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Lando in The Rise of Skywalker

As far as movie franchises go, there are none quite as beloved as Star Wars. George Lucas' colorful world has enthralled moviegoers for decades, beginning with the original trilogy. That set of movies made its cast household names, and they've recently been brought back to return for the sequels. Billy Dee Williams' Lando Calrissian was noticeably missing from the last two main installments, but he'll return to the franchise in J.J. Abrams' The Rise of Skywalker. And he recently posted a photo with the original cast from back in the day.

While he was absent from A New Hope, Lando Calrissian. His allegiances were originally murky, but he became a full-fledged member of the group with Return of the Jedi. Fans of the franchise were disappointed when Lando wasn't seen or mentioned, but his upcoming return is one of the most hotly anticipated aspects of Episode IX. Billy Dee Williams has been hyping up this return, and just posted a photo of the original cast, including the late Carrie Fisher. Check it out below.

I mean, how cool is that? Here you see the foursome of Star Wars actors together, posing playfully and out of their signature costumes. It pulls a curtain back on what it was like to make the original trilogy, a set of movies that would forever be synonymous with their respective careers.

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This throwback photo comes from Billy Dee Williams' personal Twitter account. The 82 year-old actor regularly uses Twitter to directly communicate with his generations of fans, and more importantly, to hype up his upcoming appearance in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. After a young Lando was introduced in the ill-fated Solo: A Star Wars Story, cinephiles were ready to see the OG actor return to the role. Luckily, that's exactly what's happening this December.

Lando Calrissian was noticeably absent from both The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi, with his fate being one of the overarching questions looming above the current trilogy. On top of not appearing with The Resistance in their battles against The First Order, Lando wasn't even mentioned during those two blockbusters. So Billy Dee Williams' confirmation and Landos' appearance in the first Rise of Skywalker trailer were especially exciting.

Rian Johnson did think about bringing Lando into the story for The Last Jedi, but ultimately decided against it. While moviegoers would have loved to the see the space scoundrel back on the big screen earlier, his inclusion for The Rise of Skywalker will hopefully be even more satisfying. J.J. Abrams will be able to complete the story he began when he kickstarted the franchise back up, as well as the nine-film Skywalker Saga as a whole.

Unfortunately, Billy Dee Williams' return to the Star Wars franchise likely won't include any reunions with the original cast. Harrison Ford's Han Solo was killed off back in The Force Awakens, so that dynamic duo never got to share another scene. Luke perished in Last Jedi, although maybe his Force Ghost will get a moment with Lando. And tragically, Carrie Fisher died before production began on The Rise of Skywalker, with unused footage from the previous two films bringing Leia back for one more appearance.

All will be revealed when Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker arrives in theaters on December 20th. In the meantime, check out our 2019 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.

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