Stephen Colbert welcomed Billy Dee Williams to the stage at Star Wars Celebration in Chicago this morning. The crowd was stunned and gave the actor an amazing reaction. However, during the interview, Colbert asked if it was hard to get back into playing Lando Calrissian, to which he said, "Lando never left me," and the first picture of the iconic character from Star Wars 9 popped up the large video screen behind him. Williams was all smiles and definitely appreciative of the chance to get back into the Star Wars universe.
When it was revealed Star Wars 9 was going to feature the return of Lando Calrissian, fans were ecstatic. It was kept under wraps forever, but Billy Dee Williams was spotted doing the same workouts Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill did before signing on for The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi. The actor is 82-years old, but you would never guess it when looking at the actor on stage today. Williams took to the stage and thanked J.J. Abrams for giving him the opportunity, noting that he loved his name.
J.J. Abrams and Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy spoke about what is was like working with Billy Dee Williams for the first time, with Kennedy stating the actor had no idea how excited they all were. Abrams then mentioned his first scene with Lando Calrissian takes place with a lot of extras and said, one could feel the air get sucked out of the room when Williams walked on to the Star Wars 9 set. That must have been in epic feeling for Mr. Williams after all of these years away from the role.
When Billy Dee Williams was welcomed to the stage, he noted he was a "very lucky person," before saying he never expected to return to the Star Wars universe. At that moment, someone from the crowd yelled, "about time!" and Williams said, "I agree with you," which received an enthusiastic response from the crowd. The actor went on to explain the Lando character, and then asked why he has to keep doing this stuff, everybody knows the answers, but he's sick of people asking why Lando betrayed Han Solo, which is very understandable.
Billy Dee Williams has been acting for 60 years and regards Star Wars 9 as a "true highlight" of his life. It's true Lando never left the actor. He looks a little older, but the Williams swagger is still there in all of its glory and Star Wars fans are very excited to have him back after all of this time, which Williams is genuinely grateful for the love. It will be interesting to see how big of a part he plays in the upcoming Star Wars 9. You can see the first photo of Lando Calrissian in the movie below, thanks to the official Star Wars website.