You Cast ‘Star Wars: Heir to the Empire’ Round Six: Lando Calrissian


Timothy Zahn’s Star Wars: Heir to the Empire was a blockbuster and boundary breaker: It broke out of the fan underground and onto the New York Times Bestseller list, broke down the boundaries between film and written word, proving succinctly that a story is never truly over as long as someone wants to hear more, and broke through the known limits of the Star Wars universe, exploring places that the original trilogy never did. Would we have had an Expanded Universe without Heir to the Empire? Probably not.

Heir to the Empire picks up five years after Return of the Jedi. The galaxy is struggling to heal the wounds of war after the defeat of Darth Vader and the Emperor. Princess Leia and Han Solo are married and expecting twins and Luke Skywalker is now the first in a long awaited new line of Jedi Knights.

But thousands of light-years away the last of the Emperor’s warlords-the brilliant and deadly Grand Admiral Thrawn-has taken command of the shattered Imperial fleet. He’s ready it for war and aimed it right at the heart of the fragile new republic.

Fans would love to see an Heir to the Empire movie, and we would too! To celebrate the 20th anniversary edition of Heir to the Empire, we’re going to indulge in a little game of what-if, and we’d like for you to play along. We thought it would be fun to try to cast each of the book’s major roles, and after a little email brainstorming, we came up with a list of likely candidates to portray the key characters. We’d like our readers to help narrow them down and cast the movie.

We’ll list a character each weekday and the five actors we think are right for the part. You simply vote for the actor you want to see win the role. Don’t like our choices? Cast a write-in vote using the embedded poll software! We’ll announce our final cast on September 20.

Oh, and we should mention that since it’s been decades since Return of the Jedi was filmed we’ll need to recast all of the characters, so we’ll be asking you to cast new actors in some of the saga’s most iconic roles. Controversial? Maybe. Fun to discuss? You bet!

Today’s character is Lando Calrissian.


Lando Calrissian: Although he double-crossed Han Solo at Bespin, scoundrel and entrepreneur Lando Calrissian later proved himself to be a valuable ally of the Rebellion, assisting with the Battle of Endor and eventually serving the New Republic.

Here are five actors we think might make a good Lando Calrissian. Click the links to view their IMDB profiles, and then vote for your choice:

Tim Meadows
Orlando Jones
Mos Def
Omar Epps
Chiwetel Ejiofor


Click here to vote for round seven: Grand Admiral Thrawn!

  • Space Girl

    I seriously can’t believe Tim Meadows is listed! Hahaha! I guess he’s there because he “The Ladies Man”….sigh….

  • Fanboy

    What about Will Smith?

  • Peter

    Chiwetel is a good pick. I think Lando was a little more serious than suave in the Thrawn trilogy, which makes Chi a good choice.

  • Jedimomma2007

    either or will smith. either would be a good choice

  • Jmatthews85

    Great actor, can be a lot of fun, can be very serious – you have to go with Denzel.

  • Anna

    What about Taye Diggs?

  • Ivan

    Aren’t the characters aging at roughly the same rate as the actors? Why would this be recast?

  • Fanboy

    Ivan, Heir to the Empire is set 5 years after Return of the Jedi. That film was made almost 30 years ago

  • DarthSlap

    I voted Jeffrey Wright who played Felix Leiter in Casino Royale and Quantum Of Solace

  • Gabe

    Jaimee foxx

  • Bridge

    Nah never Will Smith will be in any SW movies, he’ll ruin in it even faster then Jarjar Binks.

  • George

    Of these guys, I’m think the underrated Mos Def is the best option, although Ejiofor is awesome. Since we’re recasting, personally, I’d consider going with a different approach and going with Seth Green. However…

    Adrian Lester IS Lando Calrissian. If you’ve seen the first few seasons of HUSTLE, you know what I mean. If you haven’t seen HUSTLE, shame on you!

    Speaking of heist TV shows, Aldis Hodge from LEVERAGE would also be a good Lando. Heck, you could use pretty much the whole cast: Beth Riesgraf = Mara Jade, Tim Hutton = Thrawn, Christian Kane = Talon Karrde, Gina Bell = Mon Mothma.

  • David

    Aldis Hodge
    Aldis Hodge
    Aldis Hodge
    Aldis Hodge
    Aldis Hodge
    Aldis Hodge
    Aldis Hodge

    Mos Def? Not with that voice 🙁
    Tim Meadows? What? Run out of black actors you can name off the tops of your heads?
    Omar Epps? Here’s Omar acting happy 😐 Here’s Omar acting mad 😐 Here’s Omar acting Sad 😐 (get the picture?)

    Aldis Hodge IS Lando Calrissian!

  • Jeff

    Robert Downey Jr! (Tropic Thunder!)

  • Ann

    Mekhi Pfeiffer? Of course, there’s always Lawrence Fishburne.

  • Ann

    Oh, and Giancarlo Giannini from “Homicide” or Clarke Peters from “Treme”.

  • Sihaya

    Hodge is a little young, but considering how long it takes for a Star Wars movie to get made, I don’t think that’s an absolute disqualifier. Alright, I’ll write him in.

  • hanimal

    Chiwetel is perfect. Nuff said.

  • Chancey

    I think Terrence Howard could pull it off

  • Bilal Najib

    What we are talking about Lando chemistry with HAN and LEIA, it all depends upon who you choose as HAN and LEA then you find your Lando to match their chemistry. For me Will Smith is talented as an actor who has that humour and that seriousness as long he doesn’t extend in that screen to go J (MIB) rather than Lando. For me toughest one is HAN. I love that Maggie and she would be perfect as Leia, but to find some one opposite Maggie who can it be? who could be that Han Solo? mmmmmmmmmmmmmm

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