Willow (1988) & Willow Disney+ Series | Crooked Media
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December 10, 2022
X-Ray Vision
Willow (1988) & Willow Disney+ Series

In This Episode

On this episode of X-Ray Vision, Jason Concepcion and Rosie Knight go on a quest! First in the Previously On (6:36) they discuss recent trailers for the fifth installment of the Indiana Jones franchise and the upcoming HBO series The Last of US. Then in the Airlock (20:43), Jason and Rosie dive deep (deeep) into the first three episodes of the Disney+ series Willow as well as revisiting the original 1988 movie. 

 

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TRANSCRIPT

 

Jason Concepcion Warning. This podcast contains spoilers for the first three episodes of the Disney Plus series, Willow. Plus the original 1988 film of the same name. Yeah. Hello, my name is Jason Concepcion and welcome to X-ray Vision, the Crooked Podcast where we dive deep into your favorite shows, movies, comics and pop culture. In this episode, in a Previously On, we will be discussing the the trailer for Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny. Folks, I am sure Rosie and I will have a lot of thoughts about this trailer. Then we will be discussing the latest trailer for the HBO Max series, The Last of Us and in in the Airlock, we’ll be discussing the Disney Plus series, Willow, which, of course, is a sequel to the 1988 George Lucas production of Willow, a movie that holds a special place in the heart of my cohost. She’s the number one comics historian, the number one Willow lover, the number one Eternals lover. That’s right, folks. It’s the great, the powerful. Rosie Marx. Rosie, How are you?

 

Rosie Knight Hey, I feel I feel so happy to be somebody who just loves so many things. It’s true. I am the number, I love Willow so much. I’m really excited to talk about that show. We’re actually talking about lots of things that I love this week, as we do every week, I guess. How are you doing?

 

Jason Concepcion I’m doing well. I got to say, I’m enjoying the Willow Show. I think the tone is really unique.

 

Rosie Knight Yeah. It’s not like anything else. It’s very unexpected like dropping in December as well.

 

Jason Concepcion Yeah.

 

Rosie Knight You’re just like, oh, this is like, okay, this show exists, and it’s totally different from anything else that’s going on.

 

Jason Concepcion Well, the sense you get quite strongly is that Disney is like we have very low expectations for what anyone’s reaction to this. So, you know.

 

Rosie Knight Free reign.

 

Jason Concepcion It’s all gravy as far as they’re concerned, I’m sure. I did have one thing I wanted to raise because it was a comic. I had a conversation recently with some friends that were that were in London, and we were talking about slang, English slang.

 

Rosie Knight Ha, ha, ha, ha.

 

Jason Concepcion And I had to I had to because I am I have eternally been mystified by geezer, which I think if you heard in American English, you’d hear Geezer, that geezer and you’d think that old, probably man.

 

Rosie Knight The old man. That’s definitely how it is in in in America. No, in England the geezers like a guy and he’s in the pub and he’s watching the football and he’s drinking a pint of beer and he’s just like a geezer. He’s like out on the town causing some problems. Like he’s a geezer. But it is also just a gendered term for somebody who’s a guy. It’s kind of that weird space. Like it has connotations around like football and like lad culture and drinking. But it is. You can also just be like a geezer.

 

Jason Concepcion Okay, so it’s like any like adult slash middle aged guy who acts like a lad, is a geezer?

 

Rosie Knight No, no, no. So it’s like. It’s one of those really weird things that I find, like you find this a lot in the English language in general. But also like, this is one of my favorite topics. I will literally explain any English, especially London specific like no. The thing that’s really interesting is like somebody can be having a conversation and use the term. Guys are like, you would use mate, but you can be like at the pub and be like, You’re right, geezer. Like it’s just like a way that you’re just speaking to someone. But it also means like if you think about the word geezer, it definitely I feel like one of the reasons this probably came up is to do with like the World Cup. I feel like it’s like a football culture world as well. So the idea of a geezer, somebody who like goes to the pub, drinks a pint, like might be getting a bit rowdy, like acting up, but it’s definitely not, I would say like adult can be you can be a geezer and be like 18 to like 70, you know, like, oh, however old like I don’t think it’s like some of age specific.

 

Jason Concepcion It’s a term of endearment also, right? Like it’s not a negative

 

Rosie Knight Yeah, yeah, yeah.

 

Jason Concepcion It’s been described to me is not a negative conotation.

