When every fan’s favorite becaped smoothie, Lando Calrissian, made his debut in 1980’s The Empire Strikes Back, Billy Dee Williams’ performance made the character an instant classic. Lando’s been a charismatic staple of the galaxy far, far away ever since, showing up regularly in tie-in novels, video games, and other media.
Now, with the release of Solo: A Star Wars Story — including an exquisite performance by Donald Glover filling Lando’s impeccably styled shoes, and a brand-new series from Marvel, Star Wars: Lando: Double of Nothing, a 5-issue miniseries by Rodney Barnes (writer) and Paolo Villanelli (artist), Han’s ol’ buddy is having a major moment.
To celebrate, StarWars.com is revisiting the original 2015 limited comic book series Lando. Marvel’s five-issue story finds the eponymous scoundrel trying to pay off a debt by pulling the heist of a lifetime. Only problem is that the take — a luxury yacht containing priceless artifacts — happens to belong to Emperor Palpatine. “Easy money,” Lando says, as a trio of Star Destroyers gives chase.
Written by Charles Soule (Poe Dameron) and drawn by Alex Maleev (Daredevil), Lando delivers all the thrills you’d expect from such a suave subject and then some. Here are five of our favorite moments from the comic:
1. “Blasters are for suckers.”
The first issue finds Lando and his partner, Lobot, working off a debt they owe to the crime lord Toren. When Lobot suggests they stop playing Toren’s game and “fight him,” Lando argues that blasters and violence will only cause them further trouble. “Blasters are for suckers,” he says. “People with no imagination.”
2. Lando, once captain of the Millennium Falcon, knows a few maneuvers.
Like Han Solo and Amilyn Holdo, Calrissian’s always got another trick up his sleeve — even when staring down a handful of Imperial Star Destroyers. When he finds himself the target of not one but two tractor beams, Lando flies right into both of them, drawing the beams together. Once entangled, the two Destroyers collide, exploding in a fiery blast.
3. Emperor Palpatine, obtainer of rare antiquities.
Even more valuable than the Emperor’s luxury yacht, perhaps, is its precious cargo: various artifacts from the ancient Sith. Just how many, and where they might have come from, is a mystery for another time. But the dark side corrupts all that it touches, and what Lando and his crew thought to be treasure (particularly a war mask with glowing crimson eyes) turns out to be more trouble than it’s worth.
4. Lando’s charms.
When Palpatine learns that his prized vessel has been stolen, he calls upon the dreaded bounty hunter Chanath Cha to hunt down the thieves and try to recover the ship. Fortunately, Chanath and Lando have a history together, and he greets her with warm words and a kiss on the hand. “Do you know whose ship you stole, you moron?” she asks.
5. A promise.
“Whenever you gamble, my friend, eventually you lose.” Qui-Gon’s words are wise — and Lando Calrissian is a gambler. After promising Lobot that they’d finally be free after taking one last score, Lando’s luck only gets them so far before his cyborg companion is forced to pay a heavy price for their survival. Lobot’s neural implant, a souvenir from their dealings with the Empire, overtakes his consciousness, and Calrissian swears an oath to one day find a cure for his old friend.
There are so many incredible stories being told in the world of Star Wars comics right now, and now all you Lando fans know where to start.
The Lando miniseries is available in the subscription-based Marvel Unlimited archive.
Alex Kane is a journalist based in west-central Illinois. He has written for Polygon, the website of Rolling Stone, Syfy Wire, and other publications. Follow him on Twitter at @alexjkane.