May the force be with him! Actor Billy Dee Williams, who famously played the legendary Lando Calrissian in Star Wars Episodes V and VI, stormed the season 18 premiere of Dancing With the Stars on Monday, March 17 with a themed cha cha wearing… what else? His costume from the epic series.
"I'm doing pretty good for a 77-year-old, but I can't do all the things I did when I was a young lad," Williams said in his intro. The star, who was battling arthritis after multiple hip replacements, took to the floor with dancing pro Emma Slater to the tune of John Williams' Star Wars theme music.
Slater cha cha cha'd her way over to the legendary actor in a Princess Leia's famed gold metal bikini, while storm troopers took over the stage and two ewoks cheered on the partners from the crowd. The sequence included Williams at one point, mechanically alternating high fives with his youthful dance partner.
Following the bizarre performance, the DWTS judges let the Star Wars-theme jokes and puns rip. "Bill, may the force be with you. I can never forgive you for freezing Hans Solo," quipped Bruno Tonioli. "You played it dainty and I wanted bigger and more powerful."
Carrie Ann Inaba, meanwhile, kindly told Williams that he was the "most relaxed dancer" she has ever seen onto show. But the comment came with some constructive criticism: "We are going to need more from you next week," she said. Len Goodman also had some encouraging words for the actor. "You were on time, you did not forget your routine," he said. "You just have to come out with more… you did a good job. Well done."
The judges then scored Williams each with a 5 out of a possible 10, contributing to Billy/Emma's lowly total score of 15 out of 30 points.