Billy Dee Williams is rumored to reprise Lando Calrissian in the upcoming Star Wars: Episode IX. The character, who was introduced in the original trilogy, has been conspicuously absent from the sequels thus far. Lando wasn't even mentioned by name in either The Force Awakens or The Last Jedi, which in retrospect makes some sense (there really wasn't a place for him in those films), but still begged the question of where he was during that time. Lando is certainly a significant enough figure in Star Wars lore that his fate could be addressed in the movies.
For those wishing for Williams to return in the Skywalker saga, hope was found when it was revealed the 81-year old actor is busy getting into shape via an intense training regimen. Of course, Williams could just be looking looking after his personal health, but with Episode IX beginning production in July, some saw this development as a sign he was coming back to a galaxy far, far away. As it turns out, that could be precisely the case.
According to Fantha Tracks (the site that previously reported on the Star Wars 9 working title), Williams is indeed going to play Lando in the sequel trilogy finale. They expect an official announcement to be made on this front soon, since director J.J. Abrams is rolling his cameras in the near future.
Should this come to pass, it'll be interesting to see how Lando is integrated into the narrative. In The Last Jedi, it was mentioned the Resistance has allies in the Outer Rim, which is an area of the galaxy a scoundrel like Calrissian would be known to frequent. Given Lando's relationship with Leia, it wouldn't be out of the question if he was one of those friends the General called upon at the end of Episode VIII, helping the Resistance boost their forces after they endured heavy losses. Regardless of how Lando comes back, this development would be very exciting for fans. After viewers enjoyed the younger Lando played by Donald Glover in Solo, it would be nice to catch up with Williams' version before the saga ends.
Bringing Williams into the fold would also allow Episode IX to feature a legacy character in a meaningful supporting role. Because of storytelling choices and real-life tragedy, Mark Hamill is the only member of the original big three who could be in the movie, and that would only be a cameo as a Force ghost. Originally, the plan was for Leia to be at the forefront, but perhaps Lando could fill a similar role as an experienced general who tries to guide the Resistance to victory. As a plus, he also has a history with Kylo Ren, who grew up knowing Calrissian as Uncle Lando.
Source: Fantha Tracks
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019