The rumors are true. Billy Dee Williams is returning as Lando Calrissian in Star Wars 9. The actor is in training for his trip back to that galaxy far, far away, to once again play the legendary gambler and one time smuggler.
Star Wars 9 is the third and final chapter in The Force Awakens trilogy, and the next Star Wars movie coming from Disney and Lucasfilm. Rumors about Billy Dee William's return really began to heat up as production on the sequel neared. Director J.J. Abrams will begin directing the project later this summer.
It became too hard to keep Billy Dee Williams' casting a secret over the past couple of days. The actor had to drop out of an upcoming sci-fi and pop culture convention. The reason for his cancelation was marked as 'conflict with a movie schedule'.
Sources close to Star Wars 9 have officially confirmed that Williams will be back, starring in a Star Wars movie for the first time since 1983's Return of the Jedi. The character was first introduced in 1980's Empire Strikes Back. Billy Dee Williams has also reprised the role on the animated TV series Star Wars: Rebels. The character of Lando Calrissian was last seen on the big screen in this May's Solo: A Star Wars Story, as played by Donald Glover. This story of Han and Lando's early days bombed at the box office. Though, it did reveal a new aspect to Lando, with the character confirmed to be pansexual.
Rian Johnson had wanted to bring Billy Dee Williams back as Lando in The Last Jedi, but couldn't find a place for him. Other rumors claimed that Williams had actually landed a role in the movie but was having a problem getting back in character and bowed out before shooting started.
With Luke, Han and Leia all gone in the current Star Wars timeline, Lando is one of the only remaining main characters that hasn't been brought back to the fold. Leia was supposed to be the main character in Star Wars 9, but Carrie Fisher's untimely death kept that from happening. Now, it looks like Lando is going to get some of that screen time. The character has remained popular throughout the years, and fans will be happy to have him back.
While Luke Skywalker died in The Last Jedi, there are persistent rumors that he will return as a Force Ghost. Mark Hamill has yet to confirm his return. There are also rumors that Ewan McGregor will reprise his role as Force Ghost Obi-Wan Kenobi in the movie, but that also hasn't been confirmed.
Star Wars 9 will bring back cast regulars Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac and Adam Driver. It will bring Rey and Kylo Ren's story to an end. Keri Russell was recently announced as a new member of the cast. The final Star Wars sequel in the Skywalker era will hit theaters on December 20 2019.