Four Letter Nerd

Tag - Lando Calrissian

4LN Comic Review: Star Wars – Lando #1

Series: Star Wars: Lando
Writer: Charles Soule
Artist: Alex Maleev and Paul Mounts
Publisher: Marvel

Summary from Comixology:

You know him, you love him…now, join him for his biggest caper as master of charm Lando Calrissian gets his very own comic book! Before he joined the rebellion, before he ran Cloud City, Lando made his way in the galaxy getting by on some swindles, some swagger, and a smile. Lobot at his side, Lando has a plan to steal a very valuable ship, but has he bitten off more than he can chew? Writer Charles Soule (Death of Wolverine, Inhuman, She-Hulk) and artist Alex Maleev (Daredevil, Spider-Woman, Moon Knight) bring us the tale of a scoundrel in his natural element-trouble!

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Overview-
When I heard Lando Calrissian was getting his own title I didn’t know what to expect, but I was excited that Marvel was going to delve into the past of the previous owner of a certain Corellian YT-1300 light freighter (heavily modified, of course).  In the movies he gets a bit of a bad rap for his betrayal of Han Solo, which I previously defended way back in the early days of 4LN, but he’s just so damn interesting.  He’s one of those characters that you just want to know about.  What kind of crazy shenanigans did he get into before running a legitimate Tibanna gas mining operation.  Well, here’s our chance to find out!

Lando is written by Charles Soule who also wrote this week’s Civil War #1.  Soule is a fantastic writer, and I understand why he is one of Bill’s favorites.  The dialog in this book is so good you can basically hear Billy Dee Williams speaking the lines.  And the story itself read like Star Wars intertwined with a caper film like Ocean’s Eleven, with just a pinch of the “just-one-last-big-score” vibe of the late eighties/early nineties.  This is one of those books that had me smiling to myself as I read through it.

Alex Maleev’s art is great in this book.  Every panel of this book just felt right, from the characters to the set pieces – it just felt like classic, eighties era Star Wars.  He definitely gets the classic tone of the original trilogy, and don’t get me started on the color palette! Paul Mounts does a tremendous job using some very eighties colors (neon green and pink, anyone?) and making them work perfectly.  With this book, these two guys put out some of the neatest artwork I’ve seen lately.

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This book is very different from the previous entries in Marvel’s current Star Wars lineup, which is a good thing.  Don’t get me wrong, I love pretty much everything Star Wars that Marvel is putting out, but I like that this book doesn’t have the darker tone of the other books.  It doesn’t need it.  Lando is a fun caper story featuring one of the smoothest smugglers in the Star Wars galaxy, and it’s definitely worth your time and your money.

 

Musical Pairing-
Since this book doesn’t have the same feel as the other Star Wars books, I am going to take a break from just recommending John Williams’ scores.  Instead, while reading the smooth swagger of Mr. Calrissian, take a listen to the hardest working man in show business – Mr. James Brown!

From The Nerdery – Lando’s Patriarch, Eastwood’s Batman, and Parent/Child Civil Nerd-War

Welcome, once again, to another installment of The Nerdery. Here, we answer your questions with logic, reason, class and sometimes a complete disregard of of everything I just mentioned.

Our Nerd of the Week goes to Brooks Russel. Son, and nerd-in-training, to our very own Cody Russell.

This past week Brooks got to live out his Make-a-Wish by traveling to Disney World, and getting to meet and hang out with some of his favorite superheroes. Way to go Brooks! Stay Nerdy pal!

Now, on to the Nerdery…

Nathan – “Is Lando Calrissian the son of Captain Panaka (since Mace presumably never hooked up with anyone). If not, possible alternatives?”

That would make an interesting episode of whatever the Star Wars equivalent of Maury is – who is Lando’s father? Panaka is not shown to have had any children. Actually, after his service to Queen Amidala, he became extremely loyal to not-quite-yet-Emperor-Palpatine and led the Royal Security Forces. He even became a Moff (a provincial governor) of the Chommel Sector later in life, so it is unclear if he even had a child at all.

If we are going solely on race, another candidate would be Panaka’s nephew, Captain Typho (the guy with the eye patch), but he isn’t the father either.

