Representation in movies matters, and while the Star Wars universe is looking less white and male these days, there is still the issue of diversity when it comes to sexuality and romantic orientation. The concept of pansexuality refers to a person who can be attracted to others regardless of biological sex or gender identity, and more and more people are identifying with it. In a universe with all sorts of crazy aliens, it would seem like that’s something that would be common in the Star Wars universe — and fans have noticed that Lando Calrissian flirts like he breathes. He seems to be flirty with Han and maybe with his droid a little too. The Huffington Post asked Solo co-writer Jonathan Kasdan whether Lando is pansexual, and Kasdan said he is.
“I would say yes,” Jonathan Kasdan emphatically said. “There’s a fluidity to Donald and Billy Dee’s [portrayal of Lando’s] sexuality. I mean, I would have loved to have gotten a more explicitly LGBT character into this movie. I think it’s time, certainly, for that, and I love the fluidity ― sort of the spectrum of sexuality that Donald appeals to and that droids are a part of. He doesn’t make any hard and fast rules. I think it’s fun. I don’t know where it will go.”
Lawrence Kasdan was a little more vague about where Lando falls. He was asked about how L3-37 seems to joke about Lando’s interactions with Han.
“That is her personality. Maybe it means something, maybe it doesn’t,” Lawrence Kasdan said.
As the Huffington Post points out, LGBTQ+ characters in Star Wars either exist off screen or buried so deep in subtext that it’s very easy to disregard if you’re not looking for it. Or, in the case of some, refusing to accept it. However, like we said, this is a world where humans and aliens interact on a regular basis, so maybe the rules of sexuality are different in a universe far, far away. Jonathan Kasdan mentioned that they allude to that early on in the film but don’t tackle the idea directly.
“There’s a line that [Jon Favreau’s character, Rio] has where he’s asking Han about the girl that he left behind, and he says, ‘Does she have big teeth?’” implying that such a feature would be appealing. “It’s a joke in the movie, but we did want to hit on this idea that people’s ideas of what they’re attracted to all over the galaxy are very, very different and not exactly as set as ours are,” he said.
One only needs to look at the #SWRepMatters hashtag to see that people talking about how important it is to see characters on screen that reflect who they are in real life. That’s not to say that someone can’t relate to a character of a different sex or gender or race, but it does make the connection to the character run a little deeper. It’s important to a lot of people, and it seems like Star Wars and Lucasfilm are taking baby steps in the right direction.
Summary: During an adventure into a dark criminal underworld, Han Solo meets his future copilot Chewbacca and encounters Lando Calrissian years before joining the Rebellion.
Solo: A Star Wars Story, directed by Ron Howard, stars Alden Ehrenreich, Emilia Clarke, Donald Glover, Woody Harrelson, and Thandie Newton. It will be released May 25th.