BREAKING - Billy Dee Williams To Return in Episode IX

Billy Dee.jpg

What do we have here? Fantha Tracks has been gathering evidence on the rumor that Billy Dee Williams will return to the Galaxy Far Far Away as Lando Calrissian in Episode IX. In June they corroborated the rumor with two of their sources. On July 9th Borys Kit of The Hollywood Reporter also cited that insider sources confirm these rumors to be true.

This speculation was primarily sparked by Williams dropping out of his appearance at the Saskatchewan Entertainment Expo “Due to his filming schedule”.  

Sources confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter that Williams will indeed be returning to the Star Wars film franchise for the first time since 1983’s Return of the Jedi.
— Boyrs Kit
We’re sad to announce that Billy Dee Williams will not be able to appear at Sask Expo this year, due to his filming schedule. We’ll miss you Billy, and hope to see you next year!
— @SaskExpo

The 81 year old actor does not have any known upcoming film projects that would conflict with the August 15th and 16th Expo, making this news quite curious. Keep in mind that Episode IX is set to begin filming at the end of the month according to Variety. Which would fall in line with the roumors and speculation that the internet is buzzing about. Could this mean that he is "On a strict diet" to get in shape to repise his role as Lando?

On top of all of this is the fact that Williams made a comment about being on a strict diet and exercising 3 times a week, when at MegaCon Orlando.  Of course Billy taking good care of his health for reasons outside of upcoming roles is very understandable, but it is still worth noting here.

To step away from the possible evidence of Williams having taken the role; let’s discuss the likelihood of Lando showing up in IX in the first place. Lando has been one character sorely missed in the Sequel Trilogy. Rian Johnson thought about using him for The Last Jedi in the role that would become DJ at one time 

“I don’t think you would ever buy that Lando would just completely betray the characters like that and have that level of moral ambiguity. ‘Cause we love Lando and you’d come into it with that [expectation],” Johnson explained. “And also, DJ, the character that they met, for the purposes of Finn’s character, had to be a morally ambiguous character that you’re not sure about, that you’re guessing about, and we already know that we love the character of Lando so it just wouldn’t have played in that part story wise.”
— Rian Johnson

With few remaining big names from the Original Trilogy to have as a legacy connection in Episode IX, having Williams reprise his role as Lando Calrissian in live action (after several voice reprisals as of late) would be quite a logical decision. With Carrie Fisher’s passing, Lando seems like the best choice for a major returning character to help connect the three trilogies. 

Now all of this could very well be coincidence, and we should always be vigilant when it comes to rumors. However given how Fantha Tracks  and Hollywood Reporter are normally trustworthy with their sources; it is very much worth considering the possibility.