The Star Wars extended universe has never stated who Lando’s father was, although in the non-canonical LEGO Star Wars: the Yoda Chronicles, his father is shown to be Lindo Calrissian, who modified the Millennium Falcon into a traveling nightclub (because why not?), and was voiced by Billy Dee Williams.

With the lack of possible candidates due to the majority of the characters being white (or teddy bears with spears), I have to assume that Lando was born in a laboratory, in which a mad scientist tried to fuse sexuality, self-indulgence, a love of silk capes, and desire together and a Barry White album fell into the mix causing the infamous Lando to step out of the test tube and immediately make eyes at all the females in the immediate vicinity.

– Cam

 

Nate – “If you could choose any actor from before 1980 to portray a superhero in today’s movies, who would it be and which hero? Not looking for just personal opinion, but an actor you feel would truly personify the hero like today’s counterpart has.”

I think Clint Eastwood would have made a killer Batman, especially in today’s climate. He is intimidating enough without the addition of the cowl. Throw that in with is gritty voice and piercing eyes, and you would have a physically imposing, dark, Batman. I don’t think he could pull off the billionaire playboy persona of Bruce Wayne like Christian Bale did, but he could definitely show the more somber, world-weary, Bruce, similar to what they are supposedly doing with Affleck. There were rumors a while back that he was set to play an aging Bruce Wayne in a Batman Beyond movie, but that never materialized. – Cam

I had originally thought about Mr. Eastwood myself, but I was thinking of him more as a Nick Fury. He’s always had that cold, I’m-the-man-in-charge-and-I-don’t-f**k-around attitude. That’s very old-school Nick Fury. But I also really wanna express how amazing a 70′ exploitation-style Heroes-for -Hire film would have been, with Jim Brown as Luke Cage/Power Man and Chuck Norris as Danny Rand/Iron Fist. OH. MY. GOD. I don’t even know if there wards to describe how BRILLIANT it would have been, watching those two toss dudes around like garbage bags full of old clothes. It’s would have been out-of-sight. A real funky flick. Ya dig? – Stephen

I think James Dean would make an awesome Hal Jordan. I think he would have been able to pull off the ladies man role. He would be awesome to watch struggle with the power and reason-ability of being a Lantern. Hal is an all around cool guy who doesn’t always think his actions out well enough when it comes to his love life, and for that I think James would make an awesome Green Lantern. Also, I think Vincent Price would be an AMAZING Sinestro. I think it would just be creepy as hell to see Vincent Price with a yellow ring. Fear is what the yellow rings run on, and who better to use fear then the classic master of it! Plus, he already had the glorious mustache. – Bill

 

Marie – “How do you think you’d handle it, if your kid grew up to be a different kind of nerd than you?”

I would let him know that he is his own person, and that he can choose his interests how he pleases. If he likes Star Trek more than Star Wars, or thinks that Aquaman is a legitimate choice when it comes to choosing your favorite superhero, then that is his choice and I respect that. Unless he decides that he wants to be a Juggalo, in which case I would immediately disown him, write him out of my will, and probably take up alcoholism. – Cam

It’s hard for me to answer a question about my kids being a different kind of nerd then me. I don’t have any, but if I had a son and he ended up actually liking Hulk and playing WoW, I would be a little concerned. I would ask myself “where did my wife and I go wrong?” “Can I pray the Hulk Away?” “Why did he pick Hulk over Captain America, I would even be fine with Iron Man, and I hate Iron Man…” My biggest fear though, is he’ll be a bronie. I don’t know what I’ll be if that happens. If my son ends up that guy at a card shop who is over weight at 32 wearing a My Little Ponies beanie and playing magic… we’ll, I’ll be playing against him. BUT when we go to Cracker Barrel after, we sit a separate tables. – Bill

