When Star Wars fans first met Lando Calrissian, the dude instantly established himself as the suavest guy in the galaxy. Lando oozed coolness and confidence, but as The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi have shown us, Rebel heroes didn’t always have the happiest ending. So, in light of the news that Billy Dee Williams is returning to play Lando again in Episode IX, wouldn’t it be something if he was actually thriving in his old age, compared the Han, Luke, and Leia’s sad fates?
On Monday, The Hollywood Reporter put an end to mounting speculation that Williams would return to Star Wars with a story confirming the actor’s participation in Episode IX.
What role Lando will play in the movie hasn’t been revealed, nor have there been many updates on what Lando’s been up to since the events of Return of the Jedi. What few stories and books about that time period that remain in the Star Wars canon don’t give fans much to go off of, though part of the Solo: A Star Wars Story tie-in book Last Shot reveals that Lando was considering settling down and going legit with his Twi’lek lover named Kaasha Bateen 10 years after the events of Return of the Jedi.
What happened after that, though, is a mystery, but fans do know how things ended up for Han, Leia, and Luke. Han’s son turned evil, wrecking his marriage with Leia and prompting Han to return to a sad imitation of his old life as a smuggler before getting killed by his own flesh and blood. Leia endured the heartache of losing her husband and son, and had to watch as the First Order rose to power despite her best efforts to get anybody in the galaxy to care. And Luke, having failed Ben Solo, goes into hiding where he drinks green alien milk in solitude before eventually sacrificing himself to the Force while delaying Kylo Ren.
If Lando has just been living his best life and thriving somewhere in the galaxy it would be quite a change of pace for the new-era Star Wars movies. Especially because Lando will be the only human character from the original trilogy to appear in Episode IX, given Carrie Fisher’s death — though Luke could appear as a Force Ghost.
I just want one character from the original movies to be happy, is that too much to ask?
Star Wars: Episode IX will open on December 20, 2019.