In 1988, director Ron Howard collaborated with George Lucas for a fantasy film called Willow; which placed Warwick Davis in the title role as a very unlikely hero. While Willow didn’t hit the heights of Star Wars, it’s become a cult classic and a very fondly remembered movie. Howard returned to Lucasfilm last year to finish Solo: A Star Wars Story. The early word on Solo is that Howard turned around a very troubled production and he may have saved the film. Perhaps that’s why the possibility of a sequel to Willow is once again being discussed.
While speaking to ComicBook.com, Howard addressed the prospects of a Willow sequel by admitting “ there is a little talk of Willow." He added that "We wouldn't call it Willow 2, I think it would focus a lot on Elora Danan, although Willow would have to be significantly involved."
In the original movie, Davis played Willow Ufgood, a farmer and aspiring “conjurer” who became the protector of Elora Danan, an infant who was destined to defeat the evil Queen Bavmorda. To keep Elora safe, Willow joined forces with a mercenary named Madmartigan (Val Kilmer); and Bavmorda’s daughter, Sorsha (Joanne Whalley).
Lucas actually created his own Willow follow up adventure in the Chronicles of the Shadow War novels. In 1995, longtime Uncanny X-Men scribe Chris Claremont wrote the three Shadow War books from Lucas’ outline. The novels placed the focus on Elora Danan in her teenage years when her kingdom was once again threatened. It’s unlikely that any new Willow movie would be beholden to the Shadow War novels, but the template for any cinematic sequel already exists.
Howard also told ComicBook that he sees parallels between Han Solo and Madmartigan.
"I thought about [Willow] a lot as I was working on Solo because there are certain scenes, especially around some of the Madmartigan stuff, was reminiscent of a character with that kind of swagger and bravado,” recalled Howard. “And also some of the humor around some of the action in Willow was something I aspired to get into Solo."
Solo: A Star Wars Story will be released on May 25.