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Billy Dee Williams on Star Wars: Episode7 and More.

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Blastr got the chance to chat with veteran actor, author and artist Billy Dee Williams at last week’s Wizard World Portland Comic-Con. Hit the jump to find out what he said about the original movies as well as answering the question will he return as Lando in Star Wars: Episode 7…

From blastr:

Lando was the first person of color in the Star Wars series other than bit players, but he was never seen as a minority. How did you feel about that then, and now after 30 years?

Williams: I tend to approach characters not based on ethnicity, but on some unique individual qualities, and I’ve set my whole life that way. I don’t want any sort of limitations imposed on my work. If you truly want to be a creative person, you can’t limit yourself.

At the time that you signed up to appear in The Empire Strikes Back, Star Wars was already a phenomenon. How did you feel at the time about becoming part of that rising legacy?

Williams: I looked forward to it, and had seen his first film, THX-1138, and was really impressed with that movie and what George Lucas was doing. So when I was told they wanted me to play Lando I got really excited.

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You’ve mentioned before that you have an Ewok head from Return of the Jedi. What other Star Wars collectibles or props did you keep from the films?

Williams: Well, I have a T-shirt that reads Revenge of the Jedi and some of the little original Star Wars action figures.

How about Lando’s famous blue cape?

Williams: It’s now part of the permanent exhibit at the traveling Smithsonian exhibit and is officially owned by Lucasfilm.

 J.J. Abrams has said the new Star Wars script is done.  It’s been rumored that Michael Arndt’s draft contained the Lando character.  Will you return as Lando in Star Wars: Episode VII?

Williams: I haven’t heard anything. No midnight calls yet. Sure, I’d be interested in playing Lando again, if it came my way. Sure.

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Do you guys want Lando back in Episode 7? With the latest rumors of the Big Three returning with bigger roles, there surely has to be something about Lando in the movie. 

Remember what he said a few months back:

“The right idea actually is to come back with a daughter who’s a Jedi, a beautiful daughter who’s a Jedi.”

And if THR rumors from a few weeks back are true and especially this one:

“The latest bit to surface this week is that Abrams and Lucasfilm are now searching for a 20-something female actress who is either of mixed race or black.”

Could this 20-something female be Lando’s daughter? Thoughts?

 

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  • Have heard about this from a supposed source, but keep in mind, this same source & article said that Dark Horse is staying on into the future, and hasn’t reported since proven wrong on that.
    http://www.jedinews.co.uk/news/news.aspx?newsID=14473

    “I assume by the ‘Big 3’ you mean Han, Luke, and Leia? I take exception to your exclusion of my hero Lando. Technically he saved the lives of everyone on Bespin, and Solo – it’s not easy standing up to Vader and Fett! Why does no one refer to the Big 4?.

    Talking of Billy Dee, I’m not the only one to adore him, and expect big things from him on multiple platforms in the future. Everyone loves working with him, and thus everyone wants to create work for him…”

    • Anonymous

      Big 7. Chewie, R2D2, and C-3PO as well.

  • Anonymous

    i would love to see Lando in the movie & i have always wondered what happened to cloud city (i am sure there are EU stories about cloud city, but that is not what i mean)

    Wouldn´t Lando also be an old General in the new republic alongside Han Solo?

    • I hope everyone has new titles in Ep 7. Other than Master Skywalker, but hey he can even have another. General Solo most expect. Mabey Han isn’t evolved with Commerce or Military. Mabey Lando is a Viceroy. Perhaps a character has a new title something different and unexpected. Even a prisoner, a good prison break is always interesting. But I guess that’s been done in every movie where someone is captured, it is war in all.

  • Anonymous

    I hope he’s gonna appear in ep7 and Chewie too

  • The script is done. Actors of the established OT characters should know for certain by now if they are in it or not (recasting would surely be a big no no). If they aren’t in it, I am sure they would say so.

    So, from this point on if any of them say ‘I don’t know’ or ‘I haven’t heard anything’, I am going to take that as confirmation of their return (they simply aren’t allowed to say ‘yes’).

    • Fair enough. :)

    • They’re all in on a secret that a huge majority of the world is dying to know. Of course they’re going keep every little bit of info on the DL at this point. With a franchise as widely known as Star Wars, anticipation and anxiety are the best promotional tactics.

    • They want to announce the new and old at the same time, as a sort of shield for the new blood. Historically, I think they announced everyone at once.

  • Anonymous

    eh I’d rather him come back in episode 8 or 9. Don’t cram everything and anything into episode 7 pleeease..

    • I think the only good explaination of his absence would be his death. Otherwise, why wouldn’t he be in EpVII?

    • Anonymous

      “Otherwise, why wouldn’t he be in EpVII?” Well why would he be in episode 7? He doesn’t need to be if it’s about Han Luke Leia and their kids. Lando and his kid can come into the story in episode 8 the same way Lando came into the story in episode 5 instead of 4.

