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DF Interview: Charles Soule brings the coolest cat in Star Wars to a new mini
By Byron Brewer
The smooth-talking scoundrel strikes back! Lando Calrissian – puffer pig collector, Cloud City administrator and Rebel hero – is set to star in his own limited series. Star Wars: Lando #1, from creators Charles Soule (Death of Wolverine, Inhuman, She-Hulk) and Alex Maleev (Daredevil, Spider-Woman, Moon Knight), hits stores in July, and finds Lando embarking on his greatest caper ever!
In Marvel’s Lando, developed closely with Lucasfilm, the titular character – in the days before he became a hero, but still with Lobot at his side -- looks to steal one of the galaxy’s most valuable ships. But, as usual, he may be in over his head.
To find out this and the answers to a thousand and one – well, at least eight – other questions, Dynamic Forces met with Charles Soule at the Mos Eisley Cantina to chat. Here is what the scribe told us.
Dynamic Forces: Charles, we are seeing quite the production of high concept, top quality comics in the Star Wars line from Marvel. Can you tell us how Lando was chosen as next in line?
Charles Soule: It was about picking the character who would give the best story, really. Lando Calrissian makes a huge impact in the Star Wars saga even with relatively scant screen time compared to some of the other characters. He’s awesome, but we don’t know all that much about him – and that’s a great starting point for a cool adventure.
DF: Few comic books are tied to a film star as Lando will be tied to Billy Dee Williams. Does that make it easier or more difficult to work with as a book, and why?
Charles Soule: Billy Dee Williams defined Lando in the same way as many of the other Star Wars actors did with their portrayals – it’s all but impossible now to think of anyone else playing the role. In some ways, that made my job easier. I didn’t have to build a character from scratch. On the other hand, I really wanted to give the comics version of Lando that same charm and smarm and pizzazz that Billy Dee gave to the film version. No one could compete with the real deal, of course, but we did our best. Alex Maleev draws a great likeness, for one thing, which really helps.
DF: We've all seen the films countless times. But Charles, give us your own perceptions of Lando Calrissian as a character.
Charles Soule: He’s smart, and the victim of bad luck that has led to some bad choices. I think of him as a gambler who’s chasing his losses – looking for that one big win that will put him back to level again, and then he’d just walk away. I firmly believe that Lando doesn’t want to be a scoundrel – he’s just sort of stuck – and his arc from Empire to Jedi bears that out.
DF: In that same vein, how is YOUR Lando different from other iterations, in your estimation as a writer?
Charles Soule: He’s got a history, and we get a sense of where he’s been and, more importantly, who he’s screwed over in his day. Lando’s the sort of guy who leaves wreckage in his way, but somehow manages to coast on his charm and smarts. Is it all an act? Maybe, maybe not… but it also probably doesn’t matter. He’s great. Very fun to write.
DF: What can you tell us about this miniseries' storyline ... other than it takes place long ago in a galaxy far, far away, that is? (lol)
Charles Soule: Lando puts a crew together to do a big job – to steal something. He gets in over his head very quickly, and craziness ensues. Sorry I can’t say more, but the twists are the fun!
DF: Tell us about the big-bads involved, if you can, in a non-spoilery way.
Charles Soule: The Empire is certainly involved, in a way I’m not sure folks will expect. We see some Royal Guards in action (the red guys with the awesome helmets), and there’s another new character named Chanath Cha who’s a big part of the mix. There’s a lot going on, just like every good Star Wars story.
DF: Why is Alex Maleev the right artist for this mini?
Charles Soule: Well, his Lando looks like Lando, for one thing! Beyond that (and I don’t want to put that aside – likenesses are crucial for a book like this), he’s also amazing at putting darkness and grit into his stories. Since this book is set in the original trilogy period (between A New Hope and Empire Strikes Back, to be specific), the universe should feel pretty banged up and lived in. Alex has been phenomenal at putting that sort of tone into the environments and characters. He’s great to work with.
DF: Any new characters along for the ride? Who?
Charles Soule: Oh, tons. Chanath Cha, as I mentioned, who is sort of a hunter/tracker character. Aleksin and Pavol. Sava Korin Pel. And some more familiar faces too, including the incredible Lobot. The first thing out of my mouth when I got the word that I’d be doing a Lando story was “Can I use Lobot?” Fortunately, I got a green light, and that implant-headed weirdo who we see for about ten seconds in all of the Star Wars saga now finds himself at the heart of the Lando story. Man, I’m having fun with this book.
Dynamic Forces would like to thank Charles Soule for taking time out of his busy schedule to answer our questions. Star Wars: Lando #1 hits stores July 1st!
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