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Billy Dee Williams is coming back in Star Wars: Episode IX, marking his first time appearing in the franchise since Episode VI - Return of the Jedi in 1983. The unveiling of the full cast for the latest installment of the series this past Friday was highlighted by what seemed like an unlikely return for Williams, Mark Hamill, and Carrie Fisher.
In a 2017 interview with ABC News, LucasFilm CEO Kathleen Kennedy shot down the possibility of seeing Fisher in Episode IX following her untimely death, saying, "Sadly, Carrie will not be in IX." It appears that the studio found a loophole through the use of unseen footage shot for Episode VII. If you have already seen The Last Jedi, you can probably understand why the return of Hamill is somewhat surprising. As for Williams, there’s no explanation as to how reprising his role as Lando Calrissian will fit into the J.J. Abrams-directed film. Lando’s character did get some new life when Donald Glover took on the part in Solo: A Star Wars Story, and received rave reviews.
The official announcement of Williams on the Episode IX cast allowed Hamill to finally speak out about his return, calling it "long overdue" on Twitter. Check out his remarks below.