If you're a die-hard Willow fan (like myself) you know there's a huge continuity error in Ron Howard's fantasy epic — in the form of a missing magical acorn. Willow is given a total of three magical acorns before he starts on his "fellowship of the baby" quest. But he never uses the third, and he pretends like they're all gone by the end. LIES! What happened to the missing acorn? On the 25th anniversary of this film, we grilled star Warwick Davis about the missing acorn. And heard his ideas for Willow 2.
How do you feel when you watch Willow now, 25 years later?
Warwick Davis: I'm amazed at how… young I look. But I'm very proud of it. I actually saw it last year at an open air screening with an audience. It was really quite nice to watch it with an audience. I'm very proud of how fondly it's remembered, still. And it's lovely that my kids actually watch the film as well. That makes me pretty proud, too.
If Willow came out in 2000 do you think it would have been the LOTR of our time? And was your portrayal at all influenced by Tolkien?
No, it wasn't at all. It was basically influenced by how Ron Howard wanted the character to be. It is interesting, isn't it? But no, Willow wasn't supposed to be based on any of those characters in any way.
Did you ever read Shadow Moon, the book that continued the Willow story?
No, I haven't read it — but apparently it goes off into kind of a different area. Apparently Willow changes his name and things. The Willow sequel is something that, I know, has been talked about for a while. I know a TV series was discussed at one point. It's never too late, is it? Never say never? The films from the 80s are all getting sequels. Isn't Conan getting a sequel? So who knows, maybe Val [Kilmer] and I will be reunited.
Would you be open to a Willow sequel?
Yes, I think it would be really interesting to explore the character when he's older. Has he become a better sorcerer? What's going on with him? I think it could be really great because we've got the world established. Mad Mardigan, has he become a more sensible guy now, or is he still this warrior who is a bit of a loose cannon. We've established the world, we know the characters and now with the CG effects that we've achieved we can explore that world in even more detail and spectacle.
What little world building detail do you really treasure in Willow?
I think the spells were really great. I loved the spells because there's no way they can mean anything, they're words — Lockmore Danalora, Lofashock Danu — I can still remember it after all these years. They sound like something that could create magic. I think they were really great. I like the Brownies as characters. I thought they were really interesting in the idea of scale, they were smaller than me but they had these rather antagonistic personalities because they're trying to make up for being smaller than everyone else. I quite enjoyed them.
What ever happened to the other Magic Acorn? You only used two Magic Acorns in the film.
The magic acorn? You spied that there was one more, didn't you? I tell you this, Willow is given three Magic Acorns. In the film we see him use two Magic Acorns. And as he's using that second one, on the Queen at the end. He uses it like it's his last. Like this is my last shot and if this doesn't work then I'm in trouble. He throws it at her, she starts to turn into stone, but she manages to shake it off the spell… Oh dear. Why doesn't he get the other one out? Well, because it was, in fact, his last one. There's a scene that has been cut out of the film where there's a big storm when Willow is on his way back from the island of Fin Raziel (when she's a possum and he's taking her back to the mainland). Queen Bavmorda conjures up a tempest to try and kill Willow and Fin Raziel. A huge storm errupts he's tipped over the side of the boat and in doing that he actually drops his Acorn into the boat and turns the boat to stone. Which causes it to sink. So he's lost his acorn. In the actual cut of the film, you see me rowing a boat away from the island, the next thing you see I'm sitting on the shore lying in a hut. And if you notice I'm wet, my hair's all wet. That's because that's continuity to the scene that we did that never made it into the film.
The 25th Anniversary DVD of Willow is availble on Blu-Ray now.