‘Star Wars’ Might Be Saved After All: Billy Dee Williams to Appear in ‘Episode IX’

I’ve been pretty vocal about not enjoying the new Star Wars movies for a myriad of reasons. Every time I write about it I have to leave out some of the things I hate about the movies, like whose idea was General Hux? Someone sat down at a word processor and said “So we want a character like the one Peter Cushing played in the original Star Wars film, but instead of being an imposing presence and the only person with the balls to stand up to Darth Vader, let’s make him Waylon Smithers in space.”

But set aside all your complaints about the plot, characters, directing and fight choreography because Billy Dee Williams is coming back to save the day the way he did when he lead the attack on the second Death Star. That’s right, according to The Hollywood Reporter, Lando Calrissian, the coolest guy in a universe far, far away is going to be in Star Wars: Episode IX. 

My reaction to this news was pretty much the same reaction Turk had in Scrubs when he met Billy Dee Williams.

From the sound of the report, which says that “the actor bowed out of an upcoming sci-fi and pop culture convention citing a conflict with a movie schedule,” lead me to believe that Williams was a last-minute addition despite being a headlining star in The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. With the death of Carrie Fisher after the previous films killed off Han Solo and Luke Skywalker, Williams is the only cast member from the original films left. He deserved to be treated better, but at least he gets to come into the last act and be the hero none of his co-stars have managed to be in the Disney films.

Keri Russell is also joining the cast of Episode IX. No word on whom she’ll be playing, but I’m hoping she’s an actual good villain who kills Kylo Ren and Hux in the first reel. I doubt that’s what’ll happen, but it would be the best change we have of at least one of these Disney Star Wars movies being watchable.

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