Time to consult the bones! For nearly four decades, fans of the beloved George Lucas epic, Willow, waited patiently for a return to their favorite fantasy world. Their wish was finally granted on November 30, 2022, when the highly-anticipated sequel to Willow hit Disney+ in the form of a brand-new series. Almost 4 months after the premiere of the first season, news about Willow’s future has been confirmed on March 15.
The classic 80s film starred Warwick Davis in the titular role, who goes out on a quest to deliver a young child he found near his village and protect her from an evil sorceress who wishes to kill her over an evil prophecy. The 2022 series picks up 17 years later and has delighted fans with a solid continuation of the 1988 movie, and ends on two major cliffhangers hinting that there’s much more in store for fans.
How Many Seasons Of Willow Will There Be?
Deadline reported on March 15 that Willow has been canceled and would not return for season 2. The outlet noted that Willow “remains an important IP in the Lucasfilm library, so it might be revisited in the future.”
Two days later, creator Jon Kasdan took to Twitter to release a long letter to fans about the fate of Willow season 2. He revealed that the show has not been officially canceled. “The truth is less splashy, but here it is: A decision was made last week to release our main cast for other series opportunities that may arise for them in the coming year.”
He added, “If you’re asking what this means for you as a viewer, or me as the creator, here’s what I think it means: Due to forces much larger and more intricate that I would ever pretend to fully understand, production of streaming shows is slowing down across the entire industry, and Willow won’t resume filming for the next 12 months. But here’s what’s equally true: with the enthusiastic and unwavering support of Lucasfilm and Disney, we’ve developed and written what we hope is a brain-meltingly fun, richer, darker and better VOLUME II, which builds on the characters and story of our first eight chapters (The Wyrm survives!).
— Jon Kasdan (@JonKasdan) March 17, 2023
Jon continued, “VOLUME II is all about courage, desire, acceptance, and the comedy and beauty to be found in even the darkest places and moments. It’s about the enemies we must inevitably confront, both without and, often far more insidiously, from within. But, above all, it’s about the ineffable and enduring magic of friendship. I am confident I speak for everyone involved when I say that we’d all like nothing more than to deliver VOLUME II, on the scale expected and demanded by the story we’re telling. Are we going into pre-production? Not right now. Does that mean we’re never gonna make it? Absolutely not.”
At the beginning of each of the eight episodes of Willow, a book opened to the “chapter” of the story. While an incredibly beautiful, visual way to kick off the story, after the credits rolled on the season 1 finale, viewers watch as the book is closed and returned to the shelf. In doing so, it’s revealed that the book placed back is titled “Volume 1.” Right beside it are Volumes 2 & 3, hinting that the new story of Willow was meant to be played out over three seasons.
Ahead of the show’s cancellation, Ron Howard, director of the original film and EP of the series, was hopeful about the show continuing. “There’s always been a hope and a plan for more seasons. There’s certainly more story to tell, but there’s nothing concrete that I can comment on right now,” he told THR. “From a creative standpoint, everybody is energized. Everybody loved working on Willow. It felt like it found its voice and its footing, so we’re just standing by.”
Willow Season 1 Review
The story of the series takes place nearly 17 years since Queen Bavmorda was defeated. The Queen’s daughter, Sorsha, now rules the kingdom and has since become mother of twins Kit and Airk and the guardian of Elora. Her husband, Madmartigan, is missing in action, which forces a new group of unlikely heroes to band together when Sorsha’s son, Airk, is kidnapped by the Crone, a powerful sorceress who serves as the leader of the Order of the Wyrm, a mysterious evil entity.
Sorsha sends her daughter Kit, her husband’s former squire Boorman, Jade, a knight-in-training – and Kit’s more-than BFF – and Prince Graydon off to find Willow, her past friend and sorcerer to lead the quest to save Airk. Along the way, it’s revealed they have another joining their party: a kitchen maid named ‘Dove’ who is in love with Airk. However, by the time the party meets up with Willow, her true identity is revealed: She’s Elora Danan, future Empress of Tir Asleen, hidden away for all of these years for her own safety.