I’m a comic book nerd. There’s no denying that. For  a while my oldest son, who’s 6, has been super into comic books with me. They’ve been very helpful in his reading comprehension and development. As of late he’s starting to claim that he’s not “into comic books anymore”. Now maybe he’s just saying that to be dramatic and get attention, or maybe he means it. Whatever the case, he’s his own person and he’ll eventually decided what outlet of nerdom, if any, is where he feels most comfortable. My dad, and his dad… not nerds. I have no idea where my nerdyness comes from, but both my brother and I are very much into comic books. Nerd is not hereditary. It’s like religion, or politics, any other system of opinion and belief. You either fall in line with what the “man of the house” is doing, or you rebel against it. Right now, my 6 year old claims to be doing the latter. But, luckily for me, there’s two more right behind him that may love comics as much as me. Who knows. If they all grow up to be nerdily obsessed with something else, that’s cool. As long as their nerd-obsession isn’t, and doesn’t become, something that’s mentally and or emotionally harmful to themselves or others, I’m just gonna be proud that they found something that makes them as happy as comics have made me. – Stephen

 

A Defense of Lando Calrissian

When I say the name Lando Calrissian what do you think about? A traitorous, less-than-scruffy looking nerfherder, who betrayed his best friend and then inexplicably wore said friends clothes as he piloted said friends spaceship, with that same friends girlfriend and Wookiee companion? Or do you think of the most morally courageous figure found in the Star Wars saga? Obviously if you read the title of this article, you know I am going to be arguing the latter.

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I defend his decision to betray Han, but I don’t defend his decision to wear his clothes.

Now let’s dive into some backstory. Lando was the Baron Administrator of Cloud City, which he won in a card game from the previous Administrator. Cloud City was a tibanna gas mining colony that floats about 60,000 kilometers above the planet Bespin, which was an uninhabitable gas giant. Cloud City’s official census data (because this actually exists in the Extended Universe) shows the population to be at 5,247,080 not counting droids.

Want to guess why they call it Cloud City? Because it’s perpetually cloudy, and the person naming Bespin locales had about as much creativity as the guy who named the Orange.

When we first meet Lando in Empire Strikes Back he appears to be very similar to Han Solo. He has a questionable past, but he seems to be well on his way to being a somewhat decent guy. Lando is a gambler turned civil servant who has a penchant for well-coordinated capes and seduction.

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Ladies?

Unfortunately Lando gets a bad rap due to a moral dilemma that plays out before we even meet him. When Darth Vader finds out that Han and Leia escaped Hoth and are heading to Bespin he gives Lando a choice to make. Lando can either betray Han by turning him over to Vader, or he can allow Bespin to fall under the tyrannical rule of the Galactic Empire.

So, as we come to find out, Lando decided that giving his friend over to Vader was the best decision, and they all attend what had to be the most awkward dinner ever.

For many his decision to betray Han makes Lando a traitor, but his decision is less egotistical than it appears. The decision that Lando makes is, in fact, a utilitarian decision. Quick philosophy lesson, utilitarianism is a philosophy that states all actions should be directed towards achieving the greatest happiness for the greater number of people.

In other words, to determine which decision we should make in any given situation, we must evaluate each option available to us and attempt to calculate the possible consequences of that decision. Whichever decision leads to the best outcome for the most people is the decision that must be chosen.

So when Lando, being a utilitarian, is given his choice he must weigh the cost of betraying Han and thus causing his unhappiness versus the unhappiness that will be caused by letting his entire city fall under the command of the tyrannical Emperor and his Stormtroopers. Lando gave up Han in order to prevent his people from suffering at the hands of the scrotum-faced Emperor and his cronies.

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Of course, for many this goes against what our view of friendship means, but when seen from the utilitarian’s point of view Lando did what was moral. In reality Lando’s only choice is whether to save the mining colony or not since Han is going to be captured by Vader anyways, seen this way he made the only right decision.

When Lando realizes that Vader altered the deal and the Empire is going to take over anyways he does what he can to evacuate the colony, as well as save Leia and Chewbacca; he does not think of himself at all. Lando immediately joins Luke and Leia in an attempt to rescue Han from his fate as a questionable choice for wall decorations, even going undercover for a year or more in Jabba’s Palace (and you know that place stank something awful).

We usually view Lando as an egotistical, scum bag who betrayed his best friend to save his own ass. However, when we view his decision in light of a utilitarian view his decision shows moral fortitude.

So what do you think? Is Lando still the backstabbing scoundrel you always thought him to be, or is he a moral stalwart worthy of our admiration?