Star Wars: Recasting the original and prequel trilogies for the 2020s

Brie Larson/Will Smith/Tom Holland. Composite: Dork Side of the Force.
Brie Larson/Will Smith/Tom Holland. Composite: Dork Side of the Force. /
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LaKeith Stanfield
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM – APRIL 25: Lakeith Stanfield arrives at a screening of the Oscars on April 26, 2021 in London. (Photo by Alberto Pezzali-Pool/Getty Images) /

11. LaKeith Stanfield as Lando Calrissian

Billy Dee Williams was a Black man trying to break into film and television in the late 1950s and early 1960s at a time that doing that was no easy task. Williams found his way to roles in The Last Angry Man and Brian’s Song and eventually as Billie Holiday’s husband Louis McKay in the Academy Award-nominated Lady Sings the Blues.

Williams became the first Black actor to receive a major role in the Star Wars franchise when he was cast as Lando Calrissian in The Empire Strikes Back, a role which he would reprise for Return of the Jedi and eventually The Rise of Skywalker. Williams earned his place on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1985, and he’s become an icon of the industry and role model to many.

Looking at the young Black men making waves in the industry today, few seem more perfectly fitted to the role of Lando Calrissian than LaKeith Stanfield. Of course, Lando was already recast once as Donald Glover took the mantle in Solo: A Star Wars Story, but an equally amazing choice could be found in a recast with Stanfield.

With performances in Selma, Straight Outta Compton, Snowden, and his Academy Award-nominated portrayal of William O’Neal in Judas and the Black Messiah, LaKeith Stanfield is more than capable of the nuance and pure sex appeal needed to become Lando Calrissian. Should someone else get to don his unforgettable cape, it should be LaKeith Stanfield.