Star Wars Parallels | Episode IV and VI
George Lucas: We’re going to have to cope with Billy(Dee Williams).
Richard Marquand(director): Well, seriously, the Falcon is the thing to send him in.
Lucas: I’m just going to have to break the news that it’s not about him.
Lawrence Kasdan(screenwriter): Why does he think it’s about him?
Lucas: Because he’s an actor.
Kasdan: It’s not because you misled him?
Lucas: No, I didn’t mislead him. I said his part would probably be bigger in the next film than it was in Empire.
Marquand: You can give him something really smart to do.
Kasdan: What about killing him now, since it’s so late in the picture?
Lucas: You can’t kill him now.
Kasdan: Why not? What if they need someone to go to (Imperial homeworld)Had Abbadon for some reason and he volunteers to do that and then accomplishes his mission but is killed by Vader?
Howard Kazanjian(executive producer): Then you make him a hero.
Lucas: Well, the trouble is that it’s complicated. Then you have another story line that you have to intercut.
Marquand: I think Lando should fly straight into the Death Star. Give him a great ending.
Lucas: I think it’d be better to put him in the air battle, because then we’ve personalized the air battle.
Kasdan: The air battle at the end?
Lucas: If he dies right at the end of the movie, then you come back to the celebration and yet you’ve just killed one of the main characters.
Kasdan: You want me to give him some meaningless job, hey.
Lucas: Put him with the fleet and have him lead the rebel attack.
-Excerpt from Return of the Jedi story meetings on July 13-17, 1981 from “The Making of Return of the Jedi” by J.W. Rinzler.