    • It wouldn’t work out the same way. Before he wasn’t considered a member of their team. Now that he’s a friend to all of the primary characters and a military general, I don’t see why he wouldn’t at least pop in the 7th movie, just so it’s not completely unexplained until episode VIII. His part could be more involved in episode VIII, but they should at least tell the audience where he’s been for thirty years since we last saw him.

    • Anonymous

      Ok, so he’s a friend to the primary characters, and lets say he’s a military general, that’s still not a reason for him to have to be in episode 7. I mean take Yoda. He was one of the most important characters and yet we didn’t meet him till episode 5. The emperor was also one of the most important characters yet we didn’t see him till episode 5 either, and that was only a quick hologram scene. He wasn’t really important to the plot until episode 6, and he was the leader of the empire. Just because Lando is a friend, doesn’t mean there’s any more reason for him to be in episode 7 as opposed to waiting until episode 8, or even 9. If he is a general or something, then that’s still not really a reason for him to be there. Mon Mothma, Admiral Ackbar, they weren’t in star wars until episode 6.

    • Anonymous

      AnonymousJanuary 31, 2014 at 9:46 PM

      You seem to be missing the point…

    • Anonymous

      Well no, I see exactly what you’re saying. They would need to establish Lando at some point or another, I’m not dumb. You seem to be missing MY point. If Lando is going to be a silly cameo, then it can wait. If he is going to be some general or something, then that can wait. If he is going to be a friend that the characters go to for advice, then that can wait. There is no argument for him to HAVE to be episode 7 unlike others. I mean Leia Luke and Han HAVE to be in episode 7. They are the main characters. Let’s say that they decide to make another 3 Harry Potter films. Harry, Ron, and Hermoine would 100% have to be established in the first film. Characters like Luna and Neville don’t HAVE to be there in the first film at all. I know they’re close friends and have a big role in the plot, but they’re still not part of the main group of characters. Lando was very cool and extremely important to the story, but he was still a secondary character. It would be wrong to pile on everything in episode 7 when they can easily spread out what happened to Lando later on. Yes, I see exactly what you’re saying, and I am killing to see Lando come back. But logistically, there is no reason for Lando to HAVE to be in episode 7, as opposed to episode 8.

    • Why have Solo? He said his role in ep6 was enough, but were back.
      Just like we expect Abbot with Costello, R2 and 3po so we expect to see Lando and Han and yes defiantly need one 200+ year old Wookie. They are going to need some folks to kill off, after all it is a space opera.

  • Lando is supposed to have a son with a rich beautiful lady (Tendra Rissant) named Lando “Chance” Jr. This actress might be either Salla Zend or Corellian secret agent Kalenda. It’d be very interesting indeed to see a new daughter of Lando’s. :-D

  • Wouldn’t mind seeing what happened to him these past 30ish years. That said unless he’s important to the plot be brief about it, the film is only ~2 hours and I don’t want all of it spent on focusing on filling the 30 year gap, save that for future TV shows, books, and comics.

    Id prefer Lando being a politican, since he’s respectable, so Leia can be the Jedi Orders representitive to the Senate. Thus making her a Jedi Master first, politican second… which I feel is more loyal to her OT role as a warrior leader and not a leader of warriors. Know others will disagree but that’s how I feel… Lando is more the leader of warriors type who can fight too after all he was gold leader while Leia help lead commands to blow up a shield generator.

    • Oh, forgot…

      Not sure how I feel about him having a Jedi kid. I think it might make the universe feel too… small. Maybe if s/he stars in a spinoff I wouldn’t mind as much…

    • Since thirty years have passed since ROTJ’s conclusion, it’s certainly possible for him to have a late-teens/early-twenties daughter who has been trained from a young age by Luke, along with the young Solo(s) and (perhaps) Skywalker(s). I can see Abrams adding a lot of younger Jedi to the new series. That’s one of the few things that worris me about the ST. I just don’t want to see anything blown out of proportion.

    • I think the point was that it would seem a bit strange for everyone in their immediate group to suddenly have jedi children when it is supposed to be comparatively rare. Unless he married a jedi. It would be a mistake to make ALL the new characters Jedi, there should be some normal humans or other races as well.

    • The worst things about the direction Star Wars has been set on, is the mindset that “Only Jedi or Sith matter”. What about Tarkin? He TOLD VADER WHAT TO DO. Here is an article on this problem.

      http://eleven-thirtyeight.com/2013/07/jedi-sith-and-force-tunnel-vision/

  • Anonymous

    Lando must back. This guy is a hero of my childhood

  • Anonymous

    If Luke, Leia, and Han are back, Lando really *has* to be back with them. It’d be like having R2 and not 3PO

  • Anonymous

    r2 is going to be back its sure and big 3 too