Yes, Lando Was Almost In 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi'

Sorry, Billy Dee Williams fans.
Lucasfilm Ltd./20th Century Fox/Photofest
Billy Dee Williams as Lando Calrissian in 'The Empire Strikes Back' (1980)

For all those who thought that Star Wars: The Last Jedi was lacking one essential quality — an appearance by Billy Dee Williams’ Lando Calrissian — it turns out that writer/director Rian Johnson is well aware of the problem, and almost had a solution.

“In terms of Lando, I briefly considered — would he work in the Benicio [Del Toro] part,” Johnson told The Playlist, referring to DJ, the codebreaker who helps Finn (John Boyega) and Rose (Kelly Marie Tran) break out of prison in Canto Bight and then break into the First Order’s lead pursuit ship. However, there was an obvious problem with that idea.

“I don’t think you would ever buy that Lando would just completely betray the characters like that and have that level of moral ambiguity. 'Cause we love Lando and you’d come into it with that [expectation],” Johnson explained. “And also, DJ, the character that they met, for the purposes of Finn’s character, had to be a morally ambiguous character that you’re not sure about, that you’re guessing about, and we already know that we love the character of Lando so it just wouldn’t have played in that part story wise.”

When put like that, it makes sense that Lando wouldn’t have shown up in Canto Bight; he was simply too moral for the place. Unless, of course, he had been the master code breaker that Maz had sent Finn and Rose there to meet in the first place.

If J.J. Abrams wants to make up for this heinous oversight, it’s obvious that Episode IX has to open with the Resistance resettled in Cloud City, with Lando complaining that his receiver had been broken or else he definitely would’ve visited Crait when the call went out. Search your heart, J.J. You know it to be true.