Mark Hamill Welcomes Billy Dee Williams to 'Star Wars: Episode IX'

Lucasfilm got production on Star Wars: Episode IX off to an exciting start yesterday with the announcement of the film's full cast, including a few fan-favorite surprises including the return of Billy Dee Williams as Lando Calrissian. Now, Mark Hamill is welcoming Williams in a kind message on social media.

Hamill took to Twitter yesterday to officially admit that he would be returning for the final installment of the Skywalker saga as well as Williams, noting that it was "long overdue" for Williams to be back in the Star Wars fold. Check out his tweet below.

"It's finally fine to admit [I'm in IX] -- Billy Dee too -- which is long overdue (no one's ever really gone). Now only 17 months of 'no comment's' when asked about it to avoid revealing details or fueling speculation," Hamill wrote with the hashtag "see you around kids".

Fans of Star Wars certainly agree with Hamill that Williams' return is long overdue. While fans did get to see a younger version of the iconic character as played by Donald Glover in Solo: A Star Wars Story, the last time fans saw Williams as Lando in Star Wars films was in 1983's Return of the Jedi in which he leads a group of rebel ships in the attack on the second Death Star. While Lando survived the attack -- its success gave the rebels a decisive victory over the Empire -- he was absent from the first two films of the sequel trilogy, much to fan disappointment.

As for what fans can expect of Lando in Episode IX, that remains a mystery as does exactly how Hamill's Luke Skywalker will return. As fans will recall, Luke became one with The Force and faded into the sunset at the end of The Last Jedi. It's possible that he will return as a spirit, much in the same way the spirits of Obi-Wan, Yoda, and Anakin Skywalker smiled over the victorious rebels at the end of The Return of the Jedi, though it's also possible that J.J. Abrams has another plan for the Skywalker as well.

The only real details we know about the return of any of the actors and characters from the original trilogy is that Carrie Fisher will posthumously be reprising her role as General Leia Organa, thanks to unreleased footage originally shot for 2015's Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

"We desperately loved Carrie Fisher," said director J.J. Abrams, who also helmed The Force Awakens. "Finding a truly satisfying conclusion to the Skywalker Saga without her eluded us. We were never going to recast or use a CG character. With the support and blessing from her daughter, Billie, we found a way to honor Carrie's legacy and role as Leia in Episode IX by using unseen footage we shot together in Episode VII."

One thing is for certain, though, and that's that whatever the details of both Lando and Luke's returns in Episode IX, Hamill's tweet makes it clear he's going to be doing his part to keep things to himself. Now fans just have to wait until December 2019 to see how these returns play out.


Star Wars: Episode IX is currently slated to hit theaters on December 20, 2019.

Are you excited for Billy Dee Williams' return as Lando Calrissian? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.