Now that we know that the Big Three – Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford – are set to return in some sort of capacity in Disney’s upcoming Star Wars: Episode VII, it is time to turn our attention to the other original trilogy characters we don’t have word of yet.
I would suspect that we will definitely see the return of R2-D2 and C-3P0, as George Lucas has often stated that they are the characters through whose eyes the audience sees the films. But what of some of the non-`droid characters, like gambler-turned-businessman-turned Rebel general Lando Calrissian, played by Bill Dee Williams?
Well, friend of the site Henry R. had a chance to talk to Williams briefly at the Monster Mania convention in New Jersey this past weekend and asked him just that. He reports –
Billy Dee said, he has been asked, but hasn’t decided if he is going to do it or not yet.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. “What’s there to decide about?!” I’m thinking it too. After all, amongst his recent credits, Williams has certainly done nothing to distance himself from his Lando Calrissian role having appeared in the Star Wars fandom comedy Fanboys and voicing Lando on a handful of Robot Chicken episodes and Star Wars video games. But we should point out that Williams will be turning 76 next month and maybe he isn’t feeling up to the rigors of a full-on film shoot versus an afternoon or two of voice over work.
[UPDATE: In a March 8th post over at Movies.com, Williams is quoted as saying at the Emerald City Comic-Con in Seattle that he had not yet been contacted about being in the film. Since ECCC was held the previous weekend to this past weekend’s Monster Mania show it seems as if he was contacted just this past week.)
In the Expanded Universe of novels and comics that takes place after Return Of The Jedi, Lando returned to his businessman ways though he rejoins the new Galactic Alliance on occassion to help out when various wars erupt, though it is anyone’s guess as to whether the new films will honor that continuity. (I suppose we’ll have a clearer answer to that if we hear whether Peter Mayhew is coming back, given that his character of Chewbacca was killed off in a Star Wars novel a few years back.)
Star Wars: Episode VII is still on the schedule for a 2015 release with J J Abrams directing a screenplay from Michael Arndt.