With the upcoming release of “Solo: A Star Wars Story”, the world has started thinking hard about Ron Howard and his relationship with Lucasfilm. Years ago, the director made “Willow”, which is to fantasy what “Star Wars” is to science fiction. Now, people are hoping for a sequel.
Howard is doing everything he can to fan the flames of desire among “Willow” supporters. In an interview with ComicBook.com, the director of “Solo” made it clear that something is in the works, although it’s not yet clear what form this movie might take.
“I don’t want to give away too much, but there is a little talk of ‘Willow’. We wouldn’t call it ‘Willow 2’, I think it would focus a lot on Elora Danan, although Willow would have to be significantly involved.”
For those who don’t remember, Elora Danan is the central maguffin of the original “Willow”. The story revolves around the titular Willow, played by (the phenomenal) Warwick Davis, as he attempts to keep the baby Elora safe after a prophecy claims that she will bring about the downfall of the land’s evil queen.
Oh, and also Batman is in this for some reason, except he’s called Madmartigan for some reason.
This is all fairly standard fantasy lore, albeit with a couple of twists.
Firstly, we very rarely get to see a female Chosen One, which makes for a nice change.
Secondly, Elora doesn’t actually grow up to do any heroic stuff. The story almost feels like it’s setting up an eventual sequel that never came.
Now, thirty years on, would be the perfect time to tell the rest of this story, as Elora could take center stage in her own heroic journey.
Beyond “Star Wars”
Personally, I’d love to see Lucasfilm start branching out to make movies based on the wider body of cinematic work created by George Lucas. We’re getting an “Indiana Jones” sequel, of course, but “Willow” is a fertile ground for new, interesting stories.
I’m often hesitant about long-after-the-fact sequels that Hollywood seems so eager to produce. Often, movie directors take popular franchises and release sub-par follow-ups that nobody really likes.
With “Willow”, there’s a great opportunity to do this kind of movie right. There’s a logical direction for a sequel baked into the plot of the first movie, so a return to this world wouldn’t feel out of place even if Warwick Davis is no longer quite so baby-faced and Val Kilmer has kind of fallen off the side of the planet.
What’s more, “Willow” is a movie that, in all honesty, isn’t the biggest deal in the world.
Generally, these belated sequels are made for movies that took the world by storm, and they never live up to the hype. With “Willow”, there’s a chance to build on a pleasant but not particularly life-changing cinematic experience.
I’d really love to see all the moving parts in this original movie reshuffled into something great. I think that a “Willow” sequel could be a fantastic movie in the right hands, and I’d love a chance to revisit the story and see what the characters are doing three decades later.
Plus, I’ll take any excuse I can get to see Warwick Davis on the big screen, especially if he doesn’t have to wear heavy, face-obscuring prosthetics. This guy is absolutely incredible.