Billy Dee Williams may have been left out of the cast of Star Wars Episode VII (and I’ll continue to protest this outside Lucasfilm headquarters), but that doesn’t mean he’s not involved with a future Star Wars project. In an interview with Collider, Star Wars Rebels producer Simon Kinberg said that Williams will reprise his role as Lando in the upcoming animated series.
Since Rebels take place four years before A New Hope, this will be a pre-Empire Strike Back Lando, so any of the character development seen afterwards won’t be there. That said, it’ll be nice to see the charming rogue again. If the main characters in Rebels are dealing in the galactic underworld, chances are they’ll run into Calrissian, who’s probably cleaning up at a sabacc table.
Kinberg also hinted that other Original Trilogy characters may appear.
Writing dialogue for any of the legacy characters is as big a thrill as anything I’ve ever had in my life. I said this to [producer Kathleen Kennedy] that when I open up a Final Draft document, and I tab over to “Character” and it’s a character from the original films—to be nameless until people see them—but if it’s a character from the original films, just typing in those letters and then that being the recorded name in that name database for that script is as surreal, and perhaps more so, than anything I’ve experienced in my career.
The Star Wars Rebels characters will obviously be off doing their own thing, but it would be great to see them interact with some of the Original characters. The best candidates: Han and Chewbacca. These two are already galavanting across the galaxy smuggling and evading Imperial forces. Why shouldn’t they run into the crew of The Ghost? Better yet, put Lando in an episode with the duo. Aside from some books (which are now non-canon), Lando’s exploits with Han and Chewie have never been covered. Let’s get that trio into some hijinks!