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The Rise of Skywalker's Visual Dictionary adds intriguing new context to Lando's final scene
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is a film absolutely packed with plot, from the resurrected Emperor Palpatine's grand plan to Rey's ancestry to whatever Poe Dameron might have been up to before his time in the Resistance. That means that for every question about the sequel trilogy that the film has time to answer, there's another dangling bit of story just waiting for someone else to pick up somewhere down the line. Thanks to the film's companion Visual Dictionary, we now know that one of those bits of story is an intriguing setup for Lando Calrissian's future in the galaxy.
**Spoiler Warning: There are spoilers for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker below.**
The Rise of Skywalker introduces Jannah, a young warrior played by Naomi Ackie who forms a bond with Finn when they learn that they share a nearly identical past. Like Finn, Jannah was also a First Order stormtrooper, abducted from her family as a child and brainwashed, until the day she refused to fire on innocent people and defected along with a few comrades.
Jannah's final scene in the film comes just after the Battle of Exegol, as the Resistance celebrates back at its base. The young fighter sits down next to Lando Calrissian and asks him where he's from. Lando reluctantly replies, then turns to look at her. In that moment, something intriguing passes across Lando's face as he asks Jannah where she's from. When Jannah replies that she doesn't know, Lando smiles and says, "Let's find out." The sudden emotional reversal of the scene, as Lando shifts from someone who doesn't want to talk to someone who's very interested in who Jannah is, has puzzled some fans, and even led others to wonder if Lando might be hitting on his new young friend.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker - The Visual Dictionary reveals that there's actually a much more emotional reason why Lando is interested in Jannah. Like many former members of the Rebel Alliance, after the Empire was defeated and the New Republic restored peace to the galaxy, he tried to settle down and start a family. Those efforts produced a daughter who was born nine years after the Battle of Endor (21 years before the events of The Force Awakens), only to be kidnapped two years later. Lando later learned that the First Order was behind his daughter's abduction, as part of a calculated plan to exact vengeance on "leaders from the old wars."
After his daughter went missing, Lando sought some sense of belonging again, and tried to help Luke Skywalker in his hunt for old Sith artifacts on Pasaana. When Luke moved on from that planet, Lando stayed, and made himself a new home among the Aki-Aki people.
So, armed with this context, it seems quite possible that when Lando looked at Jannah, he saw something of his long-lost daughter in her, and wanted to help solve the mystery of who she was. Even if she doesn't turn out to be his daughter, it could launch a new series of adventures for the smoothest man in the galaxy, as he helps make things right by returning First Order abductees to their true homes. Jannah might not be his daughter, but if they continued down that path together it might just bring him a little more peace.
This added context also adds more human stakes to something Zorii Bliss said earlier in the film: that the First Order had already cleared all the kids out of Kijimi as part of their campaign to further expand their ranks. There are consequences to this war that extend far beyond Exegol, and even if the Skywalker Saga is over, rebuilding the galaxy is not. It'll be interesting to see what else we learn about the nature of the galaxy after The Rise of Skywalker in the coming years through novels, comics, and more.
Speaking of novels, it seems we can probably expect a little more light shed on this moment in the upcoming Rise of Skywalker novelization. On December 20, when The Rise of Skywalker had just hit theaters, Jennifer Heddle, executive editor for Star Wars books, responded to a complaint about the film specifically centered on Lando's somewhat jarring reaction to Jannah. In response to the news that Lando's backstory was in The Visual Dictionary and thus gave the scene more context, Heddle said that Lando's backstory involving his missing daughter will indeed be picked up in the novel.
So, while it can be somewhat frustrating to have to take in this kind of storytelling piecemeal, that's just one of the drawbacks to a film that's meant to be as conclusive as The Rise of Skywalker. There's just so much going on that fans are going to have to keep digging in other media to get every last piece of the puzzle. At least now, thanks to this news, we know where to look.