 

Rosie Knight It can be, if you’re using it. I would say it’s one of those interesting things where in the communities where you would use it, it’s not negative, but outside of it, like if you were posh, you could look down on like a geezer, like somebody acting like a geezer or whatever. But like in the community, if you’re in a pub, that’s not that’s not negative. That’s just

 

Jason Concepcion What about geez? Like, If I’m friends with someone and I refer to them as my geez, as my geez.

 

Rosie Knight I don’t know if you’d call, you know, you, you could I would say the easiest universal word to in that sense would be like, mate. So if you’re like, oy, mate. Oy geez. That’s normal. Anyone can do that. You can do almost that. And in that way, it’s kind of one of those interesting ones like Guy where in the UK that can also almost, when you use it in that phrase, become genderless. You’re just like, hey geez, hey mate. So yeah, that’s a that’s a good one. Oh, Jason, bring more of these to me. I love to explain slang.  I miss it.

 

Jason Concepcion So it’s it’s like bloke then.

 

Rosie Knight Bloke is a more interesting thing because I don’t you wouldn’t be like a my bloke, you know, a bloke is more like that is a bloke that is like a descriptive word about a man. Somebody can behave in a blokey way though. So which is like again is that kind of macho specific vibe. But also bloke is just literally a synonym for man. So England’s annoying like that, like not just in slang but also in all English language words. Every word has like five meanings.

 

Jason Concepcion Well, thank you for that, that catch up, Rosie. Special thanks to everyone who came out to our L.A. Comic-Con panel. That was so great to meet you. So great to talk to you. Is so much fun to be there. That is just an environment where Rosie and I feel very, very much at home. You’ll be able to hear that episode in a couple of weeks where we’ll cover the Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special, plus the recent Guardians of Galaxy Volume three Trailer, plus have a discussion with some good friends about the state of the MCU. Up next. Previously On. First, in Previously On, folks, he’s back. I know Harrison Ford is 80.

 

Rosie Knight He’s a geezer.

 

Jason Concepcion He’s crashed like seven planes over the last ten years. But if you’ve been wondering, where is Harrison Ford on my big screen.,Ever since his run in the final Star Wars trilogy? I need more Harrison Ford. When will he come back? When he will he bring Indiana Jones back to the screen? The answer is June 30th, 2023, with the fifth installment of the Indiana Jones franchise. Indiana Jones and The Dial of Destiny, directed by James Mangold, who you might remember from Logan and the equally excellent 310 to Yuma. This movie is starring Harrison Ford, of course, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Antonio Banderas. And my immediate takeaway from this trailer is, one, it looks fun.

 

Rosie Knight Yes.

 

Jason Concepcion And two, they just took Harrison Ford’s head and digitally put it on like some guy’s body.

 

Rosie Knight Yeah.

 

Jason Concepcion For many of the, for many, if not all of the scenes.

 

Rosie Knight My understanding is that, what they the thing that excited me the most about this trailer was I didn’t know John Rhys-Davies was going to be in it.

 

Jason Concepcion Love him.

 

Rosie Knight But they had John Rhys-Davies voice, and he’s one of my favorite Indiana Jones like ensemble characters. So I was I was good. I was happy about that. But my understanding is, there is a large part of the movie, the opening, don’t quote me on that, but I believe what I’ve read, that is set earlier on where they decided to digitally de-age Harrison Ford. Which, by the way, I just don’t understand, because casting a younger Indiana Jones led us to one of the best ever Indiana Jones casting of all time River Phoenix as Indiana Jones.

 

Jason Concepcion Is wonderful.

 

Rosie Knight In the opening sequence is so good. And to me I think this is a missed opportunity to just have like some cool younger guy playing Indiana Jones. Don’t know why they love to de-age people, but I believe that the opening sequence will be younger Indiana Jones, like ten years before the movie’s meant to be set. And then we’ll be in two, too old Indiana Jones. So basically it’s Irishman Indiana Jones.

 

Jason Concepcion Here is the synopsis. In 1969, American Archeologist in adventure, Indiana Jones lives against the backdrop of the space race.

 

Rosie Knight Ooh.

 

Jason Concepcion Jones is uneasy over the fact that the U.S. government has recruited former Nazis to help beat the Soviet Union in the competition to make it to space, a.k.a. the real life project.

 

Rosie Knight I was going to say, that’s actually incredibly true to one of the parts of American historynthat everybody ignores. That is the truth.

 

Jason Concepcion And that is something the United States absolutely did.

 

Jason Concepcion Good for Indiana Jones for standing up against that terrible choice.

