Billy Dee Williams at the premier of “Solo”, looking smooth as ever. He’s 81. How does he do that?

Lando Calrissian is a hard man to keep down. According to the Hollywood Reporter, Billy Dee Williams is returning to the Star Wars universe to reprise his role as the legendary character in Episode IX. We knew something was up when he bowed out of the Saskatchewan Entertainment Expo in September this year. The convention said on their Facebook page that it was due to “a film schedule conflict”. Now it looks like that film is the new Star Wars movie.

It will be the first time he’s appeared on screen as the wily, ethics-challenged lady’s man since The Empire Strikes Back in 1980, and Return of the Jedi in 1983. Since then, Williams has provided his voice to computer game and animated versions of himself, most noteably in episodes of Robot Chicken, various versions of LEGO Star Wars, both Star Wars: Battlefront games (he was uncredited in the first one, but that was him), and even in a couple of episodes of the recent popular animated series Star Wars Rebels.

Production of Episode IX is set to begin later this summer.

The character is one of the more popular personages in the Star Wars universe and appeared in a major way in this year’s Solo: A Star Wars Story. Donald Glover donned the demi-cape to play a younger Calrissian.

Episode IX is being directed by J.J. Abrams and will reunite Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac and Adam Driver, among others. Keri Russell is one of the new additions to the cast, despite the fact that the show’s IMDB page says she’s only “rumored” at this point … but if you look, Billy Dee Williams is not listed as “rumored”.

Is it real? Is Billy Dee Williams actually going to be in the next film? He hasn’t issued a statement to the contrary so far, and we do have both Hollywood Reporter and IMDB saying yes. We’re as certain as we can be under the circumstances.

The new film, as yet untitled, is set to open Dec. 20, 2019.


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