Lando is coming back, but how will he be brought into Star Wars Episode IX?
Fans are still celebrating the news Billy Dee Williams will reprise his role as Lando Calrissian in Star Wars: Episode IX. Now that it’s known he’s returning, it’s intriguing to consider how Lando will be brought into the sequel trilogy. Even though he’s a crucial character from the original trilogy, he was absent from The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi, and overall the sequel trilogy’s core characters don’t know him.
Due to events within the story and real life tragedy, many of the sequel trilogy characters Lando was connected to like Han and Leia won’t be able to bring him into Episode IX. There are other characters who can make this happen, though.
Let’s take a look at the five characters most likely to bring Lando into Episode IX:
Photo Credit: Lucasfilm
Their relationship first established in The Empire Strikes Back, Chewbacca and Lando have a long history together. Solo showed how they first met and the recent novel Last Shot provided more insight into their relationship following the original trilogy.
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Their past makes Chewbacca perfect to bring Lando into the Resistance. Seeing his old Wookie pal without Han or Leia would be enough to move him to help Chewbacca in the fight to honor their memories. The sight of Chewbacca at Leia’s funeral and an emotional reunion there alone could make it happen.
Knowing their history together, the Resistance could also send Chewbacca to Lando. The scoundrel’s resourcefulness and his crucial role in fighting against and helping to defeat the Empire would make him an invaluable ally in the Resistance’s fight against the First Order.
2. Nien Nunb
Nien Nunb and Lando don’t share a history as rich as Chewbacca and Lando, but they did fly together during the Battle of Endor. As General Calrissian led the Rebel Alliance’s assault on the second Death Star aboard the Millennium Falcon, Nien Nunb served as his co-pilot. Both were crucial to destroying the second Death Star and winning the Battle of Endor. They celebrated their victory along with the Ewoks and rest of the Rebel Alliance at the end of Return of the Jedi.
During the sequel trilogy, Nien Nunb has served the Resistance. He flew in the Battle of Starkiller Base in The Force Awakens and was one of the only pilots to survive. He is also one of the few survivors from the Battle of Crait, and among the last living members of the Resistance aboard the Millennium Falcon at the end of The Last Jedi.
Nien Nunb’s history with Lando and his ongoing role with the Resistance would make him another excellent candidate to reach out to him and bring him into the Resistance. This would also be nice as Nien Nunb is not only one of the few surviving members of the Resistance, but one of the only surviving characters from the original trilogy. Bringing Lando into the Resistance would give him a more substantial and meaningful role for Episode IX.
Photo Credit: Lucasfilm
3. Kylo Ren
The novel Last Shot showed a very young Ben Solo having an affectionate relationship with his Uncle Lando, adorably calling him “Unca Wanwo.”
Heading into Episode IX, the Resistance of course is already an enemy of Kylo Ren, but there are theories the First Order will become an enemy as well. The general idea is that General Hux will use evidence of how Supreme Leader Snoke really died and use that to perform a coup, taking command of the First Order and turning them against Kylo Ren so Hux can become the Supreme Leader.
If Hux succeeds, Kylo will truly be on his own. Unlikely as it may be, he could turn to old Uncle Lando, perhaps the only person left still willing to help Ben Solo. Considering that Kylo murdered Han – and we don’t yet know how Kylo will factor into Leia’s death – it seems like a stretch Lando would help Ben, regardless of the relationship they once shared.
Left with no allies, Lando may seem like Kylo’s only choice, though. Considering their past and that he’s not part of the Resistance yet and also incredibly resourceful, Kylo might feel it’s not too late to sway Lando to his side. It would certainly be quite the subversion of expectations if Lando rejoins the story not to help the Resistance, but to aid Kylo Ren.
Even if this doesn’t pan out, Kylo could still be the ticket to Lando rejoining the story. With Han, Leia, and Luke no longer around to save Ben Solo, Lando may feel it’s now his duty to help him find the light. Just knowing that the boy who once called him “Unca Wanwo” killed Han and will possibly play a role in Leia’s death as well could also be enough to get Lando involved.
Photo Credit: Lucasfilm
4. Maz Kanata
Lando and Maz Kanata have only met in the LEGO Star Wars short “Hunting for Han.” LEGO Star Wars is not strictly considered canon, but certain events seem like they could fit in nicely. “Hunting for Han” takes place shortly before The Force Awakens and shows individuals at Maz Kanata’s castle who’ve been cheated by Han Solo seeking him out for revenge. Lando is there and sends them looking in the wrong place in order to help out his old friend. Lando and Maz share some banter as well, indicating there might be as much history between there as there is between her and Han. After all, they’ve all run in the same kind of business circles.
In Episode IX, the Resistance may not know where to find Lando at this point in time, but Maz Kanata and all the intel that travels through her would surely make her aware of Lando’s location. Maz has aided the Resistance in The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi but hasn’t exactly been a full-on member of their ranks. She’s been busy doing her own thing.
With the stakes as high as they are right now, that is likely to change in Episode IX as Maz joins the Resistance. She might be the only one who can find Lando and convince him that if a pirate queen like she can put her own pursuits aside to join the bigger cause, so can a scoundrel like him.
Photo Credit: Lucasfilm
5. Poe Dameron
Unlike the other characters on this list, Poe doesn’t have a shared history with Lando. Growing up, Poe likely would’ve heard stories about him from his parents Shara Bey and Kes Dameron, both of whom served with the Rebel Alliance. Shara Bey actually flew in the assault against the second Death Star during the Battle of Endor, led by Lando himself. As an adult, Poe probably heard even more stories of him from Leia and other members of the Resistance who also fought with the Rebel Alliance.
Poe is poised to become the leader of the Resistance in Episode IX. Based on the stories Poe’s likely heard of Lando and his experience, Poe would know that he could make an excellent ally in the fight against the First Order. Poe could seek him out for this very reason or convince him to join the Resistance in the aftermath of Leia’s funeral.
If you want something done right, you do it yourself. That’s an approach Poe might take in recruiting Lando.
Which characters do you think will bring Lando Calrissian into Episode IX? Let us know in the comments below?