Why Donald Glover as young Lando Calrissian matters so much
October 25, 2016 at 1:15 pm
Donald Glover is playing young Lando. Our dreams have finally come true. The first hashtag campaign for Spider-Man didn’t pan out, but the second one did. Donald has been on fire this year. He’s had a successful music event. He’s already cast in another iconic franchise as a supporting character. And his show Atlanta on FX is, in my humble opinion, the best that television can offer – plus it’s already been renewed for season 2. But on top of all that, he’s made another milestone moment we won’t soon forget.
The Star Wars Twitter account made it official and my timeline went crazy.
Hello, what have we here? Donald Glover is Lando Calrissian in the untitled 2018 Han Solo Star Wars Story. https://t.co/ChueOBd0fv pic.twitter.com/54JOBM1P9K
— Star Wars (@starwars) October 21, 2016
This is a casting announcement that I’d been anticipating ever since rumors dropped. But I never expected the moment to feel so emotional. Before John Boyega as Finn there hadn’t been a black male character in the franchise since Samuel L. Jackson. And before him, many, many years ago, there was Billy Dee Williams. To see that role come back more than 33 years later is incredible. And there is literally no better pick on earth than Donald. Plus, to have three black men (Donald, John and Forrest Whitaker in Rogue One) in three different Star Wars franchise films is like Christmas come early for a kid like me. Coming from a time where representation, in sci-fi especially, was so scarce it feels like a big step forward. This is something to be proud of.
And my people agree with me.
went from wearing a star wars shirt to starring in star wars pic.twitter.com/lcdlAQkHx8
— Demetrius Harmon🎃 (@meechonmars) October 22, 2016
So happy for Donald Glover. He ended up being a geek icon anyway #StarWars
— Black Girl Nerds (@BlackGirlNerds) October 21, 2016
There's news then there's NEWS congrats @donaldglover on being cast as Lando! May The Force be with you! #Lando https://t.co/Jfj5brnjIx pic.twitter.com/BnjBCegJg3
— theblackgeeks (@theblackgeeks) October 21, 2016
And I got very sentimental…
Guys. I'm seriously having a really emotional moment. I'm going to cry. It's that real for me rn. It's that real. #blerd tears everywhere. https://t.co/vXs0SCJZaT
— Ira (@IraHobbsJr) October 21, 2016
Seeing ourselves in stories about distant futures and galaxies far, far away matter just as much as stories about the present. They almost matter more, in my opinion, because not seeing yourself in the future makes it feel like we, as a people, have an expiration date. I went through these same exact changes when John Boyega starred as Finn in The Force Awakens. It may not hold the same gravity as watching the first leading black man hold a lightsaber. But watching Donald Glover assume the role of the most iconic black man in the Star Wars franchise for his interpretation of the character will be equally special in its own right. And I can’t wait to see it.
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