Star Wars: Episode IX may not feature Luke, Leia or Han, but it looks like it will have at least one familiar face from the original trilogy as Billy Dee Williams has now been confirmed to return as Lando!
The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed that Billy Dee Williams will reprise his role as Lando Calrissian, for the first time in over thirty-five years, in next year’s Star Wars: Episode IX.
Williams made his debut as the fan-favorite Lando in 1980’s The Empire Strikes Back and last appeared in 1983’s Return of the Jedi. He’s also voiced the character in various video games and television series, including Star Wars Rebels and the Star Wars: Battlefront series.
Production is expected to start later this summer with Daisy Ridley (Rey), John Boyega (Finn), Oscar Isaac (Poe Dameron), Adam Driver (Kylo Ren), Lupita N’yong’o (Maz Kanata), Anthony Daniels (C-3PO), Jimmy Vee (R2-D2), and Joonas Suotamo (Chewbacca) are all expected to return while Keri Russell (The Americans) recently joined the cast in an undisclosed role. Mark Hamill had also previously been rumored to appear in some capacity, but following the events of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, his status remains uncertain.
J.J. Abrams (Star Wars: The Force Awakens) is returning to direct the next installment with a script that features contributions from Derek Connolly (Jurassic World), Chris Terrio (Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice), and Colin Trevorrow (Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom).
Star Wars: Episode IX hits theaters on December 20, 2019