Billy Dee Williams will be returning to the Star Wars universe to once again play Lando Calrissian.
The news of the actor returning for Episode IX of the franchise comes after months of rumors and chatter. Fans got suspicious when Williams bailed on a science fiction and popular culture convention explaining that he had a conflict with a movie shooting schedule. Suspicions were justified when sources confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter that Williams would be in the latest Star Wars installment.
This will be the first time Billy Dee Williams will be in the galaxy far, far away since the early 1980s. Williams made his debut as the smooth-talking galactic smuggler in Empire Strikes Back nearly four decades ago. But don’t call it a comeback because while Williams may have not been involved since 1983’s Return of the Jedi, Donald Glover has been keeping the legacy alive by portraying a younger version of Lando for the 2018 prequel Solo: A Star Wars Story.
What role Lando will play in the film remains to be seen. However, with the on-screen deaths of Harrison Ford’s Han in The Force Awakens and Mark Hamill’s Luke in The Last Jedi, as well as the tragic loss of Carrie Fisher, it’s possible that Calrissian would serve as a mentor for the young heroes, as one of the few surviving members of the original trilogy’s central cast by the time of the ninth episode.
Star Wars: Episode IX premieres on Dec. 20th, 2019.