There’s been a lot of talk about Star Wars recently with the long-awaited return of Ewan McGregor’s Obi Wan Kenobi, but believe it or not: a long time ago in a galaxy (not so far away), George Lucas tried to recreate the hit. of Star Wars with another fantasy franchise and was even helped by director Ron Howard.
Willow, starring Warwick Davis as the titular wizard, was released as a feature film in 1988 but unfortunately did not do as well at the box office. Now, 34 years later, Willow’s story gets another chance and a new Disney+ series is on the way. A trailer for the series was released this week at the Star Wars: Celebration event in the US.
Welsh viewers in particular should feel ownership over the new series as it was filmed on location in our beloved country. Production took place at Dragon Studios near Llanharan. Wales found a huge fan in the form of lead actor Warwick Davis, whom he spotted on holiday at Saundersfoot while filming the show. You can read more about it here.
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The new Disney+ series Willow picks up where the original left off, but re-introduces us to an older Nelwyn dwarf sorcerer, more akin to Alec Guinness’ Obi Wan in Star Wars: A New Hope. While the producers keep her letters close to her chest when it comes to plot details, an official synopsis for the series reads, “A princess throws a party to join her on her quest to rescue her twin brother.”
The original 1988 fantasy film tells the story of Willow Ufgood, who must protect a young girl, Elora Danan, from an evil queen. The new story takes place 20 years after the original and will debut on Disney+ on November 30.
A new trailer, which debuted at Star Wars: Celebration, gave fans their first look at the series and also confirmed the return of some old favorite characters. Joanne Whalley’s Sorsha and at least one of the brownies will appear on the show.
Also included in the cast are Ruby Cruz as Kit, Erin Kellyman as Jade, Ellie Bamber as Dove, and Spider-Man star Tony Revolori in an undisclosed role. Warwick Davis’s own daughter, Annabelle, makes a small cameo in the trailer.
Whether the series will be a hit with fans of the original remains to be seen, but one thing the trailer proves is that it will once again put Wales on the world stage. With a whole host of fantastic Welsh locations on show, viewers will no doubt be impressed by Willow’s sheer scale. Here are some of the locations used in the series:
Actor Warwick Davis clearly loved filming at Saundersfoot as he was seen having fun there with his family. Specializing in the best of British cuisine while paired with savory Indian spices, The Mulberry (pictured) is located on Saundersfoot Harbor and welcomed Warwick several times when he was filming Willow.
Tenby Castle Beach provided the perfect mythical backdrop the producers were looking for.
Warwick Davis is no stranger to North Wales, having used it in the original 1988 feature film.
The team has also been busy at Mynydd Llangynidr Quarry in the Brecon Beacons and also at Pontsticill Reservoir in South Wales.
One character describes how “the world needs [Willow] again” and who are we to argue? Willow begins on Disney+ on November 30.