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Rumor of the Day: Billy Dee Williams may finally return as Lando in Star Wars: Episode IX

Contributed by
Jun 20, 2018

Ever since it became clear that Star Wars: The Force Awakens would feature the return of Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, and Harrison Ford as Leia, Luke, and Han, fans have been speculating about a potential reunion with other major original Star Wars trilogy characters, and a name that keeps coming up is Lando Calrissian.

Billy Dee Williams' cape-wearing, suave smuggler-turned-businessman remains a fan-favorite nearly 40 years after his first appearance in The Empire Strikes Back, and that's led to rumors he would be re-appearing in both the seventh and eighth new Star Wars installments. Those rumors turned out to be nothing, but with Star Wars: Episode IX on the horizon, it's time for new Lando reports to surface once again.

Fantha Tracks cites two unnamed sources who have allegedly verified to them that Williams will indeed reprise his role as Lando in Episode IX. Obviously we don't know who these sources are, but the site specifically notes going to a second source to get independent verification of the news, so while we have to take this with a grain of salt...there's always hope, right?

Plus, this isn't just an out of nowhere rumor with no context at all attached to it, because the possibility of returning Williams to live-action Star Wars has already come up. Rian Johnson has said that he considered using Lando to fill the role in The Last Jedi that eventually went to Benicio del Toro's DJ, so the character could have very easily come back as early as last year.

Then there's Solo: A Star Wars Story to consider. While that film didn't meet Disney's expectations, Donald Glover's take on a younger Calrissian was one of its most celebrated elements, so it would make sense for Lucasfilm to revive the original version of the character in the wake of that acting triumph. Then there's the tidbit revealed at MegaCon Orlando last month: Williams is apparently training three times a week and on a new diet, which sounds very similar to what both Fisher and Hamill did before they returned to a galaxy far, far away. 

Again, we have to take this report with a grain of salt for now, but Episode IX — directed by J.J. Abrams from a script by Abrams and Chris Terrio — is set to begin production very soon. Imagine the joy emanating from fans if Williams shows up in casting announcements over the next few weeks. 

Star Wars: Episode IX (official title forthcoming) arrives December 20, 2019.