Although Billy Dee Williams doesn't appear alongside fellow veterans like Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher in "Star Wars: The Force Awakens," co-writer Lawrence Kasdan suggests the franchise may still have something in store for Lando Calrissian.
The 77-year-old Williams, who played Lando in "The Empire Strikes Back" and "Return of the Jedi," reprised the role in January on Disney XD's "Star Wars Rebels." However, many fans held out hope he might show up later this year in "The Force Awakens."
"Right now, there’s no Lando Calrissian in this movie," he tells Vanity Fair. "But Lando I don’t think is finished in any way, shape, or form."
Kasdan, who also wrote "The Empire Strikes Back," doesn't say why Lando doesn't appear in "The Force Awakens," but he does discuss wariness about the film becoming "one of these very long, bloated blockbusters."
"It’s a big movie. It’s full of wonderful stuff, incident and character stuff and jokes and effects," he says. "One of the things that we always refocus on from the get-go was that it not be one of these very long, bloated blockbusters. A lot of very entertaining movies lately are too long. In the last 20 minutes, you think, why isn’t this over? We didn’t want to make a movie like that. I mean, we were really aiming to have it be — when it’s over you’ll say, 'I wish there’s more.' Or, 'Wait, is it over?' Because how rarely you get that feeling nowadays, and I think we’re headed there. But it means that there will be constant critical looking at it from now to the end, saying, 'Do we need this? Do we need that? Is it better if this comes out, even though we love it?' Killing your darlings."
Directed by J.J. Abrams, "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" opens Dec. 18.