***Think what you will about George Lucas, but in terms of Star Wars, it can all be traced back to him. That’s why I always find it so interesting to listen to him talk about it. His creative process, the reason certain decisions were made, and how these movies became the pop cultural staples they are. This space is dedicated to just that. This is “George Lucas on Star Wars.”***
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By Rob Siebert
The Scene: Lando Calrissian, Han Solo’s old friend and administrator of Cloud City on Bespin, enters the film.
George Lucas Says (via the Empire Strikes Back commentary track): “Lando Calrissian was created as a character who was a foil to Han, who represents what Han was before he met Luke and Leia in Episode IV. … [Lando] is sort of making the same mistakes that Han would make if Han hadn’t joined the Rebellion and become a little bit more compassionate. He’s the more out for himself kind of character, who has to do what’s practical to keep his life in order. And now Han is trapped in a world between those two. He’s not quite as compassionate and caring as Luke and Leia are. But he’s moved away from where he was, which is where Lando Calrissian is now.”
I Say: I like the idea of someone who’s on an emotional journey meeting someone who’s back at the beginning of a similar journey. It can make for interesting storytelling. That is indeed what we get with Han and Lando in Empire. But I also love that Lando isn’t simply a Han Solo clone. They were able to create character with its own unique vibe and texture. And in the process, Lando became almost as ionic, if not every bit as much, as Han.
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