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'Star Wars': Billy Dee Williams Reprising Role as Lando Calrissian

The actor is returning for 'Episode IX.'
Billy Dee Williams in 'Empire Strikes Back' (1980)   |   Lucasfilm Ltd./20th Century Fox/Photofest
The actor is returning for 'Episode IX.'

Billy Dee Williams is returning to a galaxy far, far away.

The actor, who famously played the galactic gambler Lando Calrissian, will reprise the role for Star Wars: Episode IX, the next Star Wars installment from Lucasfilm.

Chatter about Williams joining the production, which is set to begin later this summer, increased in recent days when the actor bowed out of an upcoming sci-fi and pop culture convention citing a conflict with a movie schedule. Sources confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter that Williams will indeed be returning to the Star Wars film franchise for the first time since 1983’s Return of the Jedi. The Lando Calrissian character made his suave debut in 1980's The Empire Strikes Back.

Williams has in recent years returned to the role that fuels his appearances on the convention circuit, voicing Calrissian in various cartoon series and video games.

The character is one of the more popular personages in the Star Wars universe and appeared in a major way in this year’s Solo: A Star Wars Story. Donald Glover slipped on the cape to play a younger Calrissian.

Episode IX is being directed by J.J. Abrams and will reunite Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac and Adam Driver, among others. Keri Russell is one of the new additions to the cast. The film is set to open Dec. 20, 2019.

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