 

Jason Concepcion Wernher von Braun, the architect of the American Rocketry Program, was famously one of the pioneers of the V-2 rocket system that the Nazis used to bombard London and other targets in the British Isles during during that conflict known as World War II. So that is the premise. Indiana Jones in the in the swinging sixties. I can’t wait. I will say again, it’s the only thing that is that throws me. And it’s specifically the horse seen as talking about this prison. So it’s just like it. They just took his head and they put it in different his body. It looks a little wierd.

 

Rosie Knight Unsettling. It’s unsettling. And it he is it looks like in that scene, which is some kind of parade scene about the space race I think, he’s being chased down by Boyd Holbrook, who’s the Australian actor who plays the Riva, who played the lead Riva in Logan. So it’s nice little, little Logan casting Easter Egg there. But yeah, I’m not a big fan of the De-Aging will be interesting, I guess. Phoebe Waller-Bridge plays his God daughter, so there’s not going to be like a and must ask secret child. Fingers crossed.

 

Jason Concepcion Retcon. Yeah, they retcon Shia LaBeouf.

 

Rosie Knight Yes.

 

Jason Concepcion Yes. Out of the universe

 

Rosie Knight I think Mutt will have a, you know, he’ll have a Simpsons esque. Oh no, Mutt had to go back to his own planet. And he sees up in the sky, you know? Yeah. Mads Mikkelsen playing a Nazi. I mean, I always want to see Indiana Jones beating up Nazis. It’s what he does best. Is what he’s. He’s the best at. And I think we need as many movies about people beating up Nazis as possible. I love Harrison Ford. I’m glad he’s getting that money. I’m excited to see him being cranky on the inevitable cranky press tour as he deserves to be. Yeah, I mean, what are they dialing? I don’t know. That’s what I need to know. What’s the dial of destiny? Who’s getting dialed?

 

Jason Concepcion My Indiana Jones does. As you mentioned, he beats up Nazis.

 

Rosie Knight Sometimes you just shoot them straight in the head.

 

Jason Concepcion The the other thing that he is best in the world at is stealing the precious cultural artifacts of some other people.

 

Rosie Knight Yeah.

 

Jason Concepcion And taking it to some random museum in Illinois.

 

Rosie Knight Yeah. I mean, or just like a really weird warehouse. Like a giant warehouse. So, so something about Indiana Jones, Raiders of the Lost Ark, arguably, if he had not been in the movie, absolutely nothing different would have happened. That’s the one time when his is his intrinsic behavior of stealing things for the government is not great. Temple of Doom. He does.

 

Jason Concepcion He saves. He saves people. He saves the village.

 

Rosie Knight You know what? The movie has lots of problems, but gave us Ke Huy Quan. And also, you know what? At least that time he’s stealing for the right people.

 

Jason Concepcion That’s right.

 

Rosie Knight They probably need him to steal it. But you know what? And then the last crusade, I mean.

 

Jason Concepcion Is potentially immortal after drinking from the Cup of Christ.

 

Rosie Knight Which, by the way,So let’s listen to that here.

 

Jason Concepcion Had a dalliance with a Nazi.

 

Rosie Knight Problematic figure. Problematic at time.

 

Jason Concepcion Told me I’m excited for this movie. I’m a big fan of Indiana Jones, even though I do think that he is a thief. He is absolutely a grave robbing thief.

 

Rosie Knight I long.

 

Jason Concepcion He’s a criminal.

 

Rosie Knight I long for the time that we get the you know, it doesn’t have to be Indiana Jones but I a long time people were fan casting Oscar Isaac in Indiana Jones style role where he would essentially steal things back from the museums and give them back to people and repatriate like stolen objects. I would love to see a pulpy Indiana Jones esque story like that on the big screen. We don’t need to name it Indiana Jones, though. Sometimes that does make it easier to get that stuff made. But I think there’s a space for that because you’re right, he’s a thief.

 

Jason Concepcion Up next, the Last of Us, the latest Last of Us trailer. I would imagine this is probably the last official Last of uS trailer. The show will premiere January 15th of 2023 on HBO Max starring Pedro Pascal as Joel, Bella Ramsey as Ellie, Gabrielle Luna as Tommy, Anna Torv as Tess. And of course, this is an adaptation of the, you know, the hit videogame.

 

Rosie Knight Cultural phenomenon.

