This is a love letter to the good-guy cape. Lando Calrissian’s cape, specifically—because as far as I can tell/remember/imagine, he’s the only noble fellow in all the films to wear one.
I realize that I’m putting myself out on a limb here. I haven’t gone frame-by-frame searching for good-guy capes. But Lando’s is the only one that sticks in my mind. There are tons of cloaks, robes, shawls, hoods, coats, mantles, and pashminas to keep the shoulders of goodness warm, but no other capes.
I’m not quite sure what Leia wears on Endor, but it wraps around the front and attaches at the neck, so it’s no cape. I don’t count Bail Organa’s loopy thing either. Way too complicated. But for due diligence, let me know if I’m wrong about this, and I will humbly rework my thesis.
Back to Lando. The man loves a cape. And by all of Alderan’s ghosts, he wears the hell out of that thing.
Capes are traditionally associated with villains. It’s much less impressive when a bad guy throws one on. Like shoes or cufflinks, the villain cape is just an expected part of the ensemble. I’m not disparaging a beauty like Vader’s, but what’s harder to pull off? Black cape over black armor, or a baby blue cape with leather collar and shiny gold interior? Even a long time ago (1980?) in a galaxy far away, Lando was a stylistic genius.
He’s also an administrator. The cape lends the extra panache a Baron Administrator needs to schmooze gas miner union bosses and Exex jerk-faces. He probably wore that cape as part of his political campaign, and now the people expect him to wear it all the time.
I would vote for a guy in a cape. Well, I would vote for Lando. He puts my interests as a Cloud City citizen above the needs of some grimy rebel stowaways.
That’s just good leadership.
Location is also key. Could there be any better cape-wearing spot than Cloud City? You’re pretty much guaranteed constant drafts to billow your profile to regal proportions.
But Lando’s cape is at least as much about the man as it is about style. Because the guy is dedicated. He still wears it in the ship hanger when he takes over command of the Falcon for the Battle of Endor. It’s a new version, but still a cape, and still baby-blue.
The only times he goes without it are during Solo’s rescue from Jabba and while piloting the Falcon. I’m ok with this. A cape would only tangle things in those scenarios. Capes are for bureaucratic duties and drinking malt liquor at the Vapor Room with fetching tibanna gas traders.
And let’s not forget that this is a guy who flew the Millennium Falcon for years before Solo ever gambled his lucky ass into the pilot’s seat. It’s a resume that would inspire any guy to throw on the galaxy’s most daring fashion accessory.
Ok, so I’ve realized that this is really a love letter to Lando. I’m excited to see him in The Force Awakens no matter what he’s wearing.
But is it too much to hope that he’ll be rocking the baby blue?