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Billy Dee Williams returning to 'Star Wars' franchise

The force may be with Billy Dee Williams

The force may be with Billy Dee Williams again -- he'll be on board for the ninth "Star Wars" movie. Credit: Getty Images/Frazer Harrison

The old smoothie is back.

Billy Dee Williams, the actor who first played the role of Lando Calrissian in 1980’s “The Empire Strikes Back,” will return to the “Star Wars” universe for the third time in Movie No. 9, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Williams, 81, recently sparked rumors about his comeback when he canceled his appearance at an upcoming sci-fi convention due to a conflict with his filming schedule.

Williams' Lando has long been a fan favorite, an interstellar lady-killer so suave that he moves in on Princess Leia right in front of his old friend Han Solo, who admiringly calls him “old smoothie." Interest in the character has been on the uptick following the recent stand-alone film “Solo,” starring Donald Glover as the young Lando.

“Star Wars: Episode IX” is due in theaters Dec. 20, 2019.

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