With Donald Glover set to play Lando Calrissian in another nostalgia-tripped spin-off, is the future of Star Wars doomed?
Well-well-well if it isn’t Disney suckling at the teat of nostalgia once more as they toy with plans to produce another recast Star Wars spin-off with Donald Glover to reprise his role as the dashingly debonair, Lando Calrissian.
What’s the worry? You say. He was convincing enough in Solo: A Star Wars Story! True. But his performance was the standout in an otherwise underwhelming adventure where, sadly, the titular Han Solo (played by Alden Ehrenreich) was the least interesting character.
It was a cash-grab, nostalgia-trip, whatever you want to call it and it showed, taking a mere $393m at the box-office, compared to the scintillating Rogue One, which raked in a well-deserved $1.06bn.
At this point, it looks like discretion and wariness is key for Lucasfilm, whose President, Kathleen Kennedy (co-engineer of the stupefyingly, dazzlingly dull sequel trilogy) divulged to Total Film that she will “never say never” about recasting legacy characters, *sigh*.
But she also said to Vanity Fair (regarding Solo: A Star Wars Story) that “there should be moments along the way when you learn things… now it does seem so abundantly clear that we can’t do that…
“We’re still talking about Lando with Donald Glover, for instance, but I don’t think we would intentionally just look back at some of the characters like Luke and Leia… and decide arbitrarily to do a story.
“There would have to be a really strong reason why.”
Yep, since the departure of George Lucas, Lucasfilm have floundered in a puddle of hit-or-miss to devastating impact, like with the sequel trilogy, which has been lambasted by both its legacy and lead actors in interviews.
The OG Star Wars was built upon intuitive filmmaking and a passion for Shakespearean-level plot, the kind where the consequences of the story feels like inevitable fate. The OG Star Wars blossomed with characters so well-defined, so chiseled, they made Michelangelo’s David look like Play-Doh.
It might be too much to ask from the current team at Lucasfilm – maybe… but in the words of Kathleen Kennedy, “I’ll never say never”.