When the cast for Star Wars: The Awakens was announced many science fiction and Star Wars fans were delighted to see so many familiar faces turn up. There was Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Harrison Ford, Anthony Daniels, Kenny Baker and Peter Mayhew. Even Warwick Davis (who was 11 when he first appeared in Return of the Jedi) is returning into the mix.
However, it didn't take long for that massive smile on your face to contort into a confused frown when you realized someone hadn't been invited to the party. Where was Billy Dee Williams?
The Lando Calrissian actor was notably absent from the returning line-up of stars. This led to some speculation that his character's story would not be continued in the renewed trilogy.
Although he will not be making an appearance in The Force Awakens, there is a chance - indeed, a relatively good one - that he will be returning in one of the later films. He told Cinelinx:
Yeah, people were pretty upset about it. But I uh...I may very well...I have a feeling I’m going to show up [in the trilogy]. There’s nothing I can really discuss about it at this stage. People think of me as the original cast, but I didn’t come in until the second movie. I did Empire and then I did Return of the Jedi, but I came in after everyone else was introduced...So I think they’re probably proceeding in that way. I can’t imagine them not bringing Lando back. But we’ll see, I don’t know.
Of course, this is all still up-in-the-air, but the fact he's been told not to discuss certain elements - presumably by Disney - hopefully means he actually does have some serious news locked away.
A good piece of evidence for Williams re-involvement in the Disney-owned Star Wars franchise could be Lando's inclusion in the Star Wars Rebels animated series. Williams returned to voice the CGI version of his famous character, which at least suggests Disney still have his phone number and social security details on file. That's got to be a good sign, right?