RETURN OF THE GAMBLER
Given recent news, It appears everyone’s favorite card player, gambler and scoundrel will indeed be returning for episode 9. Lando Calrissian, aka Billie Dee Williams, will return to the big screen for the first time in 35 years with his larger than life flare for both woman and droid alike.
Lando would be great fan service, something JJ Abrams is great at doing, but will this be a 60 second cameo and done, or will Lando serve a bigger role? Fans have been crying for Lando, the last of the major characters who has not appeared in the new trilogy. It could quite easily be a cameo similar to what Maz Kanata had in The Last Jedi. Let’s face it. Billie Dee is getting up there in age. When he has shown up in conventions and live appearances, he has had a cane and has had some difficulty moving around. In April of 2017 he was even seen in a wheelchair at LaX airport.
However, recent rumors have said Billie is working out and attempting to improve his mobility. Since he cancelled a public appearance due to “scheduling conflicts” I think it is safe to assume he will have a larger role in episode 9. So how can Lando help episode 9?
First off you have to have Lando’s charm. Otherwise there is no reason to use Lando specifically. The problem is that Lando’s favorite target of said affection is now gone with Leia’s death. There is a heavy assumption there will be a time jump post Last Jedi. Many new faces will be added to the resistance leadership, but the list of females is still quite short. Rey would be the obvious target. Rey could seek Lando’s help or simply meet him in the conference room. I have a feeling Rey would be blushing ear to ear and not know what to do with herself. The only other prominent female we still have is Lt Connix. I hope she has a continuing role, so that is a possibility. Let’s hope Lando has evolved beyond his need for say C-3PO.
YOURE THE RESPECTABLE ONE REMEMBER
If Lando is to have a major part in episode 9 he has the qualifications for many roles. The most empty position in the resistance right now is leadership. Leia, Ackbar, Holdo, and most the fleet are gone. The only remaining named officers we have are Poe Dameron, Lt Connix, and Commander D’Acy. Of course we have new roles, but General Calrissian could make a comeback. If there is to be a space battle in episode 9, who better to lead the fleet once more than General Lando Calrissian. If he is to lead the battle, what better ship to have him flying than the Falcon. If in the Falcon, what better Copilots that Nien Nunb and Chewbacca?
CARD PLAYER, GAMBLER, SCOUNDREL. YOU’LL LOVE HIM.
There is one other role that Lando could fill either in total, or before becoming a leader again. I found an interesting tidbit on Wookeepedia. In looking up Commander D’Acy’s rank and survival there is a snippet I had never come across that may point the way. The last sentence in her bio reads as follows: “D’Acy was left as one of the few surviving resistance members, telling 3PO, that when they got out to the outer rim, she has a contact there who could help them.” Could this be referring to Lando?
There is a rumor about Kylo hunting force sensitives, and that Rey will be trying to save them. Again Lando would be a key ally. He would be able to find force sensitives and smuggle them to safety.
Lando was first and foremost a smuggler and gambler though. He conned his way into and out of various fortunes and properties. The resistance may need leaders, but they also need resources, supplies, ships. Who better than to be a lead to such needs than Lando. In the Legends books during the Vong War, it wasn’t until the New Republic got help from the smugglers that they started to make inroads. With Lando’s help the Resistance could be back to fighting form.
This could also have one other repercussion. IF the fringe and smugglers are indeed a heavy feature in this movie, it could draw in Legends smuggling leader Talon Karrde. What would that do beyond mere fan service? He had a certain red-headed employee named Mara Jade, which could be the recently cast Keri Russell. Talk about expanding the useable universe!
No matter his purpose, may Billie Dee William’s role be substantial and meaningful.