Jon Kasdan reveals the one unanswered question from Willow that led to the entire TV show

(Image credit: Disney Plus)

In the original Willow, directed by Ron Howard from a story by George Lucas, the eponymous Mr. Ufgood’s life was turned upside down when he found a baby floating in a nearby river. The young Nelwyn farmer and wannabe wizard eventually learned that the infant was Elora Danan, the magical princess of Tir Asleen who found herself the top of evil Queen Bavmorda’s hit list. He subsequently set out on a quest to take Elora to Fin Raziel, a sorceress trapped in the form of a possum by Bavmorda’s dark magic. Despite Elora’s presence as the film’s MacGuffin, however, she’s been strangely absent from the promotion for the new series – a state of affairs showrunner Jon Kasdan describes as "intentional".

"There are a million unanswered questions from the movie," he tells SFX in the new issue of the magazine, featuring Willow on the cover, "but for me there’s only one, and it’s the reason we did this show at all: what happened to that baby? I think, more than anything George Lucas has done, Willow was the one that said 'sequel' to me.

"With Star Wars, if you look at A New Hope, the Death Star is blown up, they’ve won the battle and there’s no final shot of Darth Vader rubbing his fingertips together, saying, 'I’ll get even!' – that story was over. But Willow ended with the most powerful person in the world as an eight-month-old infant, so it felt like there was story left to tell."

Twenty years have passed since the events of the first film, and Willow isn’t necessarily the master spellsmith we thought he’d become. "You’ll find out more during the series, but initially he hasn’t got very far at all in terms of that," says Warwick Davis, who returns to the role. "Willow still worries about absolutely everything, and things aren’t good for him.

"But again, this kind of opportunity comes upon him as it did in the film, and he reluctantly takes it on because he feels it’s his duty. It gave me a lot more scope performance-wise than the film, because I’m older and wiser now as a person. The character is also older and wiser, so you can bring all that to the performance. It makes Willow feel more well-rounded."

That's just a snippet of the long read, available in the Willow issue of SFX Magazine, available on newsstands from Wednesday, November 2. For even more from SFX, sign up to the newsletter, sending all the latest exclusives straight to your inbox.

Richard is a freelancer journalist and editor, and was once a physicist. Rich is the former editor of SFX Magazine, but has since gone freelance, writing for websites and publications including GamesRadar+, SFX, Total Film, and more. He also co-hosts the podcast, Robby the Robot's Waiting, which is focused on sci-fi and fantasy.