I am really not surprised by this news, but Willow has been cancelled at Disney after what was in my opinion a first, horrible season. As likely you know, Willow was a reboot of the old Lucasfilm movie from the ’80s and I think it was Disney’s attempt to breach the fantasy market. Sadly, Disney also chose once again to hire writer Jonathan Kasdan to head this series. You’d think they had learned a lesson after Solo was the first ever Star Wars movie to flop. However, nope, so we got whatever that was that was called Willow on Disney+.
Reviews from fans were terrible. And word of mouth was bad online for this show when it aired. I must admit the show did have a certain charm to it. In another writers hands perhaps Willow could have been a cool new fantasy franchise. However the writing is so bad, it’s instead a struggle to just turn off your brain and watch it.
Now Deadline reports that Willow is cancelled by Disney and will not return for Season 2.
‘There will be no second season of Willow, Disney+’s live-action original series based on the 1988 fantasy film directed by Ron Howard. The news comes two months after the eight-episode first season of the show, which served as a sequel to the classic movie, ended its run on the streaming platform.’
I actually feel sorry for star Warwick Davis, he was the best thing in this show. Davis is very typecast as small little creatures in Harry Potter movies and Star Wars. However he’s a great comedic actor that rarely gets to show his skills. Willow did give Davis that opportunity and I thought he did well. Problem is he had to do it surrounded by poorly drawn teenage characters and a plot that feels like it was written during spells of extreme Cocaine usage. ( No accusation there, just an analogy.)
Why is Willow Bad?
Where to begin on Willow? For a start the film was a bit rubbish to begin with and it was a box office flop. Which, does make you wonder why Disney thought this would work? As a huge fantasy fan I think I can say that Willow was everything bad about the genre. There is no world building in either the movie, or the show. We as an audience have no idea what world we are in, what the rules are, or how their society works?
The plot amounted to a group of hormonal teenagers walking from episode to episode with Willow as a guide and one adult warrior. That’s not for off a lot of fantasy stories as Wheel of Time begins the same way. However in Willow they simply arrive in whatever setting Kasdan has dreamed up to make some drama this week, get through it and keep walking on to somewhere never fully explained. It’s like Kasdan thinks, ‘lets have an episode where they are captured and enslaved in mines by goblins’. Therefore at the start of the episode they suddenly turn a corner from where the setting was last week and they arrive in ‘Moria’. There is absolutely no discussion about which way they should go, or how long it may take, because the writing team never bothered to work any of that out.
There’s no way anyone drew a map, as it would be laughable if it followed the series.You never felt like there was any serious threat to the characters and you’d just not care if any of them did die apart from maybe Willow. The fact the RT critics score is 83% amuses me no end. I would genuinely love to watch this show in the same room as some of those critics. Just so I could just keep pointing out terrible moments to them and see what they said. I mean 83%, what did they watch I didn’t? It was awful.
I could go on, but I will not. The only good thing the show did was have some cool contemporary music at the end of the episodes. The question I have to ask is this. How after all these flops, is Jonathan Kasdan still getting work as a writer? I don’t normally rag on a writer like this, but I had a look over his filmography as a writer and it’s shocking. Of all that I’ve seen, none have been well written in my book. The conclusion for me, is that Kasdan’s dad was a famous and often great script writer, which got Jonathan in the door. It certainly seemed to help when it came to Lucasfilm, where his dad famously scripted much of The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi and Raiders of the Lost Ark. Without Kasdan senior, perhaps there is no Lucasfilm in this form?
However twice now the studio has allowed Jonathan to follow in his father’s footsteps. Solo was a huge flop as said above, and although Kasdan will get a story credit for Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny, it was ultimately decided to NOT go with his script. Now we have Willow, which has also flopped hard. So what’s next, announce a Star Wars trilogy with Kasdan as writer? Frankly Kasdan has had enough chances for me in this industry and largely blown them all. One wonders whether he’d even have been given those shots if not for his father? For me, the writing talent simply isn’t there.
Oh and final note since I’m being very critical today, I think the Disney experiment with Erin Kellyman has to end. I’ve seen Kellyman in three Disney projects so far, Solo, Willow and Falcon and the Winter Soldier. She was wooden and uninteresting in all three of those. Therefore, why is she being billed as the next rising star? I don’t get it, I mean I have nothing against the actress, I just don’t think she’s that good, yet.
So, Willow has been cancelled at Disney after the first horrible season flopped hard. Do you agree with me that Lucasfilm needs to stop answering Kasdan’s calls? Is there anyone out there who can offer some praise for Willow? As always, leave any thoughts you have below.