Billy Dee Williams is about to return to a galaxy far, far away.
The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed that Williams will return to play Lando Calrissian in J.J. Abrams’ as-yet-untitled “Star Wars: Episode IX,” which will begun production later this summer. Williams of course introduced the character in 1980’s “Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back” and reprised the role in 1983’s “Star Wars: Return of the Jedi.” This is very exciting news, especially for those of us inexplicably drawn to smooth talking scoundrels.
It’s also not that much of a surprise. Williams reprised his role as Lando in two episodes of the animated series “Star Wars: Rebels,” which wrapped up this March. And, of course, the character was splashily reintroduced in this summer’s “Solo: A Star Wars Story” (this time the cape-loving lothario was portrayed with considerable swagger by Donald Glover). There’s also the more practical element of bringing back Lando, who will effectively bridge the gap between the original trilogy and these new films, considering that both Han and Luke have been killed off and Carrie Fisher died tragically between installments.
“Star Wars: Episode IX,” which will once again star John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, and (god willing) Kelly Marie Tran, also recently added regular Abrams confederate Keri Russell to the cast. It’s set to open December 20th, 2019.