The first teaser trailer for the Disney + series Willow dropped at Star Wars Celebrationgiving us a good look at the continuation of the story and the characters introduced in the classic 1988 feature film of the same name.
It’s been 34 years since the Ron Howard-directed Willow, which was based on an original story from George Lucas and written by Bob Dolman. Essentially it was the origin story of Willow Ufgood (Warwick Davis), a sheltered Nelwyn dwarf who aspired to be a sorcerer. The movie opened with him discovering an adorable abandoned infant, Elora Danan, whom he took under his care. As it turned out, Elora was prophesied to end the evil reign of Queen Bavmorda (Jean Marsh). With his small kind sufficiently freaked out, Willow is tasked with returning the baby to humans and in the process ends up collecting some allies, including the mercenary swordsman Madmartigan (Val Kilmer), the queen’s daughter Sorsha (Joanne Whalley), and two tiny Brownies (Kevin Pollak and Rick Overton).
It was announced last year that actor Warwick Davis would be returning to play Willow Ufgood in the series alongside a brand-new cast including Ruby Cruz, Erin Kellyman, Ellie Bamber, Rosabell Laurenti Sellers and Tony Revolori. What the new teaser surprisingly revealed was that Joanne Whalley is also reprising her original role as Sorsha, the fierce warrior.
Aside from that, the Willow teaser certainly leaves us with some big hints about the narrative and some even bigger questions about the further adventures of the Nelwyn sorcerer. Here’s a few things to note…
Willow 2022: Willow’s Got His Magic Going
At the end of Willow, the dwarf used some sleight-of-hand to trick Bavmorda into accidentally “rage banishing” herself, thus self-fulfilling the whole prophecy she was trying to avoid. Willow is rewarded with an actual book of spells which he seems to have put to very good use in the years since. Nowadays, he’s rocking a staff inset with a glowing green gem that he can ignite with a hand wave. Plus, he speaks like someone who’s clearly taken, and mastered, the class of “Wise Mage 101.” Exactly how much Willow has used his magic skills in the interim remains to be seen because he’s still living in his village of origin. It’s a bunch of outsiders summoning him to help use his magic for a new quest.
Is Baby Elora Now Kit?
The fate of that cute baby Elora was placed in the hands of Sorsha and Madmartigan, who adopted the little girl at the end of the original Willow with the intention of raising her in Tir Asleen. According to early casting sides, the character of Kit (Cruz) is a princess and daughter of Sorsha. Is she the product of the union of Madmartigan and Sorsha, or is she actually Elora, whom the prophecy says will unite the kingdoms? Right now, it’s not clear. But for those same casting details, the series has Kit leaving her home to find her abducted twin brother.
Where’s Val Kilmer’s Madmartigan?
Obviously, actor Val Kilmer is no longer taking on extended acting roles due to his medical conditionso the fate of his character, Madmartigan, and the state of his relationship with Sorsha, who looks to be a Queen now, is going to be a big reveal as the series narrative unfolds. Top Gun: Maverick recently dealt with Kilmer’s condition as well.
Willow Official Teaser Trailer Images
A Questing They Will Go
In the original film, Willow may have a hero’s heart, but he’s also got a farm and a family, with a wife and small children. He sets out on his journey with Elora Danan because the High Aldwin, or village leader, basically tells him he has to for the safety of their home. One of the best scenes of the film is when Willow returns home, embracing his beloved family. At the Star Wars Celebration panel for Willow, Davis confirmed that his real-life daughter, Annabelle Davis, is playing his grown-up, onscreen daughter, while his son, Lloyd Davis, is taking all the tumbles as Willow’s stunt double.
And yet again for this series, it seems that Willow homebody will be provoked to leave his comfort zone to aid in Kit’s mission. Is his buy-in because she’s actually Elora all grown up, or just because of his general attachment to Sorsha and her family? We shall see, but any good journey story usually has a fellowship, and it looks to be six who are undertaking this adventure together: Willow, Kit, Jade (Kellyman), Dove (Bamber), Boorman (Amer Chadha-Patel) and Revolori’s as yet unnamed character. Per the casting sides, Dove is a kitchen maid revealed along the way to be the “chosen one,” while Boorman is a thief who is coerced to join the band of heroes, and Jade is Kit’s BFF, as well as a knight-in -training.
Critters and Creatures (and Brownies) Galore
As with the original film, and in keeping with the fantasy genre, Willow the series is already brimming with fanciful creatures – and we’ve barely seen the tip of that iceberg yet. The teaser did confirm that Brownies will be back, so everyone can start stalking Kevin Pollak in regards to whether he’s returning or not. Otherwise, we get a peek at some angry gigantic hawks, and an aquatic critter with adorable, huge eyes, who we already want to take home. Bring on the rest of the menagerie!
Willow the series will premiere on Disney + on November 30, 2022 with Jonathan Kasdan, Ron Howard, Wendy Mericle, Kathleen Kennedy, and Michelle Rejwan serving as executive producers.
Getting a glimpse of Willow’s return is just one of the many reveals at Star Wars Celebrations so far, and joins the release date and first trailer of Star Wars: Andor, the unveiling of Star Wars: Skeleton Crew, and the confirmation that the third season of The Mandalorian and the premiere of Ahsoka will arrive in 2023.