Writer and director, Rian Johnson of Star Wars: The Last Jedi recently said that he had not been approached by Billy Dee Williams about reprising his role as Lando Calrissian in the upcoming 8th installment of the Star Wars franchise.
“No, I haven’t gotten a call,” Johnson said during a visit to Jimmy Kimmel Live. Kimmel inquired if a call from Williams would have changed anything. “My phone will ring right now if I say yeah,” Johnson had joked.
“So you cannot say whether or not Lando is or is not in the movie?” Kimmel had asked.
“Oh no, no, Lando’s not — I love that character so much, but there just wasn’t space for it,” Johnson said.
Johnson had confirmed the smuggler-turned-administrator would not be appearing in The Last Jedi and said that he does not want fans to get their hopes up.
“He’s not in the film, and it was never really something that came up,” Johnson added. “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.”
Williams had first appeared in Star Wars: Episode V-The Empire Strikes Back as a friend of Han Solo (Harrison Ford). Calrissian had returned as a Rebel Alliance general in Star Wars: Episode VI — Return of the Jedi.
The actor would then reprise the role in the animated Star Wars Rebels, and lend his voice to Lando in The LEGO Movie and Star Wars: Battlefront II video game.
A younger Lando is set to appear in Solo: A Star Wars Story, played by Donald Glover.
Starring Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Benicio del Toro, Laura Dern, Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill, Star Wars: The Last Jedi opens December 15.