Willow: Warwick Davis used Mark Hamill’s The Last Jedi performance as inspiration

Last Updated on December 6, 2022

Warwick Davis, Willow, Star Wars, Luke Skywalker

Taking place decades after the release of the original movie, the Willow TV series finds an an older and wiser Willow joining forces with an unlikely group of heroes who set off on a dangerous quest to places far beyond their home, where they must face their inner demons and come together to save their world. The first two episodes of Willow are now streaming on Disney+, and Warwick Davis recently spoke with THR about returning to the role after such a long absence.

It turns out that Warwick Davis looked to Mark Hamill for inspiration. Much like Davis, Hamill had also returned to a role he hadn’t played in decades when he came back as Luke Skywalker for the Star Wars sequel trilogy.

The one thing I took note of in particular was Mark Hamill returning to Luke Skywalker and how he went about the approach for that. I thought he was really interesting, and it wasn’t the expected approach, certainly. He came at it from quite a different angle, and I also did the same. I noticed that Mark didn’t try to play the character younger. He just leaned into his more mature years, and that’s really what I did as Willow. I’m 52 now. The first time I played the character, I was only 17. So I thought, “Well, let’s not deny the fact that you’re 52. Let’s use that to make this character more interesting, more grounded and more well-rounded as well.”

Much like Luke Skywalker in The Last Jedi, Warwick Davis says “the world that we find Willow in is a different one than we last saw him in. He’s quite troubled. He’s had a lot of dark experiences in his own life, so he has to take all that on. And as an actor, I have to add all of that knowledge into the character’s situation and use that to reflect out in my performance.

Jonathan Kasdan, who developed the Willow series, was also the co-writer of Solo: A Star Wars Story. It was on the set of that film where the first seeds of the Willow series were planted. “We were on the set of Solo, and I was looking very much like an older version of Willow, with my long hair as Weazel,” Davis said. “And [Jonathan Kasdan] started talking about how much he loved Willow and the fact that he’d been inspired by the film as a young writer. But the thing that really pushed it into high gear was when Ron Howard came on to direct Solo. He and Jon then chatted about Willow, and Jon again said what a huge fan he was of the film. So Ron and Jon hit it off immediately, and they started talking about the future of Willow.” You can check out a review of Willow from our own Alex Maidy right here.

Source: THR

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Based in Canada, Kevin Fraser has been a news editor with JoBlo since 2015. When not writing for the site, you can find him indulging in his passion for baking and adding to his increasingly large collection of movies that he can never find the time to watch.