****This article contains major spoilers for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker****
The Rise of Skywalker saw the return of Lando Calrissian to the Star Wars saga, and it was awesome to see Billy Dee Williams on screen again as the iconic character. He had an important role too, but it seems like something very significant might have been left out.
In The Rise of Skywalker Visual Dictionary, written by Pablo Hidalgo, we are told a major detail about Lando’s life: his daughter was kidnapped as an infant by the First Order.
The Visual Dictionary explains this:
“Like many of the generation who waged that conflict, Calrissian did not then go easily into a quiet retirement. When peace reigned, he attempted to start a family, but personal 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 at the old Alliance leadership.”
Perhaps even more interestingly, there’s a quote attributed to Lando in the book that certainly seems like it’s from the movie:
“The First Order went after us – leaders from the old wars. They took our kids.”
The way all of this is set up makes me think that this was supposed to be revealed by Lando during the film, but it was cut or changed. I’m not sure why it changed, but it’s very interesting. We also know the timeline for when this happened: 21 years before the Battle of Starkiller Base, Lando’s daughter was born, but just two years later she was kidnapped. Six years after her kidnapping, Lando accompanied Luke on the mission to Pasaana, where he found such peace that he decided to stay and settle down. He lived as the Hermit, living alone in the Forbidden Valley, not far from Lurch Canyon.
This is a tragic turn for Lando’s history, and I think that’s obviously something quite significant to remove from the film. But I wonder if it could help us make sense of an otherwise awkward scene at the end of the film. Lando talks to Jannah, who asks where the General is from. He responds, then asks Jannah where she’s from. When she says she doesn’t know, he says, “Well let’s find out.” Many people weren’t really sure what to make of this, and some wondered whether this might be a hint that they are related. It would absolutely fit, since we know Jannah was kidnapped as a young age by the First Order. Additionally, she would be the right age; curiously, Jannah is one of few main characters to not get a timeline of dates in this Visual Dictionary, but she is identified as being in her early 20s. Lando’s daughter would be about 22.
But adding to all of this even more is the fact that before the film came out, Making Star Wars’s Jason Ward – who was right on a ton of other things in The Rise of Skywalker – reported that Jannah was Lando’s daughter, but that it was played as a comedic and brisk moment in the film. Making an even stronger case is that every other detail in that article was in the film, with the only difference being a slightly different answer from Jannah in that final conversation (Ward reported she would say she’s from the same system as Lando).
So let’s put it this way: it seems very likely that Jannah was intended to be the daughter of Lando Calrissian in The Rise of Skywalker, but for some reason that was edited out, leaving us with that one strange conversation at the end instead. It’s too big of a thing to leave out if that was still the intention, I’d think, so I wonder if that’s because Lucasfilm wants to further explore their adventures through another means, such as a Disney+ series? Jennifer Heddle, the executive editor for Del Rey’s Star Wars books, did confirm that the revelation about Lando’s child being taken will still be in the novelization, so it sounds like Lucasfilm is sticking with this story.
All of this is very curious, but what we do know is that Lando’s backstory is filled with tragedy, as his daughter was kidnapped by the First Order. Additionally, I think the idea of the First Order specifically targeting the kids of Rebellion heroes is a really interesting storyline that I’d love to see more of. So far, we know that the son of Leia Organa and Han Solo, as well as the daughter of Lando Calrissian, were targeted by someone connected to this whole thing. I wonder how many others were too?