Willow Series review

Willow was a fantasy-adventure movie that was made by Lucas Films and directed by Ron Howard, not George Lucas or Stephen Spielberg. Which in this era of Lucas Films was a surprise. Because the Star Wars films and Indiana Jones films were a part of the bedrock of this studio. This was a fun film with breakout performances from Val Kilmer and its title actor Warwick Davis. It brought me as well as others my age to a place and time like no other. It was a magical film I loved as a kid. When Disney bought Lucas Films I had no idea we would be going back to the magical world of Willow. I’m very glad we are in the form of a Disney Plus Series.

Willow follows a group of unlikely heroes on a journey across many lands to find a young prince who has been kidnapped by the evil Croan, the leader of a band of malformed men. She wants to bring darkness to the land. Kit (Ruby Cruz) is a princess with a fighting spirit, Jade (Erin Kellyman) is her trusted friend and companion, Dove (Ellie Bamber) is a kitchen hand with a secret, and a few others are led by Willow Ufgood (Warrick Davis) Together this band of misfits go on a paralysis mission.

I never knew I would ever get another trip to the wonderful world George Lucas and Ron Howard created all those years, 25, ago, but I have. The episodes I got to see so far, 3, we’re enough for me to be fully invested in this show so far. It has gotten off to a good start. A series like this needs to hook those watching it and this one did that in two different ways. The first is by giving some backstory between the film and the new series and the other is by creating a new adventure I can get behind involving some new and interesting characters.

With a series like Willow or any fantasy adventure film or television series, you have to have a beautiful world that you’re creating if you are the showrunner or filmmaker. The writer has to expand on the mythos of the world the show or film exists in. In this case, the writer and creator of the series Jonathan Kasden has added new threats to these new characters. And tried to expand on this wonderful world created by Lucas and Howard. It looks like New Zealand the show was filmed in so that adds an element of beauty to a series that has enough going for it already.

The character development in the series so far is very good. Mostly focusing on the woman in the show, the creator Kasdan wants to send a message of female empowerment. That sort of thing is going around a lot in Hollywood these days. These three female leads have shown a lot of panache and spunk which makes them all very interesting to follow along with in the series. Each of their arcs is going to be different but very fascinating to see where they lead. They all have different journey’s that they are on while all still being part of a fellowship together. A little too close to home regarding New Zealand and another fantasy adventure series.

In an era of reboots and sequels, Lucas Films under Disney hasn’t had the best track record. A couple of the Star Wars films and streaming series have been good but not all of them. With the exceptions being Andor and The Mandalorian. Willow from what I’ve seen is headed in the positive direction. With Kasdan, the son of legendary filmmaker Lawrence Kasdan, at the helm, this show is headed in the right direction. With Warrick Davis returning it seems like he has gotten invested in this series from the start. That’s a good sign. 

4 stars 

Dan Skip Allen

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