Warning: Contains SPOILERS for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker’s upcoming novelization includes a deleted Lando subplot. Billy Dee Williams finally got to reprise his beloved role as Lando Calrissian (in live-action) in the Skywalker saga finale, thirty-six years after his last appearance in Return of the Jedi. The character played a key part in the film, helping Rey, Finn, and Poe on the planet Pasaana and later coming to the rescue during the Resistance’s battle with the Final Order on Exegol. However, there’s more to Lando’s story than the movie included.

This was actually alluded to in The Rise of Skywalker’s theatrical cut. Near the end of the film, after the First/Final Order has been defeated, there’s a scene at the Resistance’s base where Lando asks the character Jannah (Naomi Ackie) where she’s from. Jannah, who was kidnapped from her family as a child and forced to become a stormtrooper for the First Order (before she defected), admits she doesn’t know, to which Lando suggests they find out. Many people have speculated this is a hint Jannah is really Lando’s daughter, and the movie’s novelization makes this subplot canon.

According to EW, The Rise of Skywalker Visual Dictionary reveals Lando tried to start a family after the Empire was defeated, but his daughter was kidnapped as an infant by the First Order (who were specifically targeting leaders from the Rebel Alliance). On Twitter, Star Wars books Executive Editor Jennifer Heddle confirmed The Rise of Skywalker novelization includes this key setup for the final scene between Lando and Jannah in the movie (which didn’t make the theatrical cut). She later added it’s considered canon, along with everything else featured in the novelization.

Fans have been speculating Jannah is Lando’s daughter pretty much ever since Ackie was cast in The Rise of Skywalker. The idea of Lando having a daughter at all has already been set up by the Star Wars books. Specifically, Daniel José Older’s 2018 Star Wars novel, Last Shot, tells the story of how Lando fell in love with an old flame, Kasha Bateen, and decide to settle down and start a family of his own, three years after the events of Return of the Jedi. That means Lando’s daughter would be about Jannah’s age by the time The Rise of Skywalker picks up. It seems the film’s upcoming novelization only provides further proof supporting this idea.

Story-wise, Lando and Jannah’s deleted subplot fits with The Rise of Skywalker’s larger themes about identity, destiny, and family legacy. It also would’ve provided some much-needed context for that final scene between the two characters. As some have pointed out, it almost seems like Lando is weirdly hitting on the way-younger Jannah in the film without it. To be fair, The Rise of Skywalker is already over-stuffed with plot details as is, so there’s not much (if any) room for additional story threads. Still, it’s good to know this key element will be made clearer by the novelization.

Source: EW, Jennifer Heddle/Twitter