One Popular Star Wars Character That Won't Be Returning For Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Lando Calrissian smiling in The Empire Strikes Back

Star Wars: The Force Awakens introduced a lot of fresh faces to the saga set in a galaxy far, far away, like Rey, Finn, Poe Dameron and Kylo Ren. Star Wars: The Last Jedi will continue to introduce new characters, but there will still be plenty of old favorites contributing, like Luke Skywalker, Leia Organa and Chewbacca. However, for those of you who were holding out hope that Billy Dee Williams might reprise Lando Calrissian after all these years for the next movie, you'll be disappointed.

At his Star Wars Celebration panel, Billy Dee Williams revealed that he will not appear in Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Williams has never been listed as part of the cast for Episode VIII, but that didn't stop speculation about how Lando Calrissian could briefly show up. Alas, it's not to be. Williams previously appeared as Lando in 1980's The Empire Strikes Back and 1983's Return of the Jedi, though he also voiced the character in recent years for two episodes of Star Wars Rebels and a fun cameo in The LEGO Movie.

While the novel Stars Wars: Aftermath: Empire's End touched on what Lando was up to shortly after the Battle of Endor, no information has been provided on what he's been up to three decades after the events of the Original Trilogy. The only thing we know is that he was still alive several years before The Force Awakens took place, as he sent Leia Organa a message in the novel Bloodline. While there's still a chance someone might mention Lando or indirectly refer to him, it doesn't seem likely. That leaves 2019's Episode IX presumably as the last opportunity for Lucasfilm to bring Billy Dee Williams back on board, but it'll be a long time until we learn whether or not that will happen. If Episode IX decides it doesn't need Lando, hopefully one of the books will clue fans in on what happened to him.

Even though Billy Dee Williams isn't returning to the live action Star Wars world anytime soon, moviegoers won't have to wait long to reunite with Lando on the big screen. That's because Atlanta star Donald Glover will play the character in next year's Han Solo movie, which will follow the smuggler years before he met Luke Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi in the Mos Eisley cantina and became a Rebel hero. How exactly Lando will fit into the next Anthology spinoff hasn't been revealed yet, though it's rumored that we'll see how Han won the Millennium Falcon from his fellow scoundrel.

A Lando-less Star Wars: The Last Jedi will be released in theaters on December 15, while the younger Lando can be seen when the Han Solo movie arrives on May 25, 2018.

Adam Holmes
Senior Content Producer

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore, Adam is a Senior Content Producer at CinemaBlend. He started working for the site back in late 2014 writing exclusively comic book movie and TV-related articles, and along with branching out into other genres, he also made the jump to editing. Along with his writing and editing duties, as well as interviewing creative talent from time to time, he also oversees the assignment of movie-related features. He graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in Journalism, and he’s been sourced numerous times on Wikipedia. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.