Rian Johnson ''briefly considered'' featuring Lando Calrissian in 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi'.

The smuggler - who was played by Billy Dee Williams - first appeared in 'Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back' as a close friend to Han Solo (Harrison Ford) and fans speculated he would return in the eighth instalment following the death of his friend.

However, filmmaker Johnson recently admitted the character won't be in the latest film but said he did consider it.

Speaking to The Playlist, Johnson, 44, said: ''Of course I'd love to see Lando. In terms of Lando, I briefly considered - would he work in the Benicio [del Toro] part, [DJ]. I don't think you would ever buy that Lando would just completely betray the characters like that and have that level of moral ambiguity. Because we love Lando and you'd come into it with that [expectation]. And also, DJ, the character that they met, for the purposes of Finn's (John Boyega) character, had to be a morally ambiguous character that you're not sure about, that you're guessing about, and we already know that we love the character of Lando so it just wouldn't have played in that part story wise. You have to write organically. Otherwise it leads to contrived places. Which is just to say it's all about the needs of the story and there's only so much room on the table for... favourite characters to be in the movie.''

Although being ruled out to return, Williams, now 80, often appears at conventions and his manager Brad Kramer also revealed he was hoping to return to the popular sci-fi franchise.

Despite Williams not returning, the character will be re-imagined by Donald Glover in the upcoming Han Solo spin-off prequel, 'Solo: A Star Wars Story', alongside Alden Ehrenreich as Han Solo.