Donald Glover has some big shoes to fill in Solo: A Star Wars Story.
The actor and musician, 34, takes on the iconic role of Lando Calrissian, the galaxy’s suave smuggler in the Star Wars prequel.
As he reveals to PEOPLE in the special issue Star Wars: The Secrets of Solo (on newsstands now), Glover met with the actor who originated the role, Billy Dee Williams, shortly after signing onto the film.
“He’s like, ‘Just be charming,'” recalls Glover. “I took what he said… and amped it up.”
The Atlanta show-runner is a big fan of the franchise dating back to the first film, A New Hope. “My dad took me out of school for Episode 1,” he says. “We all watched it as a family — that was a big deal.”
The Ron Howard-directed adventure stars Alden Ehrenreich, who takes on the title role originated by Harrison Ford in 1977’s Star Wars: A New Hope. The origin story costars Emilia Clarke and Woody Harrelson.
Solo: A Star Wars Story flies into theaters May 25.