Mark Hamill Welcomes Billy Dee Williams To Star Wars: Episode IX

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The shoot for Star Wars: Episode IX is due to kick off on the 1st of August at Pinewood, and Lucasfilm got everyone hyped up last night with a full cast rundown. One of the nicest surprises was confirmation that not only will Mark Hamill be making an appearance as Luke Skywalker (presumably in Force ghost form), but that he’ll be joined by Billy Dee Williams reprising his role as Lando Calrissian. The return of the original Lando wasn’t exactly a big secret mind you, with most assuming he was going to be back in those fetching space capes, but it was still nice to have it in writing.

Now, to welcome him back to the franchise after 35 years away, Mark Hamill – being his usual classy self – posted a tweet celebrating his colleague’s “long overdue” return, saying:

It’s finally fine to admit #ImInIX-Billy Dee @realbdw too-which is long overdue (No one’s ever really gone) Now only 17 months of “no comment”s when asked about it to avoid revealing details or fueling speculation #SeeYouAroundKids

It’ll be really neat to see how they handle the return of Lando to the series, especially as we’ve just gotten some insight into the character’s past through Donald Glover’s role in SoloWith Calrissian playing a key part in destroying the second Death Star in Return of the Jedi, you’d expect for him to be something of a galactic celebrity by now, or potentially targeted by the First Order in revenge for his actions with the Rebellion.

Rumor has it that Abrams is seeking to make Episode IX feel far more connected to the Prequels and Original Trilogy than The Force Awakens or The Last Jedi was, to the point of apparently inviting George Lucas in to consult with the script. And, with Luke, Leia and Lando all now confirmed, fans will be wondering who else we may see an appearance from, even if it is as part of a Return of the Jedi-style Force ghost party.

As this is supposed to be the finale (for real this time!) of the Skywalker Saga, might we even see a little something from Hayden Christensen? I doubt his diary is particularly busy these days, but we won’t find out for sure until Star Wars: Episode IX hits cinemas on December 20th, 2019.

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