Spoilers here- for a spoiler free review- click here please:
I'm sure I’ll have multiple posts of spoilers about this movie. I kept trying to start by talking about the returning characters from the original films, but it keeps coming back to Lando Calrissian, so I'm going to talk about him.
Lando isn’t one of my favorite characters of the original series but he was definitely one of my favorites in the sequel trilogy.
The reason is that he embodies what I think most of us old fans wanted out of returning characters.
His moments in the planning scenes, encouraging everyone and pointing out how they succeeded in the old days, by grabbing onto scant hopes based on design flaws and saving the day “together” all highlighted what made the original films special to all of us.
It was fitting that no one answered the call for help broadcast by the “new gang” in The Last Jedi but sending Lando out in person with Chewie in the Millennium Falcon was able to inspire the entire galaxy to rise up and join the resistance in the fight against tyranny. Bringing back Wedge with him was the icing on the cake. If I may don my Captain Continuity hat for a moment, we all get a little slower as we age, therefore Wedge wouldn’t be the level of fighter pilot he used to be, but his reflexes would still be top notch enough to be an excellent gunner.
But I think the key reason that made me happy was every scene he’s in, he looks absolutely thrilled to be there. Han Luke and Leia were all full of angst, grief and regrets. Billy Dee Williams looks like he’s having an absolute ball jumping back into the Falcon and running around the galaxy fighting evil with the new kids every moment he’s on screen. IT was an infectious mood that led me to cheer him on in every scene.
I know there are deleted scenes about how Lando’s infant daughter was conscripted into the first order and that’s what the scene with him talking to Jannah at the end of the film is supposed to imply. However, given that he is the most like his original character out of all the Rebel Heroes, I’m just as happy thinking that at eighty-two years old, Lando is still tooling around the galaxy, saving the day, and hitting on anything that moves.