Billy Dee Williams Reprising Lando Calrissian Role In ‘Star Wars: Episode IX’

Billy Dee Williams is heading back to a galaxy far, far away.

The actor, who famously played the galactic gambler Lando Calrissian, will reprise the role for Star Wars: Episode IX, the next installment in the franchise from Lucasfilm, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Rumors of Williams’ involvement escalated in recent days when the actor dropped out of an upcoming sci-fi and pop culture convention citing a conflict with a movie schedule. Sources confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter that Williams will indeed be returning to the franchise, which is set to begin shooting later this summer.

Episode IX will be Williams’ first appearance as Calrissian since 1983’s Return of the Jedi. character made his debut in 1980’s Empire Strikes Back.

Episode IX is being directed by J.J. Abrams and will reunite Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac and Adam Driver, among others. Keri Russell is one of the new additions to the cast.

The film is set to open Dec. 20, 2019.