We know that most of the key players from the original Star Wars trilogy are all coming back in J.J. Abrams’ upcoming Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Han, Leia, Luke, Chewbacca, R2-D2, and C-3P0 all show up later this year when the first film in the post-Disney era of Lucasfilm drops on December 18. For all of the other characters we want to see, however, it looks like we’ll have to keep tuning into the animated Star Wars Rebels on Disney XD. And they added yet another classic cameo to the mix, Billy Dee Williams as Lando Calrissian.
According to the website Big Shiny Robot (we can certainly get behind that name), Williams and his smooth-talking, mustachioed space rogue show up on the next episode, entitled “Idiot’s Array.” The story revolves around Zeb, the big, tough, weird looking muscle of titular group of rebels, who gets into a game of Sabacc with a well known space gambler (guess who), and loses their astromech droid Chopper. Never get into such a contest with a dude who looks as overly confident as Lando, that’s just rule number one. From there, they crew of The Ghost gets into some hot water with a group of gangsters (Hutts maybe?) and adventures ensue. Here’s a screenshot of what a youthful Lando looks like.
Like I said, The Force Awakens has more original pieces, and they play a bigger part overall, but Lando joins a collection of characters that already includes Darth Vader, Yoda, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and other characters from elsewhere in the Star Wars universe who have already appeared in Rebels. Set between the events of Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope, we knew going in that the series was going to provide a link to the past, and with all of these appearances (and both Vader and Yoda were voiced by James Earl Jones and Frank Oz, respectively), they’re showing just how interconnected it all is.
In addition, this might not be all the Star Wars Rebels news that we get today. Yesterday, a publicist for Lucasfilm unveiled this tweet to the world:
— Tracy Cannobbio (@Tcann13) January 12, 2015
We haven’t seen anything else yet, but you know that we’ll be keeping a close eye out over the course of today. [UPDATE: the “awesome news” is actually this, but because you can already watch this episode of Rebels via the XD app, someone already watched it and reviewed it and let this cat out of the bag. Here’s the EW story if you’re interested, it has a new photo and a video of Williams.]
“Idiot’s Array,” the eleventh episode of Star Wars Rebels, airs on January 19, though you can watch it now if you use the Disney XD app.