One of the main reasons to attend any comic book convention with celebrity guests is the fans' ability to directly ask their favorite stars some of their burning questions. With Star Wars: Episode VII on the horizon, many of those burning questions revolve around the future of their favorite characters from the original trilogy.
This past weekend, the 2013 Emerald City Comic-Con was held in Seattle, Washington, and I attended. Originally, Carrie Fisher was on the guest list until a last minute illness made her cancel her appearance. This made the major draw for Star Wars fans another original trilogy star, Billy Dee Williams. At his panel on March 2, WIlliams was asked by fans whether or not he would be included in the upcoming sequel film.
"They're still writing it," he said, adding that he hasn't yet been approached, but said that he would gladly be in it. His representative at this point snatched the microphone from his client and said to the audience that he encouraged anyone that wants to see Lando in the film to tweet, send letters and e-mails, and be very vocal about it to the likes of Kathleen Kennedy, J.J. Abrams, Lucasfilm, Disney, and anyone on the production team. When asked about the possibility of spin-off films, particularly featuring a young Han Solo, Williams was asked who he thinks would be able to play a young Lando, and his response drew cheers from the fans: "Nobody can play Lando but me."
Following up on that, Williams said that the reason he's voiced Lando in video games and other licensed Star Wars productions and products is because of his firm belief that only he can bring the old scoundrel to life.
At least one cast member likely agrees with him, as Mark Hamill made known on an interview with Entertainment Tonight: "I’d want to make sure of is are we going to have the whole gang back? Is Carrie and Harrison and Billy Dee and Tony Daniels, everybody that’s around from the original [returning]? I want to make sure that everybody’s on board here, rather than just one."
Personally, I'd love to see Lando played by Williams once again, since the inclusion of any of the original cast would definitely help to bridge the gap between what we're familiar with, and what's to come with likely new characters.
What do you think? Should Lando be in Episode VII? Can anyone but Williams bring the suave old friend of Han Solo to life? Does Lando's story need to be expanded, or are you fine with leaving him as we knew him in Return of the Jedi?
For one of the more awesome occurrences at ECCC, check out Billy Dee Williams' induction into "The Lando Society" onstage during the convention in the video below!
Chris Clow is a geek. He is a comic book expert and retailer, and geeky contributor to GeekNation.com, Batman-On-Film.com and ModernMythMedia.com. You can find his weekly piece The Geek Beat every Tuesday and the Star Trek Into Darkness Countdown every other Wednesday right here at Movies.com. Check out his blog and follow along on Twitter @ChrisClow.