"Willow" is one of the latest episodic adventures to release on Disney+ and it follows a band of heroes as they embark upon an epic quest to rescue a princely dude in distress. There's, uh, not really a male equivalent to that particular traditional phrase, so "dude in distress" is just going to have to be enough until we make something better. Sorry. The series serves to continue the tale which began in the 1988 film, "Willow." Yes, the original film and the Disney+ series share their name, so while it makes differentiation a bit difficult, at least the story has solid branding.
A notable feature of the Disney+ series is that it takes place several years after the original story. 20 years, in fact. According to Jonathan Kasdan, the showrunner for the latest addition to George Lucas' fantasy, that time jump stemmed from narrative demand. More specifically, it stemmed from the desire to tell stories about Elora Danan, the child of prophecy, because infants aren't particularly experienced in the art of filmmaking. Okay, that's sort of a joke, but only sort of. Here's why Kasdan's continuation of "Willow" saw Elora hidden away from her fate for so many long years.
A Gap Born Out Of Narrative Necessity
In an interview with Collider, Jonathan Kasdan shared that a narrative-based time gap between the original "Willow" and the Disney+ series, one that broadly (although by no means exactly) matches the real-time gap between the two releases, was born out of the necessity to supplement the story that Kasdan wanted to tell. Kasdan told Collider that:
"I'm someone who came out of seeing [the feature] thinking, 'Well, I expect one of these every three years […] I'm supposed to see Elora at seven, and then at 12, and then at 15,' and all these things. And because the realities of the industry, and the world, created a dynamic where this was the moment when we could make a story about these characters and follow it up, I knew that in story terms, at least, there was going to be a good 20-year gap between the movie and when we picked up. […] The story I wanted to tell was [always] about Elora learning about magic. So it sort of organically just arose, that the way to tell that story and experience her whole journey was to hide that information from her for that period of time and to let it be something that she discovers along with the audience."
The gap did more than offer Elora a chance at adulthood, however. Jumping forward in time allowed all of the original actors that were able to return to "Willow" to do so. Otherwise, Warwick Davis would have been forced to pretend that 30 years worth of aging all came down to the inherent exhaustion of parenthood. Come to think of it, that would have been pretty damn funny, actually.
The "Willow" series is now streaming on Disney+.
Read this next: The 14 Best Moments In Willow, Ranked
The post Why Jonathan Kasdan Wanted A 20-Year Time Gap Between Willow And Its Sequel Series appeared first on /Film.