The original Lando Calrissian will return in Star Wars Episode IX

Telegraph Reporters
Billy Dee Williams (left) with Harrison Ford in The Empire Strikes Back 

The latest film in the Star Wars franchise may have had Han Solo's name in the title, but it was the charming smuggler  Lando Calrissian (Donald Glover) who stole the show.

Now the character is reportedly set to return in next year's Star Wars Episode IX, played by Billy Dee Williams, the actor who originally appeared as Lando when the character made his first outing in Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (1980).

According to the Hollywood Reporter, rumours began spreading that the 81-year-old would return to the franchise after he cancelled plans for a convention appearance, citing a clash with a a film project. Sources have "confirmed" to the magazine that Williams will be returning to a galaxy far, far away.

After playing Lando in 1983's Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi, Williams also voiced the character for several Star Wars video games and the animated TV series Star Wars: Rebels.

Williams's most recent film was 2017's The Lego Batman Movie, where he voiced Harvey Dent, the lawyer who becomes supervillain Two-Face – a character he had previously played in Tim Burton's live-action Batman (1989).

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There could also be a future for Donald Glover's younger version of Lando. Speaking to Entertainment Weekly Radio in May, actor and rapper Glover said he would like to see the character star in his own film, suggesting a spin-off might be "like Frasier, in space".

Star Wars Episode IX is set for release in December 2019.