Solo: A Star Wars Story drops this Friday, May 25 and as a life-long Star Wars nut with the Blu-ray box sets and Darth Vader mug to prove it, I want to be hype about this film. I really do–even though Rotten Tomatoes reviews suggest that if Solo weren’t part of the Star Wars canon, it would probably be airing on SyFy after Sharknado 7.
Just the same, I’ll be getting a ticket and I’ll sit in my seat with the most excitement about Donald Glover’s portrayal of young intergalactic hustler and overall smooth cat Lando Calrissian. It says a lot about Glover’s range that he seems at once born to play the swagger-filled Calrissian as well as the completely swagger-free Earn from his hit FX show Atlanta.
Glover bringing his special brand of Blackness to the Star Wars series has me thinking about the Blackest moments/characters in the 41-year history of Star Wars. They aren’t plentiful, but they’ve been there since the beginning. Here are five of them:
5The O.G. Lando Calrissian
Regardless of how well Glover holds down the role, there will never be anything quite like the original. Introduced in 1980’s Empire Strikes Back, the O.G. Lando is played by Billy Dee Williams, who was your grandmother’s version of Michael B. Jordan. I’m pretty sure that “Never trust a brother with a perm and a pearly-white smile” is an ancient Negro aphorism, and it would seem that would hold true with Lando when he betrays Han Solo and company. But Lando’s heart is in the right place and he ultimately helps deliver the death blows that take down the Empire in Return of the Jedi.