Billy Dee Williams returns to the cast of Star Wars reprising his iconic role as smooth-talking smuggler Lando Calrissian. Williams was among the cast for Episode IX in attendance at The Star Wars Celebration in Chicago. This Christmas, the final installment in the storied franchise, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, will be in theaters, and thousands of fans were treated to a live look at the first trailer.
Host Stephen Colbert asked the Hollywood legend how he got back into character for the part of Lando, and the spry 82-year-old replied with confidence, “How did I find Lando again? Lando never left me.”
Williams also wanted to set the record straight — tongue squarely in cheek — about Lando’s “betrayal” of Han Solo in The Empire Strikes Back.
“I have to explain this stuff to people, I don’t know why. I get sick and tired of being accused of betraying Han Solo,” he said.
“All of a sudden it’s like I’m talking about me, not Lando Calrissian,” he joked. “But he was up against Darth Vader, he had to figure out something. Besides, did anybody die? I had to figure out a way to prevent the complete demise of my friend and all of his friends.”
A young Lando was featured in the 2018 prequel, Solo: A Star Wars Story, played by Donald Glover. In Episode 9, actress Naomi Ackie joins as Jannah, and Colbert asked in speculation if she was Lando’s daughter.
“Lando is a very charismatic man,” she answered with a wry smile. “He could have children all over the galaxy.”
We’ll have to wait until December to get the answer to that, but watch the teaser trailer to Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker.