Willow will not be getting a second season… at least for a while

A few days ago, Deadline reported that Willow will not be getting a second season after the first season premiered late last year.

The series was a sequel to the 1988 film of the same name, which was created by George Lucas and directed by Ron Howard. Showrunner Jon Kasdan has a deep love for Willow and pushed hard for a sequel, which came in the format of an eight episode season. The show is set years after the film, and it features a new cast of characters joining the legendary sorcerer Willow Ufgood on an epic quest.

In the wake of the news breaking, Kasdan took to social media to give a heartfelt message to fans. He explained that the show isn’t technically cancelled, but that a decision was made to release their cast members to explore other projects. He shared that Willow will not resume filming in the next 12 months, but hopes that Volume II will be made eventually.

“VOLUME II is all about courage, desire, acceptance, and the comedy and beauty to be found in even the darkest places and moments,” he wrote. “It’s about the enemies we must inevitably confront, both without and, often far more insidiously, from within. But, above all, it’s about the ineffable and enduring magic of friendship.”

This is disappointing news, as I really enjoyed the first season – especially the fantastic cast, who I would love to see work together again on this series. But this news is also not all that surprising, given the state of streaming and the Walt Disney Company currently. Returning CEO Bob Iger is attempting to strike a balance between cost-saving measures and still providing quality entertainment, and we know that will include a clear focus on the company’s established brands (one of which is Star Wars) while perhaps opting for quality over quantity in doing so. In light of that, Willow probably has far too niche of an audience to be considered one of those big brands driving things and therefore is seen as an expendable series to cut for the sake of money. It’s a shame, but the writing has been on the wall.

Of course, we can continue to hope that Disney will look at trying to grow other brands, of which Willow could be one. So it’s not saying that we’ll never see anything more from the franchise, just that any plans for a second season aren’t happening any time soon.

The first season certainly left things open for the story to continue, however, from the survival of the Wyrm to a potential dark future for Graydon to a credits clip of Volume I of a three-volume story being shown. At times it felt like Kasdan, who has a deep connection with Lucasfilm despite this being the second project for the company to not be further explored, was almost trying to will a second season into existence more than wrapping up stories in this first season. It’s clear that he wrote it as the first part of a larger story, which is not bad in itself, but did so without having the kind of confidence that later seasons would be made (unlike the security and confidence shows like The Mandalorian or The Rings of Power experience, for example). Whether that helped or hurt the show’s case remains to be seen, but there’s nothing imminently planned. Let’s hope at some point down the road, that changes. There was a 34-year wait between the film and the series; let’s hope the wait between seasons one and two isn’t that long.

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