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There has arguably never been a better time to be a Star Wars fan than right now. We are fortunate to have a plethora of content from a galaxy far far away across all forms of media. But, we can't have everything. Although Star Wars: The Last Jedi will be chock full of new and exciting characters as well as old favorites, one face that will not be returning is Billy Dee Williams' Lando Calrissian. While many fans have been hoping for at least a cameo in the new film, director Rian Johnson shot that notion down before it got out of hand.
No, and I don't want fans to get their hopes up. He's not in the film, and it was never really something that came up. I mean, I loved that character. It would have been fun to see him, but it's just not something that ever really had a place in the story.
Unlike Snoke's identity or Rey's parentage, this was not some great mystery. So better for Rian Johnson to dispel it now, that way fans don't expect it and wind up disappointed when it doesn't happen. The new saga films are doing a great job of echoing the past and bringing the elements and characters that people loved in the original films, back to tell new stories. Many fans were hoping that Lando might show up as a member of the Resistance, or, at least in the wake of Han Solo's death, appear in a funeral scene for his fallen friend. So it is a bummer that he won't show up in for a reunion with Leia or a ride in the Falcon. But if Rian Johnson never felt an appearance by Lando would fit the story he was telling, as he told Entertainment Weekly, he was right to leave him out. Even though this may be the longest Star Wars movie yet, we want the best and truest vision possible and one that is not compromised in favor of callbacks and fan service.
There are plenty of new characters and creatures for fans to get excited about in Star Wars: The Last Jedi and just because Billy Dee Williams doesn't reprise his role in this film, that in no way rules out an appearance in Episode IX. For those who are excited to see the Lando character again, look no further than May's Solo: A Star Wars Story. That film's all-star cast has the awesome Donald Glover playing the young Lando Calrissian opposite Alden Ehrenreich's Han Solo. That film will possibly give the character more screen time than he has had before and an opportunity to shade in his backstory, including how a sabacc game lost him the Millennium Falcon.
Sadly, Lando Calrissian won't be showing up in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, but you should still probably see it. Pre-order your tickets for opening weekend now. Star Wars: The Last Jedi opens in theaters on December 15th.