Author L. Neil Smith, who wrote the Lando Calrissian novel trilogy, The Lando Calrissian Adventures, back in 1983, had some sharp words for Disney and Lucasfilm.
The Lando Calrissian Adventures chronicle Calrissian’s smuggling days before the original Star Wars trilogy.
The first book titled, Lando Calrissian and the Mindharp of Sharu begins after Lando wins the Millennium Falcon and a robot in a game of sabacc.
In order to claim the robot he has to travel to the planet of Rafa IV where he is arrested and then tasked with retrieving the legendary Mindharp that just so happens to be located within a multidimensional pyramid that has mind-altering properties.
In the second book, Lando Calrissian and the Flamewind of Oseon, Lando is accompanied by his droid Vuffi Raa and sets out to beome an honest freighter captain. However, after some bad luck he quickly returns to his smuggling ways.
He eventually sets out to the planet of Oseon after being invited to a game of sabacc. However, upon arriving on the planet he is arrested again. This time for possessing weapon.
In order to avoid an execution he takes on a smuggling contract.
The third and final novel of the trilogy, Lando Calrissian and the Starcave of ThonBoka, takes place a year after Lando and Vuffi Raa left the planet of Osean.
While traveling through space they encounter a befriend a vacuum-breathing creature called Lehesu, a native of the ThonBoka nebula.
After befriending Lehesu, the ThonBoka nebula comes under attack from the Imperial Centrality Navy. Lando and Raa come to the aid of their friend with the smooth-talking smuggler conning his way through an Imperial blockade. Eventually a battle breaks out involving Lehesu, Lando, Vuffi, and the Imperial Navy.
All three of the books would eventually be collected into The Lando Calrissian Adventures.
In an interview with Star Wars Interviews back in January, Smith is asked what he thought of his Lando trilogy becoming part of Legends and being deemed non-canon.
Smith responded, “Vuffi and I didn’t know that and we don’t give a rat’s ass.”
“Considerations like that are decided by literary history, not by faceless, unscrupulous, dull-witted corporate managers,” he added.
Smith then stated, “I was the world’s greatest fan of Walter Elias Disney himself, growing up and have nothing but uttermost contempt for his profoundly unworthy successors.”
Smith would also be asked how he looks back on his Star Wars work. He answered, “That’s very difficult to answer both truthfully and politely. Mixed feelings.”
He continued, “I wrote those three little books under terrible conditions, wasn’t paid very well for them, wound up firing an agent over them, and had to threaten to sue before I got paid royalties.”
He then added, “On the other hand, thousands of individuals apparently love those three little books, I hear from them all the time, and I’m more grateful and appreciative about that than I can adequately express.”
Smith also explained that he wasn’t allowed to use any characters or settings from the movies in the trilogy.
He explained, “I was allowed to use no characters or settings from the movie. I insisted on the Falcon or I wouldn’t do the job.”
He added, “I originally planned for my villain Rokur Gepta to be a dark Lord of Sith but that wasn’t allowed. Any animal species I mentioned, like Banthas, were to be capitalized; any I invented were to be lower case. Very petty, I thought.”
As for his favorite character that he created, he made no bones about it that it was Vuffi Raa. He explained, “To ask that question is to answer it. I needed Vuffi Raa as a foil to Lando’s wit, sort of a Watson to his Holmes.”
“I miss him very much, even today, but can’t write about him because he is the intellectual property of LucasFilm. I deeply respect intellectual property rights and have abided by them,” he stated.
Smith’s Lando trilogy would be referenced in Solo: A Star Wars Story.
While Han Solo and Chewbacca are on Kessel, Donald Glover’s Lando Calrissian is documenting the Calrissian Chronicles. In Chapter 5 he mentions the Sharu. However, instead of Vuffi, he references L3-37.
Glover’s Calrissian states, “The Calrissian Chronicles Chapter 5 continued. Personally, I wasn’t all that impressed with the Sharu. No sense of humor or style. None the less, there L3 and I were deep in their sacred temple. And that’s when we saw it…”
What do you make of Smith’s comments regarding The Walt Disney Company and Walt Disney’s successors?