Willow Needs A Season 2 Because More People Should Be Watching It
Opinion Editor Michileen Martin argues that Willow needs to get another season so more fans get the chance to hop on board.
Last week came the news that Willow Season 2 had been canceled after a single season, but it didn’t take long for the show’s creator Jon Kasdan to say the reports weren’t true. Kasdan corrected Deadline on Twitter, saying that LucasFilm‘s fantasy saga was just delayed like a lot of Disney+’s original streaming content. After some years reporting on entertainment, it’s tough to know whether Kasdan’s right or not, but I’m here to say that we need a second season of Willow because it’s one of the best shows you’re not watching.
A sequel series of the 1988 film of the same name, Disney+’s Willow is a wonderful anomaly in the growing number of big-budget fantasy streaming projects. It’s got the high adventure and world-shattering stakes of The Lord of the Rings, but without the often dense, sometimes impenetrable, and too often sacrosanct backstory (according to certain corners of fandom). It’s got romance and action but without the ruthless shock value S.O.P. of Game of Thrones.
Nor does Willow take itself quite as seriously as those other franchises. A Willow Season 2, like its first, would include modern music along with dialogue sprinkled with more contemporary terms than we’re used to in swords and sorcery fare. It’s as funny and exciting as Val Kilmer‘s Madmartigan or his spiritual successor in the series: the grudgingly heroic and hilarious Boorman (Amar Chadha-Patel).
Speaking as someone heavily invested in quite a few revival series and films — of all the various reboots, remakes, revivals, and prequels to come out in the past half dozen years, none have proven more faithful to the source material than Disney+‘s Willow, and it’s a sure bet a Season 2 would be the same. From the unique monster design to the sets to the music (the less contemporary music, that is), everything feels perfectly sprung from the 1988 film, and that’s with nothing but that film to pull from.
Which brings me to another reason for a Willow Season 2 — it’s relatively unspoiled territory. So many of us can now brag exhaustively detailed knowledge of all the narrative branches of Marvel, DC, Lord of the Rings, Star Trek, Star Wars, and more. But Willow has only a season of television and a 35-year-old movie: couldn’t we use something that’s both a little familiar but comparatively new?
I will be the first to admit Willow‘s first season wasn’t perfect. The premiere starts off slow with far too many introductions, far too much exposition, and far too long a wait to get to the guy whose name is the title of the show. The more contemporary music and dialogue can sometimes be a bit much; even though it usually doesn’t bother me, a scene in the penultimate episode of Season 1 in which Dempsey Bryk’s Airk actually says, “Where you at” made me cringe hard enough to break something.
If there is a Willow Season 2 in the future, I would hope for at least a slightly smaller cast and more focus on the lead. I’d also hope there would be more thought put into the contemporary music choices, which often seem to be used strictly for the novelty. For example, when Dire Straits’ eighties classic “Money for Nothin'” plays in the closing moments of the Season 1 finale, there doesn’t seem to be any kind of thematic connection to what’s happening on the screen.
But what’s great about the series stands out a lot more than what needs improvement. It’s a much-needed fun and lighthearted fantasy series. If there’s a choice between saving Willow and shaving off a few overfull franchise projects, I’d much rather get a Willow Season 2 than yet one more Star Wars series. Hey, I love Star Wars, but we’ve got enough shows that will ultimately turn into The Mandalorian three-quarters of the way through.