 

Jason Concepcion The Last of US, the game of of the same name. Very. And this looks great. This looks really good. This, I mean, captured the kind of vibe of the video games that kind of like very tense, dark. I hate to say gritty, but also, but also a kind of story with a real emotional core.

 

Rosie Knight Yeah.

 

Jason Concepcion Relationship between an older guy, Joel, and a young woman, Ellie, who, you know, this develops into a father daughter relationship. I’m excited to see this. A big fan of the video games and.

 

Rosie Knight Yeah. Looks.

 

Jason Concepcion Very excited to watch the show.

 

Rosie Knight Looks great. I think that one of the things that they really capture in this trailer is that the hard thing to recreate from the game is this mix of like this really intimate, character based story that feels very personal that you’re going along as you play the game and the huge scope of the apocalypse that they’re going through. And this trailer really got that for me. There’s a couple of character beats you get Ellie kind of having this inappropriate humor moment that feels really true to the game. And then you get the hints of the clickers and it looks yeah, it looks great. I also kind of I guess because so much happened this year, I missed how many unreal cast members this show has until recently when they started releasing. Like, everyone is just like a killer bit of casting with the unreal amount of star power. So I’m very excited. And they had a very outrageous slowed down version of Take on Me by Aha! Which definitely works.

 

Jason Concepcion Yeah. Then, you know, like a creepy version of a pop song always works. It’s never not worked in a trailer. Also, as we go into this again, the show will premiere mid-January 2023. One of our plans for the future has to do a dive into the story of the video game.

 

Rosie Knight Yeah, definitely.

 

Jason Concepcion Give us the video game as we’re talking about the show. So that should be.

 

Rosie Knight Yeah, we’re really excited to delve into that because it’s something that we both really just love and to be able to talk about that and the show is really exciting possibility.

 

Jason Concepcion Up next, Willow.

 

<AD>

 

Jason Concepcion We’re stepping out of the Airlock, folks, and into a fantasy world. Created by George Lucas. From the mind of George Lucas, we’re talking about the show, Willow, the adaptation of the 1988 film Willow, a sequel to that movie on Disney Plus. There are now three episodes out and this is it a this is a movie and a show that I think has has a very special place in, one, Rosie Knight’s heart and mind, as well I loved this movie as a kid. I watched this movie a lot as a kid.

 

Rosie Knight Yeah. It must have been something to do with its availability on VHS or something, because the movie did not take the box office by storm. It had a good opening weekend, but.

 

Jason Concepcion It did pretty well. It did okay.

 

Rosie Knight It didn’t have the.

 

Jason Concepcion Yeah.

 

Rosie Knight It didn’t have the Star Wars effect, the Indiana Jones effect, you know, which is why it’s taken 30 years, 34 years to get a sequel. You know, so but there was something about it when we were kids, it was just so prevalent. They probably over printed the VHS they needed to make back the money and home video. But for me, this was one of my most watched films. I mean, this was definitely one of my entry points into horror and enjoying horror because it’s really scary.

 

Jason Concepcion Scary. That creature work is great.

 

Rosie Knight Yeah.

 

Jason Concepcion It’s quite scary.

 

Rosie Knight They have these, these creatures called the death dogs that kind of that they’re used by the evil Queen Bavmorda to hunt down people that she wants to find, including the baby known as Elora Danan, who is the main, kind of chosen one, protagonist of the film, even though she’s a baby and the death dogs were just Rottweilers that they put these prosthetic creature heads onto.

 

Jason Concepcion It’s like you watch and you’re like, wow, they look really those dogs are dog like.

 

Rosie Knight And then they just would put this huge kind of almost pig like, wolf prosthetic. And the opening of the movie is these dogs and they’re hunting down a woman who’s got the baby. And it is so scary. And I remember just really loving that mixture of this scary horror fantasy with this incredibly cozy woodland world where we love.

 

Jason Concepcion It is a very cozy world.

 

Rosie Knight Yeah. Played by Warrick Davis.

 

Jason Concepcion So that movie came out in 1988.

 

Rosie Knight Yeah.

 

Jason Concepcion And I think the interesting thing about it is that Sci fi was ruled the roost at that time. Obviously, Star Wars and the various knock offs from Star Wars, the Star Trek movie series which had gotten back into business. Alien, Aliens, Terminator, Terminator 2. And it was a very, very fallow time for fantasy at the box office. Now, this is not to say that there weren’t many things that were released that absolutely resonated with folks, Dark Crystal.

