It’s about time! Billy Dee Williams is poised to break out the capes as Lando Calrissian once again. The actor, who originated the role of the suave intergalactic gambler in The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, will return to the role for J.J. Abrams‘ Star Wars: Episode IX.
Per The Hollywood Reporter, rumors began to spread that Williams would join the production when the actor bowed out of an upcoming convention citing a filming conflict. Per THR’s sources, Williams will indeed be returning to the Star Wars universe for the first time since 1983’s Return of the Jedi.
Of course, it hasn’t been nearly as long since we’ve seen Lando on screen, and considering Donald Glover’s turn as the iconic sci-fi character was one of the few talking points to come out of Solo — Lucasfilm’s first big box office swing and miss — it shouldn’t be too much of a surprise that the character is coming back to the trilogy films. What’s more, the Star Wars saga finds itself short on the original generation after the events of The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi and Carrie Fisher’s untimely death.
Williams is the second new cast member announced for Episode IX, following the news that Abrams favorite Keri Russell signed on for a mysterious (but reportedly action-heavy) role. Star Wars: Episode IX opens December 20, 2019 and also stars Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, and John Boyega.