Many fans were disappointed to hear that Billy Dee Williams was not part of the official Star Wars: The Force Awakens cast when it was announced last year. Many believed that he would be showing up in an unanncouned cameo. And while that may still happen, it sounds more likely that LucasFilm is saving the beloved character Lando Calrissian for one of their future movies. Though, it's not known if this will be a sequel or a spinoff.
Billy Dee Williams did recently reprise his role as Lando, though only on the small screen in a Star Wars Rebels story arc. CineLinx caught up with the actor to talk about his voice work, and the subject of the movies definitely came up. The actor sounds quite sure he will return to the big screen at some point. It sounds like there have been official talks. But he can't really talk about that. He did say this, however:
"Yeah, people were pretty upset about it. But I uh...I may very well...I have a feeling I'm going to show up. There's nothing I can really discuss about it at this stage....Can't imagine them not bringing Lando back...We'll have to wait and see..."
In Star Wars Rebels, Billy Dee Williams voiced a Lando Calrissian that is roughly twenty years younger than when we first meet him in Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back. It has long been rumored that the character will show up in the Untitled Gareth Edwards Directed Star Wars Spin-Off as part of a storyline that sees a group of space pirates trying to steal the plans for the Death Star. Though, the character would have to be much younger, as he is represented in the animated series. Which means a different actor would likely take on the role. The actor goes on to say that he has seen nothing, and knows nothing about Star Wars: The Force Awakens:
"I have no idea what they've done with it, but I imagine that they're staying true to form. With J.J. Abrams and Disney participating in it, I would imagine it has to be pretty formidable."
What do you think? Do you want to see Billy Dee Williams return as Lando Calrissian? Should a younger actor take over the role for the spinoffs? Or should everyone in the new trilogy proclaim that he died fighting in one of his many battles after he joined the Rebel Alliance? Really, it could go either way at this point.