 

Rosie Knight And even those, they were like Dark Crystal. That was not a big blockbuster hit. It was. It became a cult hit. Princess Bride, also another movie that became a cult hit. Fantasy was there, but it was not. It had not had that huge resurgence in the way that sci fi had.

 

Jason Concepcion And so it was really kind of a risk. You know, George Lucas cashed in a lot of his chips in order to get this movie made. This is not a movie that 20th Century Fox or anybody really, really wanted to make. He swung a lot of deals around the margins with licensing, with marketing. You know, all the lessons that he had learned in monetizing Star Wars he brought to bear here in order to get this movie done. And then he was also going through a divorce at the time, which he poured a lot of that kind of like feeling into this movie. This is a very this is a this is a movie about the female characters in the movie. You know, like.

 

Rosie Knight It’s very forward thinking in that way. Like I was speaking, I’ve done quite a lot of coverage about Willow for Den of Geek, for that magazine and for the the website, the new series. And it’s kind of funny because the new series, which we’ll get to, has a lot of like strong female characters and it’s very diverse. But the original movie is like the main villain is an evil queen. One of the heroes ends up being her daughter, who’s a total badass warrior in a way that you really hadn’t seen at this point. She’s not a red Sonja esque warrior. I love Red Sonja, but she’s not wearing a bikini. She’s not, you know, in service of a man. She is like a hardcore badass. And then you have, you know, Willow has a family. He has his wife, Kaiya. He has his daughter, Mims, who is plays who plays a role in the new show, too. There is a lot of time here spent, as well as Elora Danan, who is the chosen one, who is a woman again, moving away from that Luke Skywalker kind of trope of the the male chosen one. It has a lot of really interesting, unexpected character choices. And I will say, you know, this is a movie George Lucas had wanted to tell for a long time, a story he’d wanted to tell for a long time. And it was when he cast Warwick Davis, who was only 11, when he was cast in Return of the Jedi. I found out recently, which just unbelievable. And then George realized this could be a vehicle for Warwick and kind of this star vehicle. So this is also a movie where your heroic lead is a little person and also like now probably one of the most well-known little person actors in the world. Warwick Davis Just a total legend. But back then he wasn’t. And I think that that’s something we still don’t really see. I can’t think of another movie that’s a heroic that has a heroic role with a little person or even a, you know, a disabled person in it in a lead role. That was a major blockbuster movie. And I just I love this movie so much. It’s this great mixture between, like, coziness and horror and fantasy. And then you have the thing we haven’t talked about, which is, you know, it’s just absolutely ridiculous, out there, unforgettable performance by Val Kilmer as Madmartigan. And that becomes the kind of central part. I was watching the movie for the show and and I was thinking, oh, my God, like, how much mad man? Again, Willow fanfic is that? Because they’re basically like they pair them as like a husband and wife on this D&D style adventure.

 

Jason Concepcion It’s very interesting because, you know, a lot of the criticism of this movie was, oh, okay, Madmartigan is just Han Solo. Like this kind of rogue character warmed over this charming. Madmartigan is a fucking asshole.

 

Rosie Knight He sucks. This is a truly complex character. This is not some easy. He is like a roguish. It’s far more realistic than the Han Solo version because this is like, he sucks.

 

Jason Concepcion He is an anti-hero in the true sense of the world, word, which is part of why I think the movie is. You know, the positioning of the characters is really courageous from Lucas because again, like the the female heroes are really the center of this story. And while Madmartigan again has some great action scenes and his, you know, relationship with with Willow is part of like the emotional engine of the story. It’s a lot of their interactions are like Madmartigan, again, just like calling Willow a peck.

 

Rosie Knight Yeah, he’s always.

 

Jason Concepcion Being a real jerk.

 

Rosie Knight And he’s always.

 

Jason Concepcion Towards him

 

