A new thing screenwriters and directors like to do these days when asked about their possibly non-heterosexual characters is to say that, yes, so-and-so is a member of the LGBTQ community, but never actually show that on screen. The latest character to join that growing list of supposedly queer characters who’s sexuality is mere subtext is Star Wars‘ Lando Calrissian.

In the upcoming Solo: A Star Wars Story, Donald Glover portrays the younger version of the suave, cape-donning gambler originally played by Billy Dee Williams. Some critics have drawn attention to some supposedly flirtatious banter between Glover’s Lando and Alden Ehrenreich‘s Han Solo in the movie, some of which Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s droid teases Lando about in a TV spot. So could that mean Lando is pansexual?

When HuffPost asked Solo screenwriters Lawrence Kasdan and Jonathan Kasdan if the character is pansexual, the latter replied, “I would say yes.” He went on to emphasize the fluidity of both actors’ portrayals of Lando, adding how he would’ve liked to make the young character’s non-hetero sexuality more explicit in the film:

There’s a fluidity to Donald and Billy Dee’s [portrayal of Lando’s] sexuality. I mean, I would have loved to have gotten a more explicitly LGBT character into this movie. I think it’s time, certainly, for that, and I love the fluidity – sort of the spectrum of sexuality that Donald appeals to and that droids are a part of. […]

He doesn’t make any hard and fast rules. I think it’s fun. I don’t know where it will go.

Hm, this sounds a lot like the response (excuse?) we’ve heard from writers and directors again and again, where they’re characters’ queerness is only referenced in the press tour and not in the actual movies. The most recent example is Tessa Thompson‘s Valkyrie, who’s supposedly bisexual even though Thor: Ragnarok makes no mention of it in the film – there is a deleted scene that Thompson said alluded to this, but only implicitly. And even when a queer character has been shown in a franchise film, it’s often reduced to blink-and-you’ll-miss-’em references, like with Star Trek Beyond’s Sulu or the new Yellow Power Ranger.

It sure sounds like Lucasfilm is trying to spin Lando’s “flirty” behavior towards Han into their own “exclusively gay“ moment. I haven’t seen the film yet, but ScreenCrush’s Matt Singer says he spotted zero evidence of a pansexual Lando in the movie. Dear studios: please stop pretending your characters are LGBTQ in interviews just to get bonus points. Show us on screen, or else it doesn’t really matter.

Solo: A Star Wars Story hits theaters May 25.

Gallery – Star Wars Easter Eggs in Other Movies and TV Shows:

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