'Star Wars: Episode IX' is finally bringing back OG star Billy Dee Williams as Lando Calrissian
The upcoming Episode IX, directed and co-written by JJ Abrams, would have the 81-year-old actor return as the iconic sci-fi character after 1983’s 'Return of the Jedi'.
Earlier this year Ron Howard-directed 'Solo: A Star Wars Story' saw multi-talented actor Donald Glover slip into the shoes of one of the most popular characters in the Star Wars universe, Lando Calrissian. An infamous galactic gambler the character was portrayed significantly in the moderately successful prequel reboot and yet die-hard fans of the franchise were left craving for the original star who had first brought Lando to life in 1980's 'The Empire Strikes Back' - American actor Billy Dee Williams.
For the longest time, in fact, rumor mills have been abuzz with talks of Williams reprising his Star Wars role. Amidst the growing chatter and the Star Wars sequel trilogy's visible struggle with a Lando-less film it looks like the character will actually be back and would be reprised by none other than Williams, The Hollywood Reporter confirmed.
According to the website, the upcoming 'Episode IX' directed by JJ Abrams would have the 81-year-old actor return as the iconic sci-fi character marking a significant step in the direction that has so far seen OG stars like Carrie Fisher, Harrison Ford, and Mark Hamill continue to make an appearance in the rebooted 'Star Wars 'universe. However, at the moment, Lando's portion in the upcoming installment remains a topic of speculation but, chances are under the current circumstances the character might be appearing in noteworthy parts.
Hopefully, with 'Star Wars: Episode IX' Abrams would be able to undo what 'The Last Jedi' did, disappointing fans with the absence of Lando.
“Of course I’d love to see Lando. In terms of Lando, I briefly considered — would he work in the Benicio [del Toro] part, [DJ]. I don’t think you would ever buy that Lando would just completely betray the characters like that and have that level of moral ambiguity," director Rian Johnson said earlier dishing on the difficulties of integrating the character in the storyline.
He added, "Cause we love Lando and you’d come into it with that [expectation]. And also, DJ, the character that they met, for the purposes of Finn’s character, had to be a morally ambiguous character that you’re not sure about, that you’re guessing about, and we already know that we love the character of Lando so it just wouldn’t have played in that part story-wise.”
But with news of Williams return anticipation is bound to shoot up. In addition to his return, 'Episode IX' is also said to have signed actress Keri Russell in a mysterious role that calls for "action-heavy fight scenes". Just the keywords are enough to send the staunch fandom on an overdrive speculating the possible role Russell could be playing in the movie.
As of now, out best bet is to wait for more official confirmation from Lucasfilm. Directed and co-written by Abrams the film also stars Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, and John Boyega.
Episode IX is slated for a December 20, 2019 release.