"He's a card player, gambler, scoundrel. You'd like him."
―Han Solo, to Leia Organa
This month we wanted to try something a little different with our very special release of Bespin: The City in the Clouds. We thought why not shine the spotlight up high and really delve into the clouds above in anticipation for this big moment for the galaxy and learn a little of what's waiting for us on day 1?
In this special edition of our Spotlight series, we're talking to the Administrator of Cloud City himself, Lando Calrissian. Lando has been watching the development work unfold over these past few years and as happy as we are to finally be on the cusp of exploring Cloud City ourselves, surely there's a few things he can share or enlighten us with that could help us get acclimated to this new experience (or even just make us more excited, either is fine!).
Let's get started:
We're really almost there! Has it sunk in yet? How much does opening up a place like Cloud City to the rest of the galaxy take a toll on your nerves as we get mere days closer to cutting the ribbon?
"Well now, I don't want to give TOO much away about what I'm feeling about that, but I've been in quite a few high stakes situations where keeping your nerves in check is literally the difference between making it out of the room in one piece or not. There's definitely a feeling of pride. Cloud City has been constant work and will continue to be even after that ribbon is cut, but there's not enough to be said about the crew we have seeing it all come together like it has. I'm not sure if it'll sink in fully though until we see those first few travelers stumbling out of the cantina with empty bottles and empty credit chips."
On that point about "constant work" that will continue even after the ribbon is cut. Can you elaborate on that for us at all?
"Cloud City never sleeps. Sure it might nod off here and there, but this city has a pulse like no other and we can't wait for the locals to give these incoming travelers a proper welcome. Regardless of any potential trips or tumbles along the way, we'll be ready to bounce back. It's a big task ahead of us and lots of logistics to work out, but we feel ready to play our hand. The real work begins once our new friends arrive, but our crew from Community Support will be standing by ready to assist."
What sort of trips and tumbles do you expect early on?
"You have to be prepared for anything and when it comes to an undertaking like we have ahead. You want to make sure to stay on your toes and be ready to jump into any scenario ready to help at a moment's notice. One piece of advice I would give to travelers coming to Bespin for the first time is just be patient if you do run into any problems. The many teams and crews we've had working throughout the various processes, there could be questions early on that we'll need some extra time to get answers for. It's going to be a lot to adjust and adapt to together, but we're excited for it!"
One thing that a lot of the galaxy inhabitants want to know is how soon they can pack their bags and move once Bespin is open for business / WHEN CAN WE GET OUR APARTMENTS?
"Oh yeah, I've definitely been made aware of how eager people are to live in the clouds, and I can't say I blame them! I can tell you here right now though, apartments will NOT be a day 1 feature. I've been in the ear of the foreman every day to see how close we are to having our suites ready, but we're still fumigating the place of space slugs and other bugs before we can safely hand out key cards to future residents. Don't worry though, I'll make sure we have something in writing soon on the apartments."
It sounds like there could be even more to come with Bespin later on than just new housing. Was that always the plan?
"In a perfect galaxy, I think most would be okay with having it all and everything right now, but we feel like the way things are heading, we're moving in a pretty sensible direction. Once Cloud City formally opens its doors, we want our visitors to take all the time they need to explore, get familiar, and enjoy all the fun you can have during those first few weeks in a new and exciting place. As I mentioned earlier, the work continues and that definitely applies to each of our teams working together. There's still a lot of growing room for Bespin."
It looks like there might be a little something for everybody whether it be within the city itself or the skies around Cloud City. Are you looking forward to the air traffic picking up again when pilots are given clearance?
"Of course! You know, as a pilot myself who's already covered every region of the sky here, I can tell you we look forward to being another welcoming place for experienced pilots to stretch their wings. I will say though. The skies as vibrant and vast as they are, they aren't for the faint of heart. The danger is as real as the beauty when it comes to our Upper Atmosphere."
Will it be pretty straightforward navigating to Bespin for the first time? The sheer size of Cloud City itself from what we’ve seen looks pretty daunting (in the best of ways of course) for a tourist to see all of it.
"For those that can handle a blaster, you'll definitely find adventure will bring you to the clouds, but otherwise come on over anytime. I will say, there is a potential for some delays on travelers coming into Cloud City, but for those who manage to get in, don't hesitate to ask our support representatives for directions. If you do find yourself near the Administrator's office, don't hesitate to come see me and come pose for a picture! There's a lot to explore here in Cloud City, so much you probably won't see it all in one day, but we certainly encourage you to enjoy the sights and take your time soaking in the experience."
You mentioned some "potential" delays for incoming travelers. Is there anything to worry about?
"Not at all. We understand a lot of travelers are going to be excited to come visit us when we open the doors and we're excited ourselves of course. We plan on keeping it a smooth experience here in Cloud City and while it sure will be busy, we will definitely ask for people who might find themselves awaiting clearance to enter Cloud City to be patient."
Is there anything you can tell us about Lord Vader? We heard rumors about some of his involvements in Cloud City.
"Hey hey hey now look, I don't know anything about any rumors involving Lord Vader. I'm just here to talk about this incredible city, not speculate on Imperial business. You want to know about Imperial business, ask the Empire."
Well what is it we've been hearing about hidden underground hangouts in the the depths of Cloud City? C'mon, Lando... You know we've heard the stories about you too. Give us something.
"I'm the Administrator of Cloud City here on Bespin. Nothing more, nothing less. Everyone in the galaxy has a history. I don't have any idea what you're talking about.."
Okay, okay! Sorry! Moving on.. SO it's really shaping up to be a true experience for almost everyone in the galaxy. Cloud City has a little something for everyone doesn't it?
"We're definitely planning to check as many of the boxes as we can. Sure, we definitely have this wonderful world class city for travelers to come and explore,but the influence of Cloud City will definitely make its mark on the entire galaxy in time as we keep progressing. We're feeling pretty confident that people will welcome us back to the galaxy with open arms."
Is there anymore we can expect to see/hear or otherwise learn between now and the much anticipated ribbon cutting?
"Of course. I can't show my hand now, but stay tuned and expect to see some new things very soon.. It's almost the end of the week, right? Maybe that's a good time for the fun to pick up. You never know.."
Thank you very much for answering a few of our questions!
(Special thanks to DerHutmacher (Iverson) for providing the screenshots)