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Lando Calrissian Was Almost in 'The Last Jedi'

He was too good for this world.

by Beckett Mufson
Dec 21 2017, 4:30pm

Getty Images / Albert L. Ortega

Star Wars: The Last Jedi was too dark for Lando Calrissian, according to an interview between The Playlist and director Rian Johnson.

The charismatic smuggler-turned Cloud City Administrator and Rebellion General narrowly missed an opportunity to be the one to sneak Finn and his tech-savvy new love interest, Rose, onto Supreme Leader Snoke's ship. However, it turns out that Billy Dee Williams was too good for this world. “Of course I’d love to see Lando,” Johnson told The Playlist. "I briefly considered—would he work in the Benicio [del Toro] part, [DJ].”

Benicio del Toro as DJ in THE LAST JEDI.

As it turns out, though, he wouldn't. “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," Johnson continues. "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.”

With little public information about the so-far-untitled Star Wars: Episode IX available, it's possible J.J. Abrams will find a place for Williams in the final installment of this trilogy. But maybe for Lando Calrissian, like Batman and the Highlander, there can only be one. Williams passed down the mantle to Donald Glover, who will play Calrissian in Solo: A Star Wars Story earlier this year, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Glover says Williams explained all he needs to know about the interstellar ruffian: "Just be charming."