Rosie Knight And he’s always trying to, like, betray him. I think in this, this feels to me a lot more like the fantasy books that we’ve read in the kind of fantasy stories that we get now, which is this D&D party where you can have characters who are not trustworthy. There’s always one person who’s trying to betray you, who wants to get the treasure, who’s doing it for their own way. And obviously, Madmartigan’s journey across this movie is to realize, Oh, there’s something bigger at stake here, and it’s this baby. Whether or not you believe she’s a prophesized empress, she’s just a little baby who needs help. And I’m here with my boyfriend, Willow, and we’re going to look after her, you know. And then you have this sorcerer played by Joanne Whalley, who’s also in the new series. She just has no time for Madmartigan’s shit. And it’s such a joy to see this, like, enemies to lovers, like, annoying. She’s like, this guy is so annoying, but there’s just something there. And they both kind of come together over this great battle. And one of the most interesting things about Willow that I love, that comes into play heavily in the show is the end of Willow. Willow’s journey is he is, he’s a Nelwyn, which is what they call that the community of people that he lives in. And he wants to be a sorcerer. And his dream is to be a sorcerer and to be an apprentice and to become a high sorcerer of his community, right. But he really just does like funny magic tricks when he’s at home. He doesn’t really know how to do magic. And the end of the movie, he does a magic trick. And he tricks Bavmorda into thinking he’s made Elora Danan disappear and then Bavmorda get struck by lightning. So Willow doesn’t actually do any magic. He’s not a great sorcerer. He kind of does it off his own wits and his own wiles. It’s very Star Wars. It’s very fun. But then 34 years later, when you have this show, which is probably set around 20 years afterwards, everyone in the whole kingdom of Tir Asleen thinks Willow is this genius magic sorcerer. And the show is kind of getting towards now this idea of like, well, we know what really happened in the movie. So how do you deal with that when you’re now positioning him back into this magic? And it’s by again surrounding there’s a great moment in the trailer that was kind of when I realized the show was really going to get me, which is like someone says to Willow, like, How are you going to beat me? And he’s like, like I did last time with my friends. And I’m like, Yeah, that’s the point. Like, it’s just some ragtag group of like, people who are kind of outcasts, kind of losers, like the, the, the party of bandits who everyone is ignored. The sorcerer no one cares about the female warrior. No one takes seriously the rogue who’s betrayed so many people that they just left them in a skeleton, you know, cage to kind of run away. Oh, actually, if we come together, we can do something. And I just think that’s so much fun. And it’s again, it kind of leans into those that you mentioned, you know, dark crystal legend. All those movies were at the time. They didn’t necessarily make you huge waves, but now you watch them and you’re like, These movies are so long and so complex and so strange, and that’s really what fantasy should be. And I think that’s why Willow has always kind of stood the test of time for me. And Jon Kasdan, who who is the showrunner of of the new Willow series and who’s, you know, his dad is Lawrence Kasdan, his brother’s Jake Kasdan. So they’re like Lucasfilm.

 

Jason Concepcion Kasdan, the Kasdan.

 

Rosie Knight Film royalty.

 

Jason Concepcion Yeah.

 

Rosie Knight But he was like us. He was just somebody who watched it so many times as a kid, and he just loved it. And when he was the little kid, you know, he was like, Wait, I don’t understand. Why isn’t there a sequel? Because we don’t understand the notion of box offices and stuff, you know? And I felt the same way as a kid. I, I rewatched my VHS so many times, and I sort of couldn’t believe that there wasn’t another film.

 

Jason Concepcion As we were saying. I think that the lesson that the industry took from Willow, which was a modest it was a modest success, but certainly not what people that associated with the name George Lucas. I think the lesson that the industry took was that fantasy is is not.

 

Rosie Knight Not viable.

 

Jason Concepcion Is not where the market is now. Sci fi is where the market is now. An increasing trend towards comic book material is where the market is now. And it wouldn’t be until the appearance of Lord of the Rings to really show that fantasy can still sell tickets at the box office because, you know, we had it had come all the way back around in terms of sci fi with The Matrix, which is basically like Star Wars of the Internet era.

 

Rosie Knight Mm hmm.

 

Jason Concepcion Jurassic Park, etc.. You know, there was just not. You never. The eighties was a rich time for fantasy content, certainly not successful in the eyes of the industry, but the movies were good.

 

Rosie Knight And they became huge hits.

 

Jason Concepcion Yeah, but after Willow, it was, that was kind of it, for the next ten years. Okay, let’s get into the show. Willow Episodes 1 to 3 is what we’re going to cover. Here’s what we’ll just do a quick catch up on the first two episodes before we get to episode three. Episode one The Gales Written by Jonathan Kasdan and directed by Stephen Wolfenden. This introduces us to our our new cast of characters in the Willow series. They include Princess Kit, who is the daughter, the daughter of Queen Sorsha, who is in turns herself the daughter of the evil Bavmorda, from the Willow movie and now ruling Tir Asleen. She, her best friend, is a warrior named Jade. They train together all the time, and clearly there are their real feelings between those two. Real .

