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Rumour: Donald Glover to return for Lando series on Disney+

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For a movie that nobody called for, that went out of its way to answer questions nobody had asked, and which went through a production hell worse than being frozen in carbonite, Solo: A Star Wars Story was actually pretty fun. Of course that didn’t matter when it became the first Star Wars movie to tank at the box office, completely torpedoing a planned trilogy. But there has still been enough love from fans since then that suggested rumblings within Disney and Lucasfilm have pointed towards something being done with the property.

And apparently they want to do that something with the movie’s best character. And no, I’m not talking about Alden Erenreich’s Han Solo, as a rumour made the rounds yesterday that the House of Mouse wants Donald Glover back to reprise his role as a young Lando Calrissian for an upcoming Disney+ TV series.

This rumour actually “broke” three months ago when Beyond the Trailer’s Grace Randolph reported that Disney may be looking at two different Lando series on Disney+, but it never gained as much traction. Then Star Wars-focused podcast Kessel Run Transmissions popped up yesterday with the same claim which has since been picked up everywhere. KRT may have gotten the bigger exposure because they were the people who broke rumours of a Bad Batch spinoff from Clone Wars, which was then officially confirmed a few days later. So there’s some definite street cred here.

Now as to details of the actual Lando show though, here’s where things get interesting. While KRT is claiming that Glover will reprise his role as young version of the smooth-talking, cape-wearing Star Wars smuggler first originated by Billy Dee Williams in 1980s Empire Strikes Back, Randolph’s original claim was that Disney was actually considering two Lando shows. The first would star Glover and be set in the aftermath of Solo, possibly bringing back Emilia Clarke’s Qi’ra and Ray Park’s Darth Maul to continue the exciting story setup in the movie’s final moments.

The second show though would reportedly star Williams himself as an older Lando and spin out of the events of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. In that film, we meet Naomi Ackie’s ex-First Order Stormtrooper-turned-resistance-fighter Jannah who reveals that she was an orphan snatched up by the First Order who doesn’t know who her biological parents are. In the run up to the film’s release though, it was strongly suggested that she’s actually Lando’s kid – which would be a ridiculously laughable coincidence considering the size of the entire galaxy, but Star Wars is admittedly built on coincidences aka destiny – and the film’s closing moments saw an unaware Lando offer to help her find her parents. This Disney+ series would then be telling that story.

Now I have less faith in this second show actually being a thing. Williams is 83 years old, which is possibly too old for a big weekly adventure show, unless his involvement is dialed way down. But then what’s the point of a Lando show? Also, given the overall mixed-to-negative sentiment towards The Rise of Skywalker, Disney probably wants to give its characters a wide berth on-screen for a while. Telling this story in comic book or novel form though? That I could definitely see happening.

As for a young Lando show led by Glover and co-starring Clarke? That sounds like a definite winner… but I also have my doubts about it happening. Glover was fantastic in the role, but that’s the problem. He’s fantastic at everything he does, including his music career as Childish Gambino and creating/writing/starring in the Golden Globe-winning Atlanta. That makes him an incredibly in-demand entertainer who has very little free time. Especially the type of free time required for a big budget TV series. KRT is reporting though Disney has apparently offered him a truckload of money for this commitment and that may sway things. The studio has previously gone out of their way to accommodate Glover, even flying the cast/writing staff of Atlanta out to London while he was filming Solo so that he could keep working on the show on the side.

If Disney secured his services again now though, that would be a huge get. I’m pretty sure that Star Wars fans would turn out en masse for Glover’s Lando again, just like how The Mandalorian helped to propel Disney+ to some very impressive subscriber numbers on launch. We still don’t have any confirmed timelines for future Star Wars movie plans, so focusing on A-list actors for Disney+ shows seems like a good alternative.

Last Updated: July 23, 2020

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