Lando Calrissian famously called Han Solo an “old pirate” in Empire Strikes Back, but a new rumor suggests that Lando himself will be the even older pirate in Star Wars: Episode IX. Billy Dee Williams is rumored to be making a return to that galaxy far, far away, though the reports are very much unconfirmed.
The Star Wars fan site Fantha Tracks has the reported scoop, writing on Monday that the 81-year-old actor will reprise his role as Lando in Episode IX. The write-up cites two anonymous, supposedly insider sources. Fantha Tracks claims that their sources are legitimate and accurate, but it’s still probably wise to take this rumor with a grain of salt.
There is another, independent hint that Williams might be gearing up for a Lando reprise. In May, MegaCon Orlando tweeted that Williams, who was a guest at the convention, was seeing a trainer and on a new diet — perhaps in preparation for a big movie role?
Carrie Fisher, somewhat infamously, was pressured to lose 35 pounds before coming back to play Leia in The Force Awakens, so it’s possible that Williams could be getting fit to pilot the Millennium Falcon once again.
It would make a certain amount of sense to bring Lando back. By the end of The Last Jedi, there are no major human characters left from the original trilogy. Han Solo died in Force Awakens while Luke became one with the Force in Jedi (though it’s possible he’ll return as a Force ghost). Leia was reportedly going to play a major role in Episode IX, but Fisher’s death in 2016 made that impossible. Lando’s return would help, in a small way, establish a connection with the series’ past that Chewbacca, R2-D2, and C-3PO can’t quite muster. Plus, Donald Glover’s portrayal of young Lando in Solo: A Star Wars Story has fans thinking about the iconic character again.
A reappearance by Lando, and an explanation of what he’s been up to since Return of the Jedi would be pretty neat, even if the author of this article did write a story headlined, and I quote, “Lando Calrissian Should Be Dead as Hell.”
Star Wars: Episode IX hits theaters on December 20, 2019.