Together, they must face all manner of creatures and strange lands to save Airk, as well as train Elora to be the most powerful magic-wielder of all time, if they’re ever to save the world from the Wyrm.
Willow Season 1 Ending Explained
After literally jumping off the edge of the world, Kit and Elora finally find Airk – or have they? As predicted, he’s been possessed by the Crone and now wants Kit and Elora to come along for the ride, with promises of getting all their hearts may desire. For Kit, that means freedom to live the life she dreams of, having adventures with Jade and not having to be the good little princess; for Elora, it means not having the responsibility of the world heaped onto her shoulders, to marry Airk and be normal. The Crone’s tempting plan almost succeeds – until Kit hears the voice of her father, Madmartigan, just as she did back in the cave with the trolls. He reminds her what he fought for and what she must fight for too. However, before she can get to Elora, she’s frozen in stone by the Crone. Then, just as Elora is about to get everything she’s ever wanted, she remembers who she really is and prepares to fight – and she’s not alone.
Turns out, Graydon, Boorman, Willow and Jade all take the same leap of faith to help their friends – and thus the final battle begins! Elora faces off with the Crone, while Boorman and Willow work on taking down her minions. Jade and Kit become occupied with battling Airk, who is desperate to defend his new Queen. Kit’s helped along by finally being bestowed the powerful Kymerian cuirass by Boorman, as she is the true person to wear it.
Just as it seems Elora is about to fail against the Crone, Graydon steps in to defend her. He almost succeeds, but the Crone is just too powerful, and sadly, obliterates him to dust, before also snapping Elora’s wand in two. Fueled by her anger, Elora gets a second chance at the Crone, and this time takes her down. However, with her dying breath, she infects Airk with her power, who turns on his friends as quickly as you can say Nockmaar.
In the end, Kit overpowers him and is prepared to kill him to save Elora, but with Willow’s magic, she’s able to reach him through their sibling connection and cast the evil out of him. With Airk himself again, the group prepares to journey back home, knowing full well that the Wyrm is still waiting to find a way to take over.
And what a plan she has to do just that. In the final moments, we find Graydon is alive, but being propositioned by the Wyrm, who looks identical to Elora, to stand by her side as she ramps up her plans to take over the world.
Will Val Kilmer Be In The Willow Series?
Part of the delight of the Willow series was seeing so many of the original stars return. Aside from Warwick as Willow, Joanne Whalley also returned as Queen Sorsha, as did Kevin Pollak as Rool, a brownie and former travel companion of Willow and Madmartigan. But what of Madmartigan, played by the handsome Val Kilmer, and Joanne’s real-life husband, in the 1988 film?
Well, the plan was for him to return and make a cameo in the first season, just as he did in Top Gun: Maverick. While Madmartigan still played a big part in the Disney+ sequel series, Val was not able to appear as he wanted to do due to Covid protocols. Given his longtime battle with throat cancer, this meant it was not safe for Kilmer to travel for filming. The show managed to work around that by enlisting the help of his son, Jack. Twice during the show, Kit hears the voice of her father Madmartigan, which actually was Val’s son, performing the role has his father would have.
“We actually recorded with Val and we used his performance as a guide track,” Willow showrunner Jonathan Kasdan told Decider. “Then Jack was given Val’s performance to listen to and then copy what his dad had done in terms of you know, the performance elements of Val’s thing. Then to have him standing there on set — duplicating his father as he’d done for the documentary they made — it was surreal and very emotional because you know, Val is such an intrinsic part of the family. He’s such a critical element of Willow. He’s still with us as a supporter and an advocate and a counselor in terms of how to keep this character alive. And I think [he] would very much like to return to the screen if opportunity allows.”
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(With Inputs from hollywoodlife)