Ever since the return of certain Star Wars veterans were confirmed right before The Force Awakens began principal photography, many fans were curious as to why Billy Dee Williams (Lando Calrissian) was not included along with former co-stars Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher. Some fans were also disappointed at the exclusion of Lando in The Last Jedi.
Interestingly enough, writer/director Rian Johnson briefly toyed with the idea of having Lando make his return to the big screen in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, fulfilling the role of one of the film’s newest additions:
“In terms of Lando, I briefly considered — would he work in the Benicio [Del Toro] part. 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]. 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.”
In the film, Finn (John Boyega) and Rose Tico (Kelly Marie Tran) were sent by Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) on a mission to the city of Canto Bight trying to find a master codebreaker that Maz Kanata (Lupita Nyong’o) had connections to in the past. Although Finn and Rose spot the codebreaker they intended to find, they end up getting arrested by the Canto Bight Police.
While in custody, Finn and Rose meet DJ (Benicio del Toro) who helps the duo on their mission when they infiltrate Snoke’s ship. Unfortunately for our heroes, DJ ends up selling them out as well as revealing crucial Resistance information to the First Order.
Although it would have been nice to see Williams return as our old friend Lando, having him take on the role that DJ played would be a betrayal of one of the most beloved characters of the original trilogy. Also, it would have echoed The Empire Strikes Back a little too much, right down to having the same character betray our heroes three decades later.
Thankfully, fans of Lando will have an opportunity to reunite with him during his earlier years in the upcoming Solo: A Star Wars Story. Young Lando is portrayed by Donald Glover alongside Alden Ehrenreich as young Han Solo.
Here is the synopsis for The Last Jedi:
“In Lucasfilm’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi, the Skywalker saga continues as the heroes of The Force Awakens join the galactic legends in an epic adventure that unlocks age-old mysteries of the Force and shocking revelations of the past.”
Written and directed by Rian Johnson, the film stars Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Lupita Nyong’o, Domhnall Gleeson, Anthony Daniels, Gwendoline Christie, Kelly Marie Tran, Laura Dern and Benicio del Toro.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi is in theaters now.
Source: The Playlist