Billy Dee Williams, perhaps best known for playing Lando Calrissian from Star Wars, has spoken out about the ongoing backlash from fans over Lando’s betrayal of Han Solo in The Empire Strikes Back. For more than four decades, people have approached Williams in various settings expressing their deep frustration with Landau’s decisions. He recently shared his perspective on this long-running fan backlash in an interview Dagobah Dispatch podcast from EW.
“When I was picking up my daughter from school, kids would run up to me and say, ‘You betrayed Han Solo!'” Williams said. EW). “I’d get on a plane and the flight attendants would say, ‘You betrayed Han Solo!’
But, Williams doesn’t necessarily see it that way — or has for the past 40 years. “I got it [people coming up to me] For several years, so I finally said, “Look, think about the whole situation. You’re dealing with a very powerful character, Darth Vader, and then Boba Fett, and these people invaded my space, and I had to deal with them. Bargain… to at least prevent the complete death of Han Solo and his friends.”
For those who doubted his explanation that Lando’s choices were influenced by the immense power of the Empire and the people he protected as Baron of Cloud City, he admitted that he was tired of explaining the situation over and over again. Finally, he made it simple by asking his critics a poignant question: “Did anyone die? Nobody died!”
Williams, 86, shares more stories about Star Wars and his various career-spanning projects in his forthcoming memoir, What Have We Here?, which is set to be released on February 13.