In this unfolding saga of Star Wars Episode VII news, most of the headlines have been focused on issues like Luke, Leia and Han Solo returning to the franchise, or what kind of spinoff films we'll see down the line. However, we know what hardcore Star Wars fans have been thinking all along: What's up with Lando Calrissian?
With the recent word that original franchise stars Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford are all set to make a (at least cameo) return in Episode VII, there have been rumblings about whether actor Billy Dee Williams might also make an appearance, as an older and wiser version of Lando the Baron Administrator from Cloud City. Today we have word from the actor himself on the matter.
Film Buff had a chance to speak with Billy Dee at the Monster Mania convention (of all places), where the actor confirmed that, "he has been asked, but hasn't decided if he is going to do it or not yet." BDW has certainly kept the character alive over the years, lending his voice to various Star Wars-inspired TV shows and video games; he was even set to return in the animated comedy Star Wars: Detours, which has since been put on hold as Disney re-organizes the animated portion of its LucasFilm acquisition.
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Billy Dee Williams is just one of those guys who never loses his iconic swagger. Whether pushing some Colt 45 on the masses, doing cameos on shows like Modern Family or blazing trails as a black Harvey Dent, BDW is just one of those three-name stars people like enjoy (see also: Neil Patrick Harris). Lando Calrissian has similarly become a pop-culture icon, thanks to people like Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane who has (either directly or indirectly) referenced the character in his animated works.
Star Wars fans woud on doubt like to see an appearance by Lando - not so long that it wears out its welcome, mind you - just long enough for us to feel the magic again. A lot of people point to the dark ending, the Han Solo/Leia romance or the Luke/Vader family drama as the reason Empire Strikes Back has become such a classic; but you an I know it was really the soul power of Billy Dee Williams!
Want to see Lando Calrissian return (at least for a cameo) in Episode VII?
Star Wars Episode VII will be in theaters in 2015.