The future of Star Wars has never been so vague since Disney’s acquisition back in 2012. Striking a staggering deal of $4.05 billion in cash and stock, Disney has recouped its cost with the latest Skywalker saga starting with Star Wars: The Force Awakens and concluding with Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story was also a commercial success, raking in $1.05 billion at the box-office.
Despite being commercially successful, the Star Wars legacy has been scrutinized for lacking a grand vision, unlike its more successful sister franchise, the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Though Star Wars: The Force Awakens was a promising start, The Last Jedi and The Rise of Skywalker received mixed reviews. And now, the wide galaxy far, far away looks like a murky mess, a hollow shell of its glorious past.
Disney’s decision to make a movie on a younger Han Solo, Solo: A Star Wars Story, was an ambitious project which became a box-office disaster when compared to other live-action movies of the same genre. Yet, there was a silver lining to this dark cloud too.
Enter, Donald Glover. Rising to meteoric fame with Atlanta, Childish Gambino – This Is America, The Lion King, and making an appearance as the Prowler in Spider-Man: Homecoming, Glover has carved a place for himself in the industry. In Solo: A Star Wars Story, Donald Glover became an instant fan-favorite for his portrayal of a young Lando Calrissian.
Unfortunately, even the enigmatic Donald Glover could not salvage Solo: A Star Wars Story from becoming a box-office failure. Solo‘s poor performance at the box-office leaves little hope for a sequel as the movie ended at a very interesting point. But thankfully, Disney+ might just save the Solo sequel by turning it into a TV series.
A few years ago, considering expanding a cinematic experience on the streaming platform might have sounded ridiculous. But with high budgets, TV shows are now preferred over cinemas for a much more coherent and in-depth experience. Case in point, The Mandalorian starring Pedro Pascal. Streaming on Disney+, The Mandalorian has received widespread acclaim for its story and mature themes set in the Star Wars universe.
With the Solo sequel becoming a distant dream, Disney might rope in Donald Glover to reprise his role as Lando in a TV series instead. Considering Glover’s reputation and popularity, this move can be a lucrative one for the Mouse. The rumor of Donald Glover getting a show of his own on Disney+ was announced in a podcast of Kessel Run Transmissions, which accurately announced the Bad Batch animated series. Further, actor Alden Ehrenreich who played the role of Han Solo in Solo has been dropping some subtle hints during his publicity tour of Brave New World.
Donald Glover’s portrayal of Lando Calrissian in Solo was widely appreciated by fans for doing justice to the character. Actor Billy Dee Williams’ return as Lando in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker was an exhilarating surprise only to be massively disappointed at the end. From ridiculously less screen time to sidelining the beloved character in the movie, fans were left unsatisfied with the treatment dished out to the unpredictable Lando.
But with a TV series, Disney can just hit the right spot by casting both Glover and Billy Dee Williams to portray Lando in two different timelines. The older Lando played by Billy Dee Williams reminiscing about his smuggling days. The show can even add much more depth to the beloved character, which can be seamlessly portrayed by Glover as the young and reckless version and Williams as the much more experienced and wiser Lando Calrissian.
Similarly, a TV show can also pick-up right from where Solo left, since the chances of getting a sequel look very slim. Despite its many flaws, Solo did leave the fans at a cliffhanger at the end of the movie when Qi’ra was revealed to be reporting to none other than Darth Maul. Also, the relationship between Han Solo and Lando Calrissian hit a rocky patch after Han tricked Lando to get the Millenium Falcon. For casual fans, the return of Darth Maul might have felt like a huge surprise, but for the fans who have watched Star Wars: The Clone Wars, it was another pleasant nod to an already established fact. Without the burden of box-office collections and a much larger artistic field to explore, a TV show could really set things moving for Star Wars on the streaming front.
As Darth Maul survived his apparent death and instead rose to power as the head of an intergalactic crime syndicate, things can get quite exciting from here to explore. As both Han Solo and Lando Calrissian have had their fair share of business with the criminal underbelly, exploring their younger and much more reckless days in a TV series sound quite promising.
And if everything fails, a show based on Lando can just start wherever it wants to in the vast galaxy, taking some valuable inspiration from The Mandalorian. By introducing Baby Yoda, The Mandalorian proved that the legacy of Star Wars is far from being dead. The galaxy is their oyster and waiting to be explored, this time by the fascinating Lando Calrissian. And maybe, the time is ripe to explore Lando’s pansexuality too, bringing LGBTQ+ representation to Star Wars after decades.