The original Star Wars movie was an immediate hit for a multitude of reasons, not the least of which being the charismatic lead characters, including Harrison Ford's Han Solo. This factor was turned up to 11 in The Empire Strikes Back with the addition of professional cool guy Billy Dee Williams as the cape-wearing smooth talker, Lando Calrissian. Lando would go from being an apparent Benedict Arnold in Empire Strikes Back to General and Rebel Alliance hero in Return of the Jedi after flying the Millennium Falcon in the Battle of Endor.
Needless to say, many fans were disappointed when Williams did not return with the rest of the original trilogy cast for The Force Awakens. To be fair, there's hardly any room for the former Baron Administrator of Cloud City in Episode VII's plot, but many fans are still hopeful to see him eventually return to the franchise.
Even though Williams isn't confirmed to return any time soon, the previous owner of the Millennium Falcon will be on the big screen in 2018 when Donald Glover plays the character for the Han Solo spinoff movie. Glover recently met with Williams for lunch in preparation for the start of shooting. Following up with the 79-year-old former Colt 45 spokesman, THR interviewed Williams after his meeting with Glover and asked if he was interested in returning to a galaxy far, far away:
I don’t know. It depends if they ask me to. I wouldn’t mind doing it. ... If they asked me, I wouldn’t say no.
Seeing such a willingness to return to the franchise obviously raises questions about his potential involvement with Episode VIII: The Last Jedi, in addition to the Han Solo movie. If he does have a part in Episode VIII, he's kept it quiet, since it's already been shot. But, with the upcoming Star Wars novel Aftermath: Empire's End set to tell more of Lando's story after Return of the Jedi, there could definitely be room for him to make an appearance, especially with rumors that Episode VIII will feature a casino.
If he isn't already involved, it sounds like it's only because Lucasfilm hasn't asked him yet. He has returned for a few episodes of Star Wars Rebels, so he's not entirely uninvolved, but hopefully Lucasfilm can find a way to incorporate an older Lando Calrissian into a new movie, even if it's only for a small part, just so fans can see his dashing smile on the big screen one more time.
- Star Wars 8/Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) release date: Dec 15, 2017
- Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) release date: May 25, 2018
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: Episode IX (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019