The new Star Wars trilogy shows us what happened to classic characters such as Han Solo, Leia Organa, Luke Skywalker, C-3PO, R2-D2, Chewbacca and Admiral Ackbar after Return of the Jedi. Another fan-favorite original trilogy character nearly appeared as a surprise cameo in The Last Jedi, but writer/director Rian Johnson changed his mind — here's why.
Note: spoilers follow for Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
When Finn and Rose visit the Canto Bight casino, looking for a codebreaker who'll help the Resistance against the First Order, they wind up in a jail cell along with a morally flexible character named DJ (Benicio Del Toro). Many fans expressed on social media that smuggler/gambler/ex-Milennium Falcon owner Lando Calrissian (Billy Dee Williams) would've been a perfect fit for this part of the story — and, in fact, it was Johnson's temporary instinct, as he told the Playlist:
"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."
The Last Jedi star Mark Hamill, who had some initial reservations about the film's portrayal of his character, told Yahoo News that he felt Canto Bight was a missed opportunity to bring Lando back:
"Han Solo won the Millennium Falcon in a game of chance [with Lando]. You’d think he’d be the casino boss. I love Billy Dee Williams, and you’re right, I think anyone who’s still around that had anything to do with the original trilogy deserves to come back in some way."
Then again, if Lando had appeared in The Last Jedi, people might've complained that it was just forced (no pun intended) fan service. At least Billy Dee Williams finally got to play Two-Face in The Lego Batman Movie, right?
Young Lando will appear in the 2018 prequel Solo: A Star Wars Story, played by Donald Glover.
Do you wish Lando had appeared in The Last Jedi or did Rian Johnson make the right decision? Make your voice heard in the comments below!