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CLICK FOR MORE EXCLUSIVE STAR WARS FEATURES ›
The 30 Greatest Star Wars Characters
From Admiral Ackbar to... Yoda - we count down Lucas' best creations

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15. LANDO CALRISSIAN

Lando Calrissian

Most of the Star Wars saga is for kids - the droids, the Ewoks and chittering critters of all shapes and sizes. But now and again a character appears who's just for the grown-ups. In A New Hope, it's Alec Guinness, lending his bottomless gravitas to a silly space story. In The Empire Strikes Back, it's Lando Calrissian, all snake-oil-salesman charm and snake hips, bringing sex into a series generally accused of having about as much genitalia as Action Man.

Billy Dee Williams is generally accused of reprising his untrustworthy charmer from Lady Sings The Blues, but in space, that's no bad thing. Lando's action figure should really have been anatomically correct, because no sooner has he greeted Han like a long-lost pal, he's pulling the moves on Princess Leia. This unthinkable gall might have tipped the heroes, or the audience, to the greater treachery that awaited, but such is Lando's magnetism that he blinded us all.

In any case, as back-stabbings go, his is excusable - entrap an acquaintance he hasn't seen in years to safeguard an entire city. Once Vader goes back on his word, Lando goes into full damage-control mode, and spends years redeeming his honour and undoing the harm caused.

But the crime isn't what makes Lando memorable. It's his aplomb, his way with the ladies (just 'cause he doesn't pull Leia doesn't mean it isn't there) and his wide-ranging competence. He does, after all, destroy the second Death Star. And the accusations of tokenism or, worse, racism? The suggestions are apparently founded on his devil-may-care attitude, or possibly his overt flirting.

But Lando's another Han - his brother from another planet if you will - and shares his characteristics exactly, down to his taste in women. Lando's a little more mature, perhaps, a little more confident, but it's no wonder that it's Han who best sums him up: "He's a card player, gambler, scoundrel. You'll like him."

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Your Comments

1 RE: I Agree
To paraphrase Palpatine, likeable is a point of view. More

Posted by Litshttam on Wednesday July 9, 2014, 20:47

2 I don't agree.
'George Lucas's 30 worst creations'...? Nah, it's just going to be slagging him off, for the sake of it... AGAIN! Its really good to see more appreciation (and fairness) in articles towards George. Just check out 'The Guardian online', they take every opportunity to slag Star Wars off, including loads of unqualified opinions and non-truths. The film critic even started a recent post saying 'Star Wars isn't known for its creativity...' - its farcical. As a character from another space franchise said "...its easier to destroy than create". More

Posted by Funk_Knight on Thursday July 3, 2014, 10:17

3 I don't agree.
'George Lucas's 30 worst creations'...? Nah, it's just going to be slagging him off, for the sake of it... AGAIN! Its really good to see more appreciation (and fairness) in articles towards George. Just check out 'The Guardian online', they take every opportunity to slag Star Wars off, including loads of unqualified opinions and non-truths. The film critic even started a recent post saying 'Star Wars isn't known for its creativity...' - its farcical. As a character from another space franchise said "...its easier to destroy than create". More

Posted by Funk_Knight on Thursday July 3, 2014, 10:17

4 I Agree
A WORST Star Wars Characters list will be more interesting. Jar Jar obviously would be No. 1. Though I also agree he had a good character arc (But that doesn't make him likable) More

Posted by Darren47 on Wednesday July 2, 2014, 23:50

5 RE: Binks' Arc Is Actually One Of The Best In The Saga
Or Boris Johnson. Or Bush Jr. Take your pick, really. More

Posted by Litshttam on Wednesday July 2, 2014, 22:04

6 RE: Binks' Arc Is Actually One Of The Best In The Saga
L: Litshttam Jar Jar Binks starts off as mythic-archetype - the fool / jester the hero meets by the roadside - and becomes a commentary on the nepotism in politics; his befriending of Padmé Amidala in The Phantom Menace leads to his appointment as Gungan-representative in the senate by Attack Of The Clones. The unfit-for-purpose-but-sincere plonker inadvertently starts the Clone Wars, too, falling for the Hegelian-machinations of Palpatine hook, line and sinker. Sure, Yoda he ain't, but I like him. o, Jar Jar Binks is... Tony Blair? (How wude.) More

Posted by chris kilby on Wednesday July 2, 2014, 12:45

7 RE: Predictable...
L: GrizBe I'd much rather see the 30 worst / dumbest Star Wars characters. We all know Jar Jar would top that, but it'd be more fun then this. ax Rebo? Droopy McCool? More

Posted by chris kilby on Wednesday July 2, 2014, 12:44

8 30 Greatest Characters?
Loads of these were generic 'Stormtrooper', 'Scout Trooper', 'Jawa' etc, not actual characters. Also, Anakin/ Darth Vader, whether you like it or not, is the same dude! Also Ben and Obi-Wan. I've seen several top Star Wars character lists, this is the worst attempt I've seen. More

Posted by AyannaNyx on Wednesday July 2, 2014, 01:26

9 Binks' Arc Is Actually One Of The Best In The Saga
Jar Jar Binks starts off as mythic-archetype - the fool / jester the hero meets by the roadside - and becomes a commentary on the nepotism in politics; his befriending of Padmé Amidala in The Phantom Menace leads to his appointment as Gungan-representative in the senate by Attack Of The Clones. The unfit-for-purpose-but-sincere plonker inadvertently starts the Clone Wars, too, falling for the Hegelian-machinations of Palpatine hook, line and sinker. Sure, Yoda he ain't, but I like him. More

Posted by Litshttam on Tuesday July 1, 2014, 13:38

10 Predictable...
I'd much rather see the 30 worst / dumbest Star Wars characters. We all know Jar Jar would top that, but it'd be more fun then this. More

Posted by GrizBe on Tuesday July 1, 2014, 11:13


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