 

Rosie Knight And Jade is played by Erin Kellyman, who we’re a huge fan of on the show. Enfys Nest from the end of Solo, one of the best but shortest character introductions. Then, you know, played a part in Falcon, the Winter Soldier. But again, it was kind of a cut short role. This role really gives her a lot of meat and she gets to kind of be the shining knight in this medieval inspired kind of story. And they’re going to, Kit is the very much like I’m not like other girls princess. Her dad is Madmartigan and her mother is Sorsha. Madmartigan, where is he? Nobody knows.

 

Jason Concepcion Nobody knows.

 

Rosie Knight Nobody knows. He went off on a thing and he never came back. So she’s very much in that space, but she’s going to have to get married. Off to a prince called Graydon, played by Tony Revolori, Flash Thompson from Spider-Man. And you can get the feeling like a.

 

Jason Concepcion He’s a nice enough guy.

 

Rosie Knight But very.

 

Jason Concepcion And neither one of them and they both recognize that politically it’s important to him to go through this marriage. But neither of them are particularly passionate about it.

 

Rosie Knight Yeah.

 

Jason Concepcion They don’t know each other.

 

Rosie Knight They don’t know each other.

 

Jason Concepcion They’re just strangers to each other.

 

Rosie Knight And there is a party to celebrate this impending marriage. It kind of all goes awry when Kit’s twin brother, Prince Eric, who is named after Eric, who is Madmartigan’s friend who died heroically in the original movie.

 

Jason Concepcion R.I.P. the original Eric.

 

Rosie Knight A sassy hero. He was wonderful.

 

Jason Concepcion And Eric.

 

Rosie Knight Yeah.

 

Jason Concepcion Eric has a lot of the Madmartigan, like the the roguish ness of Madmartigan. Again, without the kind of swordsmanship, he’s.

 

Rosie Knight Never had to go out on an adventure.

 

Jason Concepcion Yeah.

 

Rosie Knight He is, he’s living his life. He’s, he’s promiscuously making his way through the castle staff. He’s a he’s a lover boy. Also, Dempsey Bryk, who plays him, looks a lot like young Val Kilmer.

 

Jason Concepcion He really does.

 

Rosie Knight So this casting is, like, really wild. Lo and behold, if you’re just wearing a flowy shower and, like, sleeping with lots of girls, apparently in this world, that means you’re going to get kidnaped by these nightmarish creatures,  the Gales. And that happens. He gets swept up by a giant, scary bird. And Kit is like, Well, not having that. I’m off to save my brother. And surprisingly, her mother, who was just recently, you know, desperate to get her into this arranged marriage, is like, actually, that’s a great idea.

 

Jason Concepcion Yeah. Go do it.

 

Rosie Knight Go do it. You go. Go with Kit. Go with Jade. Your best, bud.

 

Jason Concepcion Now, an interesting wrinkle here is that Eric has been messing around with a particular member of the household staff, a wonderful cook named Dove. And we discover at the end of episode one, when our group encounters Willow. Willow Ufgood of the movie fame, he touches Dove’s arm. Dove was not meant to be with this group. She kind of snuck away because she wants to, you know, she has really fallen for Eric, even though she’s unsure of the way he feels about her. She just wants to find him. And Willow, sensing something about Dove, places his hand on her arm, revealing a sign. And guess what, folks? The long lost Empress Elora Danan, the true Empress, is this kitchen maid, Dove. Bom, bom, bom, bom, bom.

 

Rosie Knight So this is a this is actually terrible news. As much as everyone’s been waiting for her to survive, because basically Sorsha, Madmartigan, the whole of Tir Asleen has essentially kept Elora Danan secret. They hid her away. They pretended that they didn’t know who she was. And they raised her in these kitchens as a kitchen girl so that she would not be in any danger and evil would not be able to find her. But now, lo and behold, she’s off on an adventure, trying to go to the end of the earth to find her boyfriend. And she’s very committed and she’s going to do it. And the team is rounded out by a really just unbelievably great addition who Queen Sorsha forces on the group. And his name is Boorman and he’s played by Amar Chadha-Patel. And he is so good and he’s definitely channeling your biggest Madmartigan energy.

 

Jason Concepcion He is like the he is the marshal Madmartigan again brought to life here.

 

Rosie Knight Exactly.

 

Jason Concepcion The warrior with the quips who you know is an adventurer and is definitely not the do everything by the book guy.

