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Spoiler ahead for Star Wars: The Last Jedi. If you haven't seen the blockbuster, lightspeed out of here.
It's been nearly a week since Star Wars: The Last Jedi arrived in theaters, and fans have been discussing and dissecting just about every frame from Rian Johnson's divisive sequel. Johnson purposefully subverted expectations, leading to a positive critical response, but a mixed reaction from the generations of Star Wars fans out there. The Last Jedi is being largely compared to Empire Strikes Back, due to the darker tone and existential crises that characters were subjected to. But if Episode VIII is the current trilogy's Empire, where the hell is Lando Calrissian? Rian Johnson recently addressed the lack of Billy Dee Williams' signature character, and revealed the sequence in which he mulled over Lando's possible inclusion.
Of course I'd love to see Lando. In terms of Lando, I briefly considered --- would he work in the Benicio [del Toro] part, [DJ]. don't think you would ever buy that Lando would just completely betray the characters like that and have that level of moral ambiguity. Cause we love Lando and you'd come into it with that [expectation]. And also, DJ, the character that they met, for the purposes of Finn's character, had to be a morally ambiguous character that you're not sure about, that you're guessing about, and we already know that we love the character of Lando so it just wouldn't have played in that part story wise.
Rian Johnson's comments to The Playlist will likely please the hardcore Star Wars fans. If nothing else, just knowing that Lando Calrissian was at least mulled over for The Last Jedi is a relief, as his absence from the new trilogy hasn't been addressed in either of the last two films. I know I was personally hoping he would make a surprise appearance in the film, for at least tradition's stake.
Alas, Lando didn't make it into The Last Jedi. And while this made sense for the plot and scope of the film (the entire movie took place over just a few days), it's still a little bit of a bummer. Now it's up to J.J. Abrams to possibly include Han's old frenemy in the untitled Episode IX. If nothing else, he at least needs to update fans on what happened to the character after the events of Return of the Jedi.