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Lando Calrissian Will Not Be In Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Although Star Wars: The Last Jedi will have lots of similarities to The Empire Strikes Back, we shouldn't expect to see the return of one significant character introduced in the 1980 flick.

The Last Jedi writer and director Rian Johnson confirmed to Entertainment Weekly that Billy Dee Williams will not appear as Lando Calrissian. "No, and I don't want fans to get their hopes up," he said. "He's not in the film and it was never really something that came up. I mean, I loved that character. It would have been fun to see him, but it's just not something that ever really had a place in the story."

The new trilogy echoes the original in sly ways, so it seemed possible that Lando could show up in the second installment. After all, The Last Jedi will feature plenty of elements that are reminiscent of The Empire Strikes Back: Rey (Daisy Ridley) will seek guidance from Luke (Mark Hamill) on Ahch-To, much like he did with Yoda on Dagobah; there will be a battle with giant walkers on the white salt flats of Crait instead of the snowy landscape of Hoth; and the characters will visit the casino city of Canto Bight instead of the Cloud City of Bespin. 

Some fans thought a casino would be the perfect place to find an older Lando, but it's not in the cards.

Williams is now 80, but his manager said he was hoping for a return. "Billy respects the studio and all involved in the decision but would be happy to be in any future Star Wars film if asked."

In next year's standalone film Solo: A Star Wars Story, Donald Glover will play a young version of Lando opposite Alden Ehrenreich as Han. When Glover was cast, he met with Williams to discuss the character. "We just sat and talked and I didn't want to impose on anything he wanted to do," Williams told The Hollywood Reporter. "He's got his own ideas, I would imagine. I know he has his own ideas. He's a very talented young man."

Still, there's always the chance J.J. Abrams could bring Williams back for Episode IX, which is expected to arrive Dec. 20, 2019.