Star Wars' Billy Dee Williams Had One Worry About Returning As Lando For Rise Of Skywalker

Billy Dee Williams as Lando in Star Wars Rise of Skywalker
(Image credit: (Lucasfilm))

As the final trilogy of the Skywalker Saga has progressed, each new installment has brought fan favorites from the original Star Wars movies back into the mix. The Force Awakens focused on Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher’s Han and Leia, The Last Jedi on Mark Hamill’s Luke Skywalker, and Rise of Skywalker will bring back Billy Dee Williams’ Lando Calrissian.

The actor who first charmed in The Empire Strikes Back in 1980 is returning to his iconic role almost 40 years later. He’s now 82 years old. His only worry was how to bring a powerful performance to wrap up Lando’s story and the entire saga. Here’s what he said:

Do I have that same hunger, excitement, that I had years earlier? This is a very difficult time for me, as far as age is concerned. When you get to be a certain age, whether you want to think about mortality or not, you think about it.

Although we’d hate to think about it this way, Billy Dee Williams approached the return by giving all he had to Lando. Heading into Rise of Skywalker, fans know little about how the captain and sportsman will meet the new generation of rebels, except for released footage of him piloting the Millennium Falcon once again. Or how large his role will be? Some expect he will share lineage with another member of the cast. Could Naomi Ackie’s Jannah be his daughter?

Much like the rest of the cast, Billy Dee Williams isn’t giving anything away. But, here’s how he thought Lando might be doing in his later years:

I always imagined Lando being like Steve Wynn, running Las Vegas. Because he’s a gambler. But he was a bit of a showman, a bit of an entrepreneur. That’s how I see Lando. I never necessarily saw him as a general running around shooting things.

Only time will tell how close to his prediction Rise of Skywalker will take the character but this sounds about right! Has he joined the Resistance or is he up to his old tricks? As we approach the release of Rise of Skywalker, there cannot possibly be enough Lando. When Esquire asked if the movie is his last planned appearance as the character, here’s what he had to say:

It’s a conclusion -- certainly it depends on how much money is generated. That’s when they determine where’s the conclusion. [He winks] The one thing about show business, you can resurrect anything.

Lando has been a fan-favorite for quite some time! Seeing more of his life and story in Star Wars could certainly be in demand. Even if Billy Dee Williams decides to step down from the role indefinitely, Donald Glover played the character in Solo: A Star Wars Story. What about a Disney+ series in the vein of what’s going on with Ewan McGregor’s Obi-Wan Kenobi or Diego Luna’s Cassian Andor from Rogue One?

We’ll have to see how Billy Dee Williams’ Lando Calrissian adds to the franchise as it seeks to wrap up the stories of Rey, Kylo Ren, Finn, Poe Dameron, and Princess Leia as well.

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker hits theaters on December 20.

Sarah El-Mahmoud
Staff Writer

Sarah El-Mahmoud has been with CinemaBlend since 2018 after graduating from Cal State Fullerton with a degree in Journalism. In college, she was the Managing Editor of the award-winning college paper, The Daily Titan, where she specialized in writing/editing long-form features, profiles and arts & entertainment coverage, including her first run-in with movie reporting, with a phone interview with Guillermo del Toro for Best Picture winner, The Shape of Water. Now she's into covering YA television and movies, and plenty of horror. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.