He’s back! After years of wondering when we would finally see Lando Calrissian — in his original, and still the best, incarnation — Billy Dee Williams has confirmed that he will be reprising his role as the infamous space cowboy in Star Wars IX.
Polygon has confirmed that, even though an official statement hasn’t been released by Lucasfilm, Williams will be reprising the role of the Baron Administrator of Cloud City in the as-yet-untitled ninth — and final — installment of the Skywalker Saga.
Star Wars IX isn’t the first time that Williams will be reprising his most infamous and beloved role.
Lando Calrissian first graced our screens in the 1980s, when he premiered on The Empire Strikes Back. He returned, again, for Return of the Jedi, and Williams continued to voice the character for a number of video games and cartoons (including, most recently, Star Wars: Rebels).
Williams had a chance to see a younger version of his character on the big screen when Donald Glover — known to the hip-hop world as Childish Gambino — donned the yellow suit and swash-buckling smuggler’s vest in Solo: A Star Wars Story.
Letting the memories flood back. My mother and my sister...two women I will always love and cherish. Happy Mother Day to all the wonderful moms out there ???? pic.twitter.com/5Y3xNLqLdx— Billy Dee Williams (@realbdw) May 13, 2018
The rumors about Billy Dee Williams reprising his infamous role for Star Wars IX first began circulating when he appeared at the Los Angeles premiere of Solo: A Star Wars Story.
At the time, Glover said that he and Williams “met for lunch” to discuss the character, and Glover credited him with providing “excellent insight” into the role he was about to play.
When Billy Dee Williams subsequently canceled an appearance at a comics convention due to a “filming conflict,” Star Wars fans immediately began thinking that the rumors about the return of Lando Calrissian were true. Williams, up until that point, hadn’t appeared in a feature film since 2015, and they figured that the only possible explanation was Williams reprising his beloved role.
To date, Billy Dee Williams is the only original cast member to not appear in the new trilogy of Star Wars films.
Harrison Ford made his final appearance in Star Wars in The Force Awakens.
Carrie Fisher made her final appearance in Star Wars in The Last Jedi — due to her untimely passing, there were some rumors that a digitized version of herself as General Princess Leia Organa Solo would appear in the as-yet-untitled ninth installment of the film. Lucasfilm, however, officially dismissed that rumor.
It remains unclear if Mark Hamill will return to Star Wars IX as a “Force Ghost,” since Luke Skywalker is officially dead. However, John Boyega, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, and Oscar Isaac are all confirmed to return to Star Wars IX, which is set to be released on December 20, 2019.