Our good friends at Star Wars fan-website Fantha Tracks have come across a belter of a story. Given that the new Star Wars movie sequels have revived classic Star Wars characters such as Han Solo, Chewbacca, Princess Leia, Luke Skywalker, C3PO and R2D2 with both characters and actors passing away, there is pressure on future Star Wars movies to keep up those nostalgia elements.
And the latest word, after the character’s tour de force in A Star Wars Story: Solo portrayed by Donald Glover, is that the character of Lando Calrissian will actually return in Star Wars: Episode IX
And, yes, that he will be played by original actor Billy Dee Williams, who first portrayed him in The Empire Strikes Back.
Filming on Episode IX starts in July, so if true, this will be confirmed pretty quickly by the usual methods. As it stands, Fantha has confirmed it with a couple of their stories, and we have had a long, fruitful and reliable relationship with the people behind that site.
Lando Calrissian first appeared as the administrator of Cloud City, concerned primarily with keeping the Empire out of his affairs. Lando is strong-armed by Vader into betraying Han Solo and turning him over to Boba Fett. In the ensuing evacuation of Cloud City, he helps Leia, Chewbacca, C-3PO, and R2-D2 escape and assists Leia in rescuing Luke Skywalker. Afterwards, he joins the Rebel Alliance and in Return of the Jedi, Lando goes undercover to help Luke rescue Han from crime lord Jabba the Hutt. Lando then takes the pilot chair in his old ship, the Millennium Falcon, and leads the attack on the second Death Star.
Wiliams was originally tapped to appear in The Force Awakens but was ultimately cut from the film. During the early development of The Last Jedi, director Rian Johnson briefly considered bringing back Calrissian as the codebreaker that Finn and Rose Tico seek in the coastal city of Canto Bight on the planet of Cantonica, but that role went to Benicio del Toro‘s character DJ.
Williams has hinted that he would be willing to reprise his role in the upcoming Episode IX if he is asked while Mark Hamill has stated that it is time to start a campaign to convince the studio to bring back Lando in Episode IX.
Could the right people have listened?