In creating a sequel series 30+ years out from the 1988 film, Willow executive producer and writer Jon Kasdan had quite a bit to sort through before getting started. Kasdan, who grew up a fan of the film, started the wheels in motion toward the series while on the set of Solo: A Star Wars Story with Ron Howard and Warwick Davis, including trying to determine what would be at the core of the series. While the mysterious absence of Val Kilmer’s Madmartigan plays a key role, Kasdan explained that it was the fate of another character that got the ball rolling.
During the global press event for Willow, Kasdan explained that the real meat of the series came from a question about the character around whom the events of the first movie transpired: Elora Danan. “Well it evolved really out of the conversations that Ron (Howard) and I had on the set of ‘Solo’“, said Kasdan of how the story for the Willow series came to be. Continuing on, Kasdan made it clear that the fate of the baby who was destined to become empress was a must have, saying, “and one thing we always knew was sort of at the core of it was, who… what became of Elora Danan? We thought that that was a subject with a lot of promise.“
The events of 1988’s Willow saw the evil Queen Bavmorda’s plot to banish the spirit of Elora Danan, who was prophesied to dethrone her, thwarted by Willow and his friends. The film ends with Elora safely in the hands of Sorsha and Willow back in his village. According to Kasdan, the farewell between Willow and Elora didn’t sit well with him when he saw the film as child:
The movie ended with a sort of bittersweet moment of Warwick kissing this baby and then saying, ‘okay, goodbye, I’ll never see you again.’ And as an eight-year-old I was sort of like, well what is… you mean, they’re not going to live together and they’re not going to have a life together? And how is she going to find out about all this stuff that happened to her?Jon Kasdan
30 years and change later, that bittersweet feeling and the questions of a curious child turned into the beginnings of a streaming series with an epic scope. Certainly, a child of Elora’s immense potential would continue to need protecting and as Kasdan explained, once it was clear she was going to be the core of the story, more questions about Elora and her safety came up.
And that felt like a great jumping-off place for a series, and we knew we wanted this question sort of right in line with that, we knew we wanted this question about, who was protecting her and was perhaps the best way to protect her not telling her who she was?Jon Kasdan
What became of Elora Danan? See for yourself when Willow streams on Disney Plus beginning November 30th.