This review concerns the entire comics mini-series of Star Wars: Lando (Part I, II, III, IV, V).
The story takes place before Star Wars Episode V The Empire Strikes Back and as the title indicates it, the main character of this series is Lando Calrissian. I think this story is not just important for the fact that it is a Lando adventure but I think it sets up important thing for the future and it hints at important things, the same way Star Wars: Tarkin (novel) hinted at important things concerning the Sith mythology. So I think, I’ll start with this. In Tarkin novel, we learn about a Sith shrine under the Jedi Temple and with Lando comics we learn that Sidious/Palpatine has interesting relics from the Sith and very powerful stuff, this strange mask that is able to control people. We understand here that Palpatine is on a quest to gather Sith relics, Sith knowledge and there’s very dark stuff there. The shrine was already very intriguing but here the mask well, it goes to another level I’d say because it can influence people, it can turn people to a dark path by controlling them just if the person look at this mask. There are many questions here, first is where did Palpatine got this, I mean really, where? Did he go on Morraband (the old Sith planet first seen in Star Wars The Clone Wars) to get this or to another place or did he even find it at the shrine? Secondly, this mask who built it, how does it do what it do? There is a lot of mystery surrounding it, at the end of this mini-series it get destroyed, well we suppose it blows up with the ship but something that powerful could definitely survive an explosion and if there’s a mask like this there’s probably more than just one. Since we’re talking about the Sith, we learn more about the Sith Infiltrator first seen in Star Wars Episode I The Phantom Menace (then seen in Star Wars Darth Maul: Son of Dathomir). First, we know its name the Scimitar and that it is a very unique Sith ship that had a lot of owners including Darth Maul of course and Darth Sidious. I think giving us these information is hinting at more dark stuff for future stories.
Well, Lando is a character that I love and giving his own adventure, his own comics WOW, I definitely love this! While reading I could totally hear Billy Dee Williams’ doing Lando voice, I mean the writer of this series totally captured Lando’s personality and the artist doing the drawings captured the likeness of the character. For the fans of this character, it’s definitely a dream come true. We get to learn more about the smuggler side of Lando, the man who loves to play and who is a good manipulator and charming at the same time. Right from the beginning, we get a charming Lando who is trying to steal an object from an imperial officer and we see how he convinces her to let him go with this object. We also have a nice reference to Han with Lando saying the Millenium Falcon is not his own anymore meaning its Han’s now. With Lando also comes Lobot. In ESB, we thought that Lobot was just Lando’s right-hand following his orders but here we learn that it was more than that, they are best friends! Lobot has these implants the same as Tseebo from Star Wars Rebels. In Rebels we see that Tseebo is not himself anymore, the real him comes back from time to time but he’s mostly gone, the implants have taken control from him and in this comics Lobot is still himself, he has found a way for the implants not to have the control so we see another side of Lando & Lobot’s relationship, they are best friends. So we see a nice man not a cold without humanity like we have in ESB. This story is important for Lando and Lobot at the same time as the consequence of this story leads to how the two are in ESB, I’ll come back later to this, now I want to talk about the mission.
So this mission is a typical thief/smuggler mission as Lando is like Han, he has debts and to pay the bill well, he has to steal a ship that ends up being Palpatine’s personal ship. (Speaking of it, I love that we got to see Mas Amedda for a scene.) Lando is not alone for this job, he has Lobot with him and a little team made of Korin Pers an expert on antiquities, Pavol and Aleskin two lovers who are very badass fighter, they look like black panthers so I think it’s a good look that fits with who they are. I really love the style chosen to tell this job, it feels like Ocean’s Trilogy (you know the three movies with George Clooney, Matt Damon & Brad Pitt – Ocean’s Eleven, Ocean’s Twelve, Ocean’s Thirteen) so it is awesome! Obviously the job ends up being more difficult than expected and being a disaster without mentioning the discovery of Sith relics/artifacts. Chanath Cha is not part of the team but she is the one hunting them but ends up “helping” Lando as they are old friends. Lando’s bold choices lead to a disaster because with this job, he lost a lot. He lost his best friend because Lobot is wounded and getting into the bacta destabilized his senses letting the implants take control of him and in a way Lobot sacrifices himself for his best friend when he reactivates the pods of the ship. The man who was Lobot dies there and becomes Lobot the man controlled by the implants, the character we know in ESB. The end of this mini-series is very well written and there is a dramatic impact and tone with Lobot’s sacrifice and he had recorded with his implant a message for his best friend Lando and we hear this message. We did not know a lot about Lobot before but with just the first part of these comics, I really started to care for the friendship he had with Lando in this particular story. I think it shows how the artists behind this mini-series are amazing because they know how to make people care about Lobot and how to put drama in the story. Like I said before there is a message for Lando and this message really sets up to why him the smuggler ends up at the end of Cloud City. Lobot’s last wish was that Lando settles down somewhere and stops being this smuggler and it is Lando’s guilt that leads him to settle down on Cloud City. He realizes that it’s his fault, it’s his fault if he lost his best friend and so the only way for him to find peace in his mistake is to listen to his friend’s last wish.
9/10 To conclude, Star Wars: Lando is a powerful story with a lot of fun, action and drama. Lando being the main character of a mini-series of comics couldn’t be more awesome! We learn more about him, more about Lobot and more about the Sith. I feel like this story can act as a prequel of ESB for Lando’s story. These are definitely must-read comics and I hope we’ll get another Lando mini-series in the upcoming years because I loved this one!