Star Wars: Lando Calrissian Nearly Returned in The Force Awakens

Fans are just weeks away from the conclusion of the Skywalker Saga in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. One familiar face returning for the conclusion is Billy Dee WilliamsLando Calrissian. Now, the star has made some headlines for other reasons in recent days, but it is fun to see Williams back in the saddle metaphorically and ready to help another generation of heroes. The actor told the gathered press during a press conference yesterday, “I didn’t think that it would happen. I just wrote it off, you know? And I said, ‘Well, I did what I had to do, and that was it.” Williams is clearly ecstatic to be back and the man largely responsible for that is J.J. Abrams. The director explained how he originally wanted Lando to return to the movies in Star Wars: The Force Awakens and it became clear that there might not be enough time to enact that plan. So, there was a little bit of wait but Williams is back in the fold and having a serious gas playing this character again. Abrams told Vanity Fair how the entire timeline broke down.

“Having Lando back in Star Wars is something that [co-writer] Larry Kasdan and I wanted to do in The Force Awakens, just as much as I wanted to have Luke training Rey,” Arbams told the magazine. “I was so excited about things that we just realized we could never, ever get to.”

When Williams got the call to reprise the role, he was absolutely overjoyed. “He’s just wonderful and funny and fascinating and curious, and he cares so much… Having his spirit and his personality, and his swagger, and that fucking smile, which is the greatest thing that, maybe, God ever made…He’s just, you just can’t deny the guy. Getting to see him in a scene with our characters, it just feels so right.”

So, things are going to be emotional, not just with the loss of Carrie Fisher, but also saying goodbye to these long-established characters. It would be right to think there may not be a dry eye in the house during certain moments of the film. Either way, everyone will find out together later this month.

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Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker stars a lot of returning faces including Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong'o, Domhnall Gleeson, Kelly Marie Tran, Joonas Suotamo, Billie Lourd, Naomi Ackie, Richard E. Grant, Keri Russell, Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels, Billy Dee Williams, and Carrie Fisher.

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker reaches theaters on December 20th.