The latest installment of the Star Wars trajectory, “Solo: A Star Wars Story” features the casting of award-winning writer, director, musician, stand-up comedian and actor Donald Glover as the suave, intergalactic gambler and owner of the Millennium Falcon. Solo is a prequel that details the commencement of the bond between Hans Solo, played by Alden Ehrenreich, and Lando Calrissian.
Billy Dee Williams originated the role of Lando in the epic “Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back,” widely considered the best Star Wars film to date. He had very simple advice for Glover, “‘Just be charming.’”
“It was actually really sage advice because it helped me simplify my approach,” Glover mused. “I think I just try to surprise people enough, but also give people what they came to see which is smooth and cool Lando.”
Glover grew up loving the Star Wars’ franchise. He made comparisons between “Star Wars” movies and the Bible.
“This is the stuff dreams are made of remarked fellow “Solo” co-star Thandie Newton during a press conference held Saturday, May 12, at the Pasadena Convention Center. The entire cast as well as Oscar award-winning director Ron Howard discussed the project.
Howard assumed the reins after the film’s original directors, Phil Lord and Christopher Miller parted ways due to “creative differences” with Lucasfilms showrunner Kathleen Kennedy in June of 2017, months after filming had begun.
The role of Lando was an important one for Glover to land as the Star Wars’ franchise has close ties to his childhood. Glover recounted that Lando was one of the first toys his father gave him as a child.
“When I heard they were making this, I told my agent, ‘If they’re making anything with Lando in it, I have to be Lando,’” Glover revealed during the “Solo” press conference. “And he was like, ‘I hear you. I don’t like your odds.’ Once it was confirmed that Lando was one of the characters, Glover gushed “I really auditioned like it was the only role I wanted in the world. It really was.”
Glover has had quite the year. From wrapping the second season of what has been deemed the best show on television with “Atlanta” on FX to nearly breaking the internet with Childish Gambino’s release of “This is America” that debuted at number one on the Billboard chart and now emerging as the star in “Solo” as Lando Calrissian.
“You get to experience something most people don’t experience because there’s a large amount of love from fans that most people don’t ever feel,” Glover continued. “It feels almost undeserving especially and it’s scary too because you get so much love and support up front and then you have to go do the job.”
Known for his work on “Community,” “Atlanta,” “30 Rock” and as his alter ego Childish Gambino, this is just the latest accomplishment Glover has added to his long list.
“I want to use it to do better things culturally and bigger things,” Glover told the Sentinel.
“Atlanta,” an American comedy-drama television series created by and starring Glover, wrapped its second season. The modern-day renaissance man is also set to appear in Disney’s remake of the “Lion King” as the voice of Simba.
When questioned about how he stays true to what makes long-standing, well-loved characters like Lando and Simba and yet brings a fresh approach, Glover explained “Jon Favreau (Director of the Lion King remake) is really good with outlining what the movie’s about now. It’s the same story, but the focus is on something a little different which I think is great.”
“Solo: A Star Wars Story” also stars Alden Ehrenreich (Han Solo), Emilia Clarke (Qi’ra), Joonas Suotamo (Chewbacca), Thandie Newton (Val), Paul Bettany (Dryden Vos), Phoebe Waller-Bridge (L3-37) and Woody Harrelson (Tobias Beckett) opens in theatres Friday, May 25.