There is much more than coats and capes to Donald Glover and Star Wars. Here are five facts about the Solo actor!
Since booming onto the scene with his FX show Atlanta, Donald Glover has become a cultural icon. One that only got bigger by taking on the role of Lando Calrissian in Solo: A Star Wars Story.
Many thought Glover was the perfect fit to play the smuggler in his early days, and they were absolutely right. Glover killed the role and certainly contributed to Solo becoming a hidden gem in the Disney era of Star Wars.
While you may know everything about the man on the big screen, here are a few little-known facts about his life with Star Wars off of it.
1. Glover has been a massive Star Wars fan since he was a kid.
Born in 1983, Glover just missed out on the excitement of the original trilogy, but that doesn’t mean he was too late to discover the Star Wars universe. In fact, he is a longtime fan of it.
In an Esquire feature, Glover recounted when his father actually took him out of school to see the prequels. That must have sparked his interest, and he has loved the franchise ever since. Moments after hearing rumblings of a Lando Calrissian role, he knew he wanted it. The first thing he did after accepting it? Watch The Empire Strikes Back.
Speaking to Time magazine way back in 2016 when his role was only rumored, he reflected on his love of the franchise. “I grew up on it. It’s a dynasty.” And if you look back at his school yearbook, you can even see him rocking a Star Wars tee-shirt, because what fan hasn’t?
2. The first Star Wars toy he received was of Lando Calrissian.
Along with the films, of course, comes the action figures. Before receiving Darth Vader, it was actually Lando who was the first to enter Glover’s hands.
Glover discussed the importance of that toy, saying, “I had a doll that I slept with—the only black doll in the store—that my mom bought for me. And my dad bought me Lando…”
With that, it almost seems like fate that Glover would eventually play the character. Now he has plenty of figures to inspire kids just like himself.
3. Star Wars is a family affair for Glover.
After having the toys and seeing the movies with his father as a kid, Glover knew he had to pay him back after accepting the role as Lando.
One of the first people he called after receiving it was his father, who he later brought on-set in the Canary Islands, known as Savareen in the Star Wars universe, before his death in 2018.
His mother also had a reaction to her son taking the part. On the Ellen show, Glover said, in reference to his mom, “Don’t mess it up.’ She was like, ‘Don’t mess this up!’”
So, for as seriously as Glover took the role, which director Ron Howard raved about, his family may have enjoyed it even more.
4. Glover met with Billy Dee Williams before playing the character.
It can be a difficult task in revisiting a character as iconic as Lando Calrissian, and to do it in a way that is both unique and true to yourself while being respectful of the character’s past. To achieve that balance, Glover met with the man himself, Billy Dee Williams, to speak about the role.
The two seemed to have a terrific time together, with Glover recounting the three simple words of advice he received that stuck with him the most: “Just be charming.” Speaking about that meeting to Variety, Glover said:
With playing a character that’s already established, there’s a fear of overthinking and comparing yourself. To be able to just go, “Be charming,” it’s really helpful, actually.
Billy Dee even followed up with Glover after seeing the film. His words then? “Good job.” There isn’t any better way to put it.
5. Glover may not be done with the role yet, either.
While Solo underwent a difficult production cycle and faced lackluster box office results, it has since developed into a bit of a cult classic within the Star Wars fanbase.
Since then, the hashtag #MakeSolo2Happen has trended more than once, while Disney + has also opened up the avenue for potential spinoff shows or series. Fans’ wishes may be coming true too, as even though a film is unlikely, there are talks of Glover returning as Lando to lead a Star Wars show of his own.
This isn’t the first time we’ve heard these rumors, though, as 2018 was a hotbed for excitement around Glover’s character. Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy reportedly said herself, “We think that the next spinoff will be dedicated to Lando Calrissian. Of course, there are still many stories to tell about Han and Chewbacca, but Lando will be next…”
That quote was quenched shortly afterward and there is nothing more than rumors at the moment, so let’s not get our hopes up too much. However, it wouldn’t be a surprise if we saw Glover again sometime soon. I think a good deal of the fanbase, especially Solo fans like myself, would enjoy that, too.
For more Star Wars spoilers, updates and more, keep up with Dork Side of the Force.