If the rumors are true — and they certainly seem to be given the outlets that are running with it — then Billy Dee Williams will make his return as Lando Calrissian in J.J. Abrams’ conclusion to the latest Star Wars trilogy. While Donald Glover brought the smuggler back in Solo earlier this year, but now the man who originated the role is set to return in Episode IX.
The new reports following months of rumors and stories about Williams new diet and workout regime, mirroring Carrie Fisher’s preparation to return to the franchise back in 2015. Sources have been hinting that Calrissian would be in the final film of the trilogy and now The Hollywood Reporter is running with the news:
Chatter about Williams joining the production, which is set to begin later this summer, increased in recent days when the actor bowed out of an upcoming sci-fi and pop culture convention citing a conflict with a movie schedule. Sources confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter that Williams will indeed be returning to the Star Wars film franchise for the first time since 1983’s Return of the Jedi. The Lando Calrissian character made his suave debut in 1980’s Empire Strikes Back.
Williams has in recent years returned to the role that fuels his appearances on the convention circuit, voicing Calrissian in various cartoon series and video games.
The bad news here is that Lando is pretty much sentenced to death with this return. So far we’ve seen Han Solo and Luke Skywalker meet with the reaper in these new films — and Carrie Fisher sadly passed away after finishing her scenes for The Last Jedi — so things don’t look good for the classic castmembers. Not to mention characters like Admiral Ackbar, most of the New Republic, and more bit the dust in these first two films. It’s a bloodbath.
Billy Dee probably should’ve stuck to making new Colt 45 commercials instead of trying to play space hero again, but there’s the chance he’ll get a hero’s demise. He almost had one in Return Of The Jedi, so maybe this time he actually doesn’t make it out of whatever Death Star replacement they’ve created this time.
It will be nice to see him behind the controls of the Millennium Falcon again. If they don’t do that, it’ll be a shame and we’ll have to take to the streets to raise money for our remake of the film. One that is awesome and likely stars Lorenzo Lamas.