A move that seemed inevitable and one that will appease those who requested it, Billy Dee Williams is returning to play the super cool and ultra smooth Lando Calrissian in Star Wars: Episode IX.
The sneaky gambler and smuggler was last seen as a character in Solo: A Star Wars Story, where he was played by Donald Glover. More on the story below.
THR was the first to report on the news. Rumors of his return started to emerge earlier this summer when the actor could not make an appearance at a pop culture convention, citing movie scheduling difficulties. Of course, many speculated that it meant he would be in Episode IX. But there was no official confirmation at that time. Now that it is out in the open, we can start to speculate what his role will be in the film. I’ll just leave that to you.
As far as Lando goes, he first made an appearance as the administrator of Cloud City in Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back. The former gambler gave refuge to Han Solo, a former friend who won the Millennium Falcon in a game of Sabacc. But little did Han know that Lando was already working with Darth Vader and Boba Fett so that they could test out if a living being could survive the frozen carbonate process. Lando would reappear in Return of the Jedi, where he assisted in the rescue of Han and the destruction of the second Death Star.
His character would reappear in Solo: A Star Wars Story where he was played by Glover. Though his role was fairly limited, we got to see the history between the two play out, and that he had a relationship with L3-37, his co-pilot droid whose programming was integrated into the Millennium Falcon. A bit of a nod to Empire Strikes Back where Threepio said the ship spoke a very interesting language. So it should be interesting to see if they explore that relationship once more in Episode IX.
Williams is the latest addition to a growing cast. Keri Russell was the latest to join the sequel, though her role has yet to be revealed.
Directed by J.J. Abrams, Star Wars: Episode IX hits theaters on December 20, 2018.