GBN Daily Drop: The Empire Strikes “Black” with Lando Calrissian 42 Years Ago, Making Sci-Fi Film History (LISTEN)

by Lori Lakin Hutcherson (@lakinhutcherson)

History was made 42 years ago in May 1980 when the burgeoning Star Wars franchise added the character of Lando Calrissian to its universe played by 1970s heartthrob Billy Dee Williams.

To read about it and see links to sources, read on. To hear about it, press PLAY:

[You can follow or subscribe to the Good Black News Daily Drop Podcast through Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, or create your own RSS Feed. Or just check it out here on the main website. Full transcript below]:

Hey, this is Lori Lakin Hutcherson, founder and editor in chief of, here to share with you a daily drop of Good Black News for Wednesday, May 4th, 2022, based on the “A Year of Good Black News Page-A-Day Calendar” published by Workman Publishing.

[Excerpt from “Star Wars Main Theme”]

The Force was in full effect in May 1980 when Star Wars sequel The Empire Strikes Back introduced intergalactic charmer and scoundrel Lando Calrissian to the franchise.

Played by 1970s heartthrob Billy Dee Williams, Lando was the second Black character to have a significant and recurring role in popular science fiction television or film. (Nichelle NicholsLieutenant Uhura on the original Star Trek TV show was the first.)

The Star Wars universe later added the featured characters of Jedi Master Mace Windu played by Samuel L. Jackson in its prequel trilogy, John Boyega as Finn in The Force Awakens and Forest Whitaker as Saw Gerrera in Rogue One.

And from the beginning, present in voice if not body, has been James Earl Jones as Darth Vader.

To learn about even more Black representation in Star Wars, check out the links to sources provided in today’s show notes and in the episode’s full transcript posted on

This has been a daily drop of Good Black News, written, produced and hosted by me, Lori Lakin Hutcherson.

Intro and outro beats provided by and produced by White Hot.

Excerpts from the Star Wars theme by John Williams included under Fair Use.

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