UPDATED: Some newly revealed details about Lando Calrissian’s backstory help clarify the character’s cryptic final scene in the Star Wars saga.
At the end of The Rise of Skywalker, the Resistance is celebrating their victory over the First — and Final — Order.
Resistance fighter Jannah (Naomi Ackie) sidles up to famed former Rebel Alliance general Lando Calrissian (Billy Dee Williams). Jannah asks Lando a question. Lando, looking away, at first seems uninterested. Then he sees Jannah, and suddenly he’s very engaged. He asks Jannah where she’s from and she replies she doesn’t know — as earlier in the film we learned was abducted by the First Order as a child. Lando then says, “Well, let’s find out…”
The scene plays like Lando is offering to help Jannah find her family (and even struck some viewers as if the “old smoothie” was hitting on a woman 55 years his junior).
But a key detail about Lando’s backstory from the Rise of Skywalker Visual Dictionary companion book adds a significant detail that changes the context of the scene.
The book explains: “When peace reigned, [Lando] attempted to start a family, but tragedy struck and his infant daughter vanished. It was only later that it became clear who the culprits behind the abduction were: the First Order, building their fighting forces but also specifically striking out at the old Alliance leadership.”
So the idea here is Jannah is Lando’s long-lost daughter. Perhaps his immediate interest in her was because she resembled Lando’s wife.
Since this story was first published, the idea that Jannah is Lando’s daughter has seemingly been confirmed by Jennifer Heddle, an editor for Disney Publishing’s Star Wars books:
It will still be in the novelization!— Jennifer Heddle (@jenheddle) December 20, 2019
The reveal adds a whole other level to Calrissian’s final moment in the saga — and what he’s been up to all these years since Return of the Jedi.
According to a Lando timeline in the companion book, Lando’s daughter was born 21 years before the events in The Rise of Skywalker (Ackie is 28 years old, but her character’s age could be younger).
It’s tough to imagine Lando and Jannah’s scene was shot without a Lando backstory reference also filmed at some point to set it up a bit more. In fact, there’s a quote from Lando in the companion book along those lines that’s not in the film: “The First Order went after us — leaders from the old wars. They took our kids.”
In another scene in the film, Zorii Bliss (Keri Russell) explains to Poe (Oscar Isaac) that the First Order has been abducting children to fill its ranks. So it seems likely that the First Order child abduction subplot was at some point a larger part of the film’s story line and perhaps was trimmed before the final edit
The book also explains that after Lando journeyed with Luke to Pasaana during the Jedi’s hunt for Sith relics, Lando decided to stay on the planet after finding “some peace and sense of community among the humble Aki-Aki,” and noted “once again shielded from an escalating conflict, [Lando] felt he had earned his rest after so much sacrifice.”
Another key detail from the companion book reveals that Kylo Ren was on a very familiar Star Wars planet in the film’s opening moments that adds some helpful context to the sequence.