After the critical success of The Mandalorian, the seventh season of the animated smash hit Star Wars: The Clone Wars and shaky fan reception of the big screen sequel trilogy, it comes as no surprise that Lucasfilm sees the future of Star Wars on streaming platform Disney+. There are already several projects in a galaxy far, far away that are in active development, like Ewan McGregor's Kenobi and a Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016) spin-off focused on Diego Luna’s Cassian Andor. But that might not be all as recent rumours from the "Kessel Run Radio" podcast suggest a familiar smooth-talking smuggler will also be making his small screen debut.
Donald Glover is set to reprise his role from 2018’s Solo: A Star Wars Story, as young Lando Calrissian, the definitive fan-favourite from the critically panned spin-off movie. The character was most recently played by the original Empire Strikes Back actor Billy Dee Williams in 2019’s The Rise of Skywalker. This dual role across different time periods in the Skywalker Saga is likely to play into the new Disney+ show, with Williams rumoured to return in some capacity, in scenes that I assume will bookend the series.
We last saw Glover’s version of the character losing his beloved ship, the Millennium Falcon, to a young Han Solo played by Alden Ehrenreich (still unconfirmed to appear in the show) with their friendly rivalry beginning during the events of the film. Two major characters in Solo were Game of Thrones star Emilia Clarke as Han’s ex-girlfriend Qi’ra and her boss, the infamous former Sith Lord, Maul, so we can assume that they are likely to reappear to cause mayhem for Lando in his criminal adventures across the galaxy.
After John Boyega's comments during the Black Lives Matter movement, it is essential that another black actor as outspoken as Donald Glover be in a leading role.
Fresh off the back of his role as showrunner on award-winning FX show Atlanta and continuing musical success as Childish Gambino, Donald Glover is perfect for another turn as the leading man. Also, after fellow Star Wars star John Boyega recently called out his own participation in Black Lives Matter protests as a threat to his acting career, it is essential that another black actor as outspoken as Glover be in the leading role. This is especially since the on-screen portrayal of non-white characters in that galaxy is often limited to supporting roles at most. However, this will hopefully change given the scope of planned Disney+ productions.
Overall, the rumoured streaming show (should it move into production) will undoubtedly be a welcome installment in the Star Wars universe. Utilising a cast of fan-favourite characters in a time period that is generally unexplored in the other movies and shows will be a major draw for fans. And Donald Glover’s brief stint as Calrissian has already proven he has just as much swashbuckling charisma as his on-screen counterpart.
Featured Image Credit: IMDb