Details Revealed on What Happened to Lando Calrissian After RETURN OF THE JEDI

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I’m sure many of you have wondered what happened to Lando Calrissian after he blew up Death Star II in Return of the Jedi. Well, a new Star Wars novel called Aftermath: Empire’s End offers up some information on that. This is the final book in the Aftermath trilogy that offers up details on what happened between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens.

Before we get into some o the details in the book, here’s the synopsis for Aftermath: Empire’s End:

As the final showdown between the New Republic and the Empire draws near, all eyes turn to a once-isolated planet: Jakku.

The Battle of Endor shattered the Empire, scattering its remaining forces across the galaxy. But the months following the Rebellion’s victory have not been easy. The fledgling New Republic has suffered a devastating attack from the Imperial remnant, forcing the new democracy to escalate their hunt for the hidden enemy.

For her role in the deadly ambush, Grand Admiral Rae Sloane is the most wanted Imperial war criminal—and one-time rebel pilot Norra Wexley, back in service at Leia’s urgent request, is leading the hunt. But more than just loyalty to the New Republic drives Norra forward: Her husband was turned into a murderous pawn in Sloane’s assassination plot, and now she wants vengeance as much as justice.

But Sloane, too, is on a furious quest: pursuing the treacherous Gallius Rax to the barren planet Jakku. As the true mastermind behind the Empire’s devastating attack, Rax has led the Empire to its defining moment. The cunning strategist has gathered the powerful remnants of the Empire’s war machine, preparing to execute the late Emperor Palpatine’s final plan. As the Imperial fleet orbits Jakku, an armada of Republic fighters closes in to finish what began at Endor. Norra and her crew soar into the heart of an apocalyptic clash that will leave land and sky alike scorched. And the future of the galaxy will finally be decided.

Thanks to io9, we can also read a long excerpt from the book that reveals that Calrissian returns to Cloud City for the first time since he left with Princess Leia, Luke Skywalker, and Chewbacca to help rescue Han from Jabba the Hutt after he was frozen in carbonite. 

After Calrissian left, the Empire took control of the city and left it in shambles. Here’s what Calrissian finds when he returns:

“Lobot, we’re home.” Lando lifts a dubious eyebrow as he looks around, exasperated. “Guess the Empire didn’t keep up with house­keeping.”

This is the Casino level. Game machines line the smooth blue alac­tite floors far as the eye can see. Sabacc tables, too. And pazaak. And jubilee wheels. Along the far wall are banks of holoprojectors meant to show the latest swoop race down on the track-tubes piped through Bespin’s toxic Red Zone atmosphere. Once, this was a shining pillar of gambling excess: classy and bright with light coming in through win­dows looking out over the sun-kissed clouds. Now it’s wrecked. Trash drifts and tumbles. Machines have been turned over, their credits cut from inside like food from a beast’s belly. The windows are covered over with metal. The holoprojectors are dark. 

The book goes on to explain that Calrissian had to pick a side between the Rebellion and the Empire, and his choice obviously paid off. It goes on to talk about what he imagined life would be like after the battle of Endor, but reality turned out quite differently:

It paid off. The Empire is gone. And now he’s a hero of the Rebel­lion (and oh, you can be sure he used that to con more than his fair share of free drinks, not to mention the attention of beautiful admir­ers). But all he wants is his city back. After Endor, he thought he would just be able to sweep in here like a handsome king retaking his throne in the sky—but then that son-of-a-slug Governor Adelhard formed the Iron Blockade. He kept the people here trapped not only by a well-organized Imperial remnant, but also by a grand lie: that Palpatine was not dead. And Lando knows that old shriveled cenobite is dead—because he’s the one who took out the Death Star’s reactor core. And because Luke said the monster was dead. Can you believe it? Palpatine and Vader. Both gone. Two scourges, scoured from the galaxy.

Suddenly he had a second war to fight. Here he thought the Empire was done for and Cloud City was once again his. What an eager fool. Nothing’s ever that simple, is it? It took months and months. He had to stage an uprising. Had to interface with Lobot on the inside. Had to cash in favors with a handful of scoundrels—like Kars Tal-Korla, that pirate. All because the New Republic wouldn’t commit a military ac­tion to retaking the city. He respects it, he understands it, and Leia put it best when she said, “The Rebellion was easy, Lando. Governing’s harder.” 

There’s not much more information on that but I’m sure that we’ll learn more about how Calrissian’s work on Cloud City will tie into the big story or how it connects to the Battle of Jakku, but we’ll find out in the full book. You can read a lot more of the excerpt on io9, which also includes a little reference to Leia about to give birth to Ben Solo, who eventually turns to the dark side and becomes Kylo Ren. 

Like many of you, I’m a big fan of Lando Calrissian so it’s cool that we’ll finally get to learn about his place in the continuing Star Wars saga. Aftermath: Empire’s End is set to be released on February 21.

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