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The last Star Wars trilogy of the Skywalker Saga has been packed full of exciting returns from the original cast, and the last installment will be no exception. Rise of Skywalker will mark Billy Dee Williams’ first time reprising his iconic role of Lando Calrissian since The Return of the Jedi. For the returning actor, he never thought he’d see the day. In Williams’ words:
I’m older now, so for me, it’s more a source of amusement than anything else. I never expected to really be back in that costume or in the movie, so I still kind of chuckle about the whole thing. I knew people were clamoring for Lando to come back, but I didn’t feel like that would happen. It’s a nice feeling to be welcomed back.
In the words of his fan-favorite character, Billy Dee Williams likely thought as he grew older the deal would be “getting worse all the time.” Reprising a beloved character is not an opportunity every actor gets decades later. But, here he is donning the cape and turning on Lando’s charm again for the conclusion to the long-running saga.
As Billy Dee Williams told Variety, putting on the blue and yellow costume was an amusing experience for him to go back to. His original appearances as the character only really added up to 15 minutes of screen time, but Lando has since become so much larger than just a supporting character in a Star Wars movie.
Lando was the first black character in the franchise, before Samuel L. Jackson’s Mace Windu, John Boyega’s Finn or upcoming newbie Naomi Ackie’s Jannah joining the universe. Billy Dee Williams gets to share the screen with the crew of new characters fans have been following for the past four years, along with injecting some nostalgia into the runtime.
Additionally, the late Carrie Fisher will reprise her role in the Rise of Skywalker in a “profound” way, as J.J. Abrams recently told CinemaBlend. Even though the Princess Leia actress died before she could see 2017’s The Last Jedi premiere, the filmmakers found a way to add unused footage from The Force Awakens into the scenes of the final film.
But, just how will Billy Dee Williams’ Lando Calrissian fit into Rise of Skywalker? He may be pining over not having the Millenium Falcon back in his hands. Per an early image, it looks like Poe Dameron is having a ball test flying Han Solo’s famous ship!
Billy Dee Williams returns to the cape-wearing part after Donald Glover took on the role for 2018’s Solo: A Star Wars Story, but there’s nothing like the original actor returning to a beloved character. Rise of Skywalker hits theaters on December 20. While you wait, take our quiz on which Star Wars movie you should revisit before the upcoming release!