There are few film franchises that are as iconic and beloved as the Star Wars cinematic universe, and now that Disney is busy expanding that universe to encompass new saga instalments, and new anthology stories, we’re seeing a great deal of new life being breathed into the forty year old series. Part of that new life is new onscreen talent, and the studio has so far been successful in finding young performers that are unfazed by the size of this awesome celluloid behemoth. The latest of these hirings is Golden Globe winner Donald Glover, who will play Lando Calrissian in the upcoming Han Solo movie.
The thing that must be remembered about those newly recruited to the galaxy far, far away is that – like everybody else – the original Star Wars characters are those they grew up adoring, as heroes and iconic villains. So, to assume the mantle of either the next generation to those characters, or indeed the younger version of the same, is a heavy burden. Donald Glover is approaching his role as Calrissian from a seemingly philosophical perspective, however, as he explained to Deadline recently.
“Lando’s a big deal. He’s the first toy I ever got. It’s interesting, when you have something iconic in a range when people pay attention to it, it’s hard. You want to live up to the expectation, but you only have to live up to your own.
“I just want to have fun. I know the directors, Phil ([Lord] and Chris [Miller], and I love the guy [Alden Ehrenreich] who is playing Han. It’s gonna be a fun time.”
This is deeply reassuring, because the Han Solo movie should be fun, above all else. The character of Solo is a poster boy for the idea of a ‘lovable rogue’, and his long-standing friendship with Lando Calrissian is undoubtedly one of the highlights of Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back – during which Calrissian was first introduced, played by Billy Dee Williams.