Happy Birthday, Billy Dee Williams! The actor best known for playing Lando Calrissian in the original Star Wars trilogy turns 82 today, and fans and friends alike are celebrating. Mark Hamill, who starred alongside Williams in Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back and Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, shared a post to Twitter earlier today honoring the iconic actor.
SHOUT OUT to Billy Dee Williams (@realbdw) for no other reason other than his decades of excellence, being a loyal friend & the very personification of effortless...C-O-O-O-O-O-L. 🎂 #WelcomeBackLando pic.twitter.com/XXsi9FtMCi— Mark Hamill (@HamillHimself) April 6, 2019
"SHOUT OUT to Billy Dee Williams (@realbdw) for no other reason other than his decades of excellence, being a loyal friend & the very personification of effortless...C-O-O-O-O-O-L. #WelcomeBackLando," Hamill wrote.
The "welcome back" hashtag is to honor the fact that Williams will finally be returning to the Star Wars franchise in the upcoming Star Wars: Episode IX. While fans were recently treated to a younger version of the character played by Donald Glover in Solo: A Star Wars Story, Williams hasn't donned the infamous cape on the big screen since 1983. However, the actor has continued to voice the character in various video games and cartoon series over the years.
Many fans were quick to comment on Hamill's birthday post, joining in on celebrating Williams' 82 years of life.
"What a fantastic man, I can't wait to see him in Episode IX," @Claudia__83 wrote.
"That man summarizes what cool is," @LennyDeGriffa added.
"Love you both!!! Thanks for giving us so much fun through all the characters you have and currently are portraying," @neferene2 replied.
In addition to appearing in Episode IX, it was recently announced that Williams would be making an appearance at Star Wars Celebration in Chicago this month. You can find out about his photo ops and signings here.
Episode IX is set to star a returning Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong'o, Domhnall Gleeson, Kelly Marie Tran, Joonas Suotamo, and Billie Lourd. New cast members include Naomi Ackie, Richard E. Grant, and Keri Russell, and the returning veteran actors are Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels, and Billy Dee Williams. According to StarWars.com, Leia will be featured in the film using unreleased footage of Carrie Fisher from Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
Star Wars: Episode IX is expected to hit theatres on December 20th.
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