Ahead of his appearance on Monday’s Star Wars Rebels, I take a look at the argument of what the former Baron Administrator of Cloud City is.
This is has been a hotly debated topic, probably since The Empire Strikes Back came out in theatres in 1980. There are two types of people who occupy Camp Lando. Some people see him as a hero, because he put Cloud City ahead of Han, Leia, Chewie, and the droids. However, the other side of the fence is that Han, and Luke for that matter, got screwed by an asshole.
Let’s take a look at what Lando did, just to clarify. When trying to evade Vader and his forces, Han Solo, Leia, Chewie, and the droids tried to take refuge in Cloud City. Lando takes them in, and treats them like VIPs, until he opens the dining room door to this:
That’s right, Lando gifted the heroes right to Vader and Boba Fett. This sets off a chain of events that ends with Han in Carbonite, C3PO was in pieces, and Luke’s hand is sitting in a trash pile somewhere in the bowels of Cloud City. There wasn’t even a heads up to the group. Would a “Yo, the Empire’s here, Han. You gots to go!” We did get probably one of the best moments in cinematic history, so there’s a positive to Lando’s actions, right?
Now, here’s the quandary. Is Lando really a despicable person for selling out Han and Leia? I mean, he did come around and ultimately saved them from Jabba’s clutches in Return of the Jedi.
But did that chain of events have to happen? Let’s take Luke out of this now because ever since George Lucas changed the story from the story of Luke, to the Story of Anakin, Luke stood no chance against him. All of the training in the world couldn’t save Luke from the laser of Vader’s Lightsaber. However, Han and Leia, were put in their circumstances because of this transgression.
At the end of the day, Lando was a leader in Cloud City. The safety of his citizens should always come to the forefront. Now, you can say that Vader altered the deal, so he could be to blame. Well, if you want to go out on a stretch, maybe. Lando ultimately helps Leia and company escape, but the betrayal didn’t heal, because Han was a frozen block on his way to Jabba.
I think it’s about to check out the reasons why people think the way they do about the scoundrel supreme. Both sides really have a great argument. Lando could be considered a redeemed hero, only because he realized he screwed up horribly. He came around, gave up his title as Baron Administrator, and helped Luke save Han from the slug tail of Jabba the Hutt. Lando also had a responsibility to his people. He needed to keep them safe. So, he had to hand over Han and Leia. On top of that, Han and Lando weren’t exactly the best of friends, because of Solo’s penchant for ripping people off. Not to mention Han and Leia brought the empire to what was supposed to be a neutral place. When Vader staged a coup to take over Cloud City (I use coup lightly, because he just straight walked in and took it over), Lando was free to help Leia and Chewie get out of town.
I asked this before though. Did things have to go down like they did? Even though Lando and Solo had a falling out, they were supposed to be friends. Having a falling out does not mean that you sell out your friends to Vader. Baron Administrator, or not, friends help each other. You know, after trying to write this article, making this argument is pretty damn hard.
I used to be in the camp of Lando being an asshole for what he did to Han. But that’s just the emotional response to what he did. Once you take out emotions, Lando really didn’t have a foot to stand on when it came to Han. He became a respectable leader, who ultimately led his citizens to safety by evacuating Cloud City, and then taking care of his personal matters. Lando is one one of the most underrated characters in the Star Wars universe, and he gets a terrible rap because of the actions he takes. Remember, kids, that any good leader will make the hard choices when they have to.