Veteran actor Billy Dee Williams is set to return to the galaxy far, far away as Lando Calrissian in Star Wars: Episode IX. Sources confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter that the 81-year-old actor, who famously played the galactic gambler Calrissian, will make a comeback to the space-opera franchise.
His last appearance in a Star Wars film was 1983’s Return of the Jedi. Rumours about Williams joining the production caught steam after he exited an upcoming sci-fi and pop culture convention citing a conflict with a shooting schedule. Over the years, Williams has been slipping in and out of the cape by lending his voice to Calrissian’s character in various cartoon series and video games.
One of the popular characters in the franchise, Calrissian made his debut in 1980’s Empire Strikes Back. Recently, Donald Glover was roped in to play a younger Calrissian in Solo: A Star Wars Story. Although the film received mixed reviews, his performance was praised almost universally.
The new sequel Star Wars trilogy continues the story of the Skywalkers and their allies along with introducing new protagonists like Rey (Daisy Ridley), Finn (John Boyega) and Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac).
The Last Jedi, the Episode VII in the main Star Wars film series, received positive reviews and earned loads of money but has divided the fandom like no other film in the franchise. Many have criticised the Canto Bight subplot, the way Luke Skywalker was written in the film, Kelly Marie Tran’s character and so on.
Production on Episode IX is set to begin later this summer. JJ Abrams, who directed The Force Awakens, returns to direct the conclusion of the trilogy. Star Wars: Episode IX hits theatres on December 20, 2019.
(With inputs from PTI)