Ladies and gentlemen, I bring the best news we’ve heard (yet) about Star Wars: Episode IX. We’ve started to hear more and more rumors about the next Star Wars film lately, including stories about casting. Well, here comes another! According to The Hollywood Reporter, Billy Dee Williams will reprise his role as Lando Calrissian in the final installment of the Skywalker Saga!
Of course, Billy Dee actually returned to Star Wars several years ago. He played Lando (in voice form) in Robot Chicken, Star Wars: Rebels, and various Star Wars video games, as recently as last year for Battlefront II. It only makes sense that he’d want to revisit the role in film form in the final episode of the sequel trilogy.
Why ‘Episode IX’ Needs Billy Dee Williams
How will Lando figure into the plot of Episode IX? First, we must acknowledge that Billy Dee is the oldest of the original trilogy main cast. At the moment, he is 81 years old. While he appears to be in good health, it’s a safe bet that he won’t be performing many stunts in the next movie. Lando’s role will most likely not be very action-heavy.
We must also acknowledge that Lando is one of three original trilogy characters that are still alive both within and outside of the Star Wars universe. Luke and Han are gone (although Luke could appear as a Force ghost). Due to Carrie Fisher’s passing, Leia will probably die off-screen before or during the events of the new movie. Kenny Baker, the original R2-D2, passed away in 2016. At the present time, only Billy Dee Williams, Anthony Daniels (C-3PO), and Peter Mayhew (Chewbacca) remain.
Lando’s presence will help connect this final episode to the original trilogy. This is a good move on J.J. Abrams’ part. Lando was a general in the Rebellion and, presumably, served the New Republic in some capacity. He could be an elder statesman and mentor to the Resistance. Leia mentioned their “allies in the outer rim” in The Last Jedi. Perhaps Lando is among them.
Rian Johnson, apparently, considered having Lando appear in The Last Jedi. He wanted Lando to be the “master codebreaker” that Finn and Rose seek out at the casino. He later decided that completely betraying the Resistance would be out of character for Lando. Here’s hoping that Billy Dee can bring some of that original trilogy swagger to the sequels!
Are you excited for Lando’s return? What other Star Wars characters are you hoping to see appear in Episode IX? Let us know in the comments!