Lando's back! Billy Dee Williams reprises role for 'Star Wars Rebels'

Oh, what have we here? Smooth-talking smuggler Lando Calrissian returns in "Star Wars Rebels" episode "Idiot's Array." He's younger, but still full of swagger.

Bonnie Burton
Journalist Bonnie Burton writes about movies, TV shows, comics, science and robots. She is the author of the books Live or Die: Survival Hacks, Wizarding World: Movie Magic Amazing Artifacts, The Star Wars Craft Book, Girls Against Girls, Draw Star Wars, Planets in Peril and more! E-mail Bonnie.
Bonnie Burton
2 min read

Will the animated version of Lando show fans how his charm works every time? Video screenshot by Bonnie Burton/CNET

"Star Wars" fans are in for a treat as Lando Calrissian from "The Empires Strikes Back" and "Return of the Jedi" returns in Disney's animated series "Star Wars Rebels" in an episode entitled "Idiot's Array," airing January 19 on Disney XD in the US. (UK and AUS fans, check with local providers for time and date of episode.)

We know Lando as the baron administrator of Cloud City who made a very bad deal with Darth Vader by betraying his friends, but then redeemed himself by saving them, helping to destroy Jabba's barge, joining the Rebel Alliance, and attacking the second Death Star.

But in Disney's "Star Wars Rebels" -- which takes place 15 years after "Revenge of the Sith" and four years before "A New Hope" -- we see a much younger version of Lando.

"Lando's very intelligent," Executive Producer Dave Filoni explains in a StarWars.com "behind the scenes" video. "We get him at a point in 'Star Wars Rebels' where he's on his way up and hasn't achieved it yet, which is really exciting because he's still working on all his moves and all his strategies. Everything Lando does has got a purpose and intention."

Lando is never what he seems, especially in animated form. Video screenshot by Bonnie Burton/CNET

"This is a real good introduction to who he is -- all the things you've heard about him," Billy Dee Williams says in the video. "Lando certainly has swagger. It's his smile, his charm. I have a good time with it. My voice is Lando, my persona is Lando."

"Lando's such a great character," Filoni says in the video. "It is a time period where we can explore a little bit more of what he's up to, and what influence he has on our Rebels."

According to Entertainment Weekly, in the upcoming episode"Idiot's Array," Zeb loses Chopper the droid to Lando in a game of cards. To get Chopper back, the crew agrees to help the smuggler make a treacherous trip. But the crew gets into even more trouble when one of their own might be part of a trade for a mysterious cargo.