their relationship. However, it looks like the two did not have a budding relationship right from the start.
Calrissian was actually paired with another criminal, a droid named L3-37 (who is played via motion capture by Phoebe Waller-Bridge). Glover describes their relationship as lovingly contentious. And the entire process of building that relationship was a blessing in disguise:
“She also is so smart she calls me out on it. It’s just cool to have somebody like that around, you know? Really funny and really honest.”
The Atlanta actor also talked about the Millennium Falcon, what the ship meant to the character, what he did while the film wasn’t shooting, and how he would actually stay in Lando’s room as the crew prepped for another shot:
“He’s a very particular person with particular tastes and he likes the comforts of life. I would live in it right now, to be honest. It was that nice. I would just lay in his bed and read a book or write something because it is very comfortable. I think he likes to be comfortable. He’s not a cowboy kind of guy.”
As for the first image of Lando, Glover says we see him play a game of sabacc with a two-headed alien. The actor says portions of that scene were improv’d. While there were puppeteers giving the character life, Glover says it wasn’t a one-sided telephone conversation like Bob Newhart:
“First of all there’s two people working that thing, so you have two minds going back and forth and they are super expressive, the puppeteers are super expressive. So you will have a conversation, and you’re reading them. It’s not like a baby where they are in their own world. They know exactly what you are seeing and their reaction actually means something.”
Solo: A Star Wars Story also stars Emilia Clarke, Thandie Newton, Woody Harrelson, and Paul Bettany. It opens in theaters on May 25, 2018.