Billy Dee Williams might return as Lando Calrissian in Star Wars: Episode IX. The young version of Lando, played by Donald Glover, is taking the Star Wars fandom by storm in Solo: A Star Wars Story, so much so he might get his own spin-off movie. Yet, the older version of Lando, from a post Return of the Jedi timeline, has remained suspiciously absent.
Lando is the one key character from the original trilogy who has yet to appear in the Star Wars sequel trilogy. Although the new trilogy has cleaned the decks of the old cast killing off both Han Solo and Luke Skywalker, not to mention (sadly) being forced to write out Leia Organa due to Carrie Fisher's untimely passing, there hasn't even been a mention of Lando. There weren't any real plans for Lando to appear in The Last Jedi either. And yet, fans are speculating that things might finally change in the trilogy's conclusion.
The speculation that Lando might appear in Episode IX was sparked by the official Twitter account for MegaCon Orlando. Billy Dee Williams was one of several celebrities who appeared at the event. And, according to a recent tweet, although Williams just turned 81, he's never looked better. The actor is evidently training three times a week and has a whole new diet.
Fun Billy Dee Williams fact: Billy just had his 81st birthday. He’s training 3 times a week with a trainer and has a whole new diet.— MegaCon Orlando (@MegaConOrlando) May 25, 2018
Out of context, this might not seem like a huge news, but its implications certainly could be. Before Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill were confirmed to appear in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the same rumors followed them. They had almost identical training schedules. Billy Dee Williams could just be like any other 80-year-old who wants to stay in better shape. However, the chances are pretty good that his rather aggressive training regimen is setting the stage for Lando's live-action return.
Billy Dee Williams hasn't really stepped away from his Star Wars character. Most of Williams' recent work as been as a voice actor and usually playing Lando Calrissian. Williams voiced Lando in everything from the controversial Star Wars: Battlefront II to random episodes of Robot Chicken. So, the lack of Lando in the new trilogy has nothing to do with Williams not wanting to reprise the role. If Willaims does return in live-action as Lando, Star Wars: Episode IX would be the best time to do it.
There's every chance that, despite his death in Last Jedi, Mark Hamill will be back as Luke Skywalker in Episode IX. The actor and character can easily return as a Force Ghost, but things aren't that simple with Leia and Han. Besides Hamill, no else is able to return as easily as Billy Dee Williams. Him appearing as Lando could be that representation of the old guard that might be necessary in Episode IX. He could serve the vital purpose of truly passing the torch to the new generation, now that Leia can no longer do it on-screen.
Of course, Star Wars would have to do a little bit of exposition to explain why Lando has suddenly appeared, especially after the ending of Last Jedi where the Resistance sends out a distress call to all their allies and no one, not even Lando, shows up. However, no matter why (or even if) Lando shows up in Star Wars: Episode IX, fans will undoubtedly be pleased to see him again.
Source: MegaCon Orlando
- Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) release date: May 25, 2018
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: Episode IX (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019