Lucasfilm is pulling no punches this week, as the 45th anniversary of the OG Star Wars rolls by and the first two episodes of Obi-Wan Kenobi premiere on Disney+. But let’s change lanes from the swashbuckling space heroes and villains and over to something a little more nature-based. We’re talking Willow, the upcoming Lucasfilm-produced fantasy series based on Ron Howard’s 1988 movie of the same name.
“There is a story of a child destined to be an empress, and the unlikely hero who would protect her,” a narrator proclaims at the start of the show’s first teaser, ending on a surely foreboding shot of Warwick Davis as the titular Willow Ufgood.
There’s also the return of the film’s iconic score by James Horner, and a flurry of magical objects—wands, glistening swords; you name it, it’s here. Joanne Whalley makes her grand return from the film as Sorsha, raising her glass at a luxurious dinner table full of silk-laden apprentices. And what in the world is coming out of the water to greet The Grand Budapest Hotel’s Tony Revolori?
“There is a balance between all things. Light and shadow. Good and evil,” Willow says in the trailer. (Did he forget to mention “Sith and Jedi?”) “When that balance is upset, the universe corrects.”
Apart from making a return to magic after more than three decades, Willow’s resurrection boasts a hearty young cast full of promising newbies. Along with Revolori, Willow featuresRosabell Laurenti Sellers, Ellie Bamber, Dempsey Byrk, Ruby Cruz, and Erin Kellyman (from fellow Lucasfilm project Solo) to lead the charge.
What about the movie’s original cast? We knew that Warwick Davis would again head up the series, but Whalley’s appearance is news. Showrunner Jon Kasdan recently confirmed that Val Kilmer won’t be making a cameo as Madmartigan, and that the series won’t recast him. The rest is up in the air.
The original Willow was based on a story by George Lucas and a script penned by Bob Dolman. Howard returns as executive producer on the TV revival project, which was developed by Jon Kasdan and Wendy Mericle. And if you’re still wondering why this new recreation of Willow looks so much like the original, it’s not just because of the team of creators—Willow 2, as we’ll call it henceforth, was also shot in the mossy hills of Wales.
Willow will enchant Disney+ on November 30.