While Lando Calrissian first appeared in the second movie of the original trilogy, Empire Strikes Back, it’s learned Billy Dee Williams won’t be returning to Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
I was at a local convention last year where Billy Dee Willams did state he wanted to return to the Star Wars movies, but director Rian Johnson confirms no Lando.
“No, and I don’t want fans to get their hopes up,” writer-director Rian Johnson told EW. “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 article does point out that Star Wars: The Last Jedi does share similarities with Empire Strikes Back:
The Last Jedi will feature a battle against gigantic walkers on a salt flat instead of a snowy tundra, Rey will seek guidance from Luke as he once did with Yoda, and characters will visit the casino city of Canto Bight instead of Bespin’s ritzy Cloud City.
It does seem odd that they can’t fit in Lando, even in some sort of cameo role. Billy Dee Williams has voiced the character for Star Wars Rebels, so we can assume there is no bad blood, but I wonder why not in the films? At least we have the Porgs to look forward to, right?