Billy Dee Williams joining 'Star Wars Episode IX' as Lando Calrissian

Billy Dee Williams to Return as Lando Calrissian in ‘Star Wars: Episode IX’

Multiple media outlets report that actor Billy Dee Williams will reprise his role as the iconic science fiction character in the upcoming ninth installment in J.J. Abrams' "Star Wars" revival.

A rumor that a beloved Star Wars character would be returning for Star Wars: Episode IX has now been confirmed.

Calrissian is arguably the biggest remaining character from the first trilogy, with Harrison Ford's Han Solo and Mark Hamill's Luke Skywalker now killed off, while a return for Princess Leia now impossible following the tragic passing of Carrie Fisher in 2016.

Williams, 81, first portrayed the smooth-talking smuggler and on-again-off-again friend to franchise hero Han Solo in 1980's The Empire Strikes Back.

Lando Calrissian has, of course, enjoyed something of a boost in popularity as of late, thanks to Donald Glover's performance as the character in Ron Howard's Solo: A Star Wars Story.

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Williams would add some legacy clout to "Star Wars 9", which doesn't have an official title yet.

The film, directed by J.J. Abrams, is set for release December 20, 2019, with filming expected to start soon.

Williams has in recent years returned to the role that fuels his appearances on the convention circuit, voicing Calrissian in various cartoon series and video games.

Aside from Williams, it was also revealed recently that Keri Russell was joining the cast too, alongside returnees such as Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, John Boyega, and Oscar Isaac.

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