 

Rosie Knight No. And they do something I really think is so great. This definitely is in that space of what Jasmine Savoy Brown’s character in Scream five, coined as the requel. This is it’s the sequel that’s also the reboot that introduces new characters. But you have to have the old characters. And this show does something really lovely, which is it spends a lot of time connecting those threads. And Boorman is not just, oh, we’re going to make this guy pretend to be Madmartigan. No, he channels the spirit of mama again. And as we get into the show, you learn why? Because he was friends with him. And that’s actually how Sorsha guilts him into going on this trip with this group of kids. This kind of YA adventure party, because she’s like, Don’t forget about your old friend. And yeah. And that first episode ends. Boom. Elora Danan is there. Willow’s stoked to see her, but also like the whole Nelwyn people all live underground now because of how bad things have got. So he’s not looking very hopeful, but Kit’s not going to let her brother be kidnaped. She’s she’s ready for the fight.

 

Jason Concepcion In episode two, we get some extra wrinkles here. Elora is trying to learn some magic. With the help of Willow. Willow is being very cagey about his own magic abilities at this particular time.

 

Rosie Knight Yes.

 

Jason Concepcion And more on that in episode three. And then Elora gets kidnaped by one of the commanders of the Tir Asleen guard, Commander Ballantine, who, it turns out, has been possessed.

 

Rosie Knight Yes.

 

Jason Concepcion We guess, by by these Gales who attacked the castle, they touched him or were able in some way to bring him under their .

 

Rosie Knight Infect him almost with this evil.

 

Jason Concepcion He kidnaps Elora and goes away. So now we’re on a double search we’re looking for Eric but we also got to get the true Empress Elora Danan back.

 

Rosie Knight Yeah, and that leads us to episode three, which the funnest thing about this is this is a show that I feel really deeply understands kind of where fantasy is in 2022 and what people want to see, because episode three essentially is a side quest, which is like everybody’s favorite thing to do in any kind of fantasy RPG or like a tabletop game. So I love that they were like side quest episode. It’s like a really it’s a really fun little trope and this is where you really start digging in. So we’re going to do the real recap for this one.

 

Jason Concepcion So we open on a flashback 10,000 years ago. This is a story that is being recounted by Boorman to Princess Kit, and he is telling the story of Thuul, who was the scion of the King of hKymeria. But he it’s he was seen as weak by his brother, Tiberius. And so Tiberius decided, you know what, I think I should be a king instead. And therefore, I’m going to lay siege to the capital of Kymeria. Annabel, the mother of both of these young men, to protect her son Thuul, forges a set of magical armor that locks with a special key called the Lux Arcana that will only allow those worthy of the defensive power of this armor to wear it. Thuul then goes to ride out alone, wearing the armor to face his brother and his brother’s army of death dealers. But before Boorman can tell the rest of the story, Kit is like, I’m fucking bored, man. What’s thr point of this?

 

Rosie Knight This is boring.

 

Jason Concepcion Yeah. And this is the point of this story.

 

Rosie Knight She’s like, Please just get to the partl about my dad.

 

Jason Concepcion Yeah, yeah, you knew my dad. So what is up with that? Where are you going? And Boorman then says, and this is what you were talking about, which is this understanding of where fantasy is in 22. Boorman then says a line that is a wonderful wink to the audience. Your generation has zero attention span for Epic Tale.

 

Rosie Knight Yeah, it’s so much fun that that line I’m so glad you picked out because that really sums up to me how this is. If there’s one thing that this is most influenced by, tonally, I would say it’s the Princess Bride, because the thing we didn’t really get into so far is the show is very fantastical. It’s really beautifully shot. It was all shot on location in Wales. So it’s it’s really colorful and doesn’t really look like anything else. But he’s also just very funny and like intentionally funny and consistently meta and winking. And then also just like classically silly.

 

Jason Concepcion There’s a breeziness to it that is, you know, when you think fantasy, right? You think English accents, you know, this kind of like Shakespearean kind of approach. That is not the case with this. Ellie Bamber, who plays a Elora Danon, is a oh, yeah, is a British accent using an American accent. You know, like it’s very much the opposite of what you would expect. Like there is not the kind of fussiness.

 

Rosie Knight Yeah.

 

Jason Concepcion Of a, of a of the normal kind of fantasy.

 

Rosie Knight It’s almost like it’s almost like and this is from coming for me is big like complement, but it’s always like casual fantasy. Like I feel like it’s like when you watch something like Game of Thrones, you got to watch that first season. Then you have to learn every single family and political group and the way that they’re connected and the hundreds of years of history that shaped them, which we love. That’s literally what