It's now over a month since Star Wars: The Last Jedi arrived in theaters, and fans are still reeling from the bonkers sequel. Rian Johnson purposefully subverted fan expectations, delivering a capsulated story that forever changed the galaxy far, far away. Since Johnson broke the mold, some of the hardcore fandom wasn't too happy with his creative directional choices. They took umbrage in choices revolving around Rey's parentage, Luke's fate, and Leia's abilities. But there was another character who got the short end of the stick for the second film in a row: Billy Dee Williams' Lando Calrissian. While a younger incarnation will soon arrive thanks to Solo: A Star Wars Story, there has been no reference or mention of Lando in the first two installments in the current trilogy. But Johnson is hoping Episode IX will change this, saying:
Do you hear that? It's the sounds of OG Star Wars fans cheering with joy. Billy Dee Williams' charming and suave Lando was a major character in the original trilogy, and the pending release of Solo seems like a great way to bring the Lando back to the franchise. If J.J. Abrams follows this up with Billy Dee Williams reprising his role in Episode IX, it would be the perfect way to do right by the fan favorite.
Rian Johnson's comments to ET seem to echo fan hopes that Lando would factor into the narrative of the current Star Wars trilogy. While many were originally hoping that he'd appear in The Last Jedi, Johnson's story was a relatively contained one that took place over just a few days. The Resistance was stuck trying to escape the First Order, so it didn't make sense for Lando to somehow join the fight.
But with just a few scrappy survivors following the battle on Crait, Poe and the others are going to need all the help they can get in Episode IX. Lando might be just the guy to do that, allowing J.J. Abrams to answer the question regarding where the hell he's been for the past two movies.
It should be interesting to see how Solo: A Star Wars Story changes what fans know about Lando. He's a bit of a scoundrel, and we'll also meet a far younger and less experienced version of the hero. With Donald Glover fresh off of winning an Emmy for his show Atlanta, the pressure is on for the actor/rapper to deliver a fantastic go as Lando Calrissian.
Solo: A Star Wars Story will arrive in theaters on May 25th, 2018. In the meantime, check out our 2018 release list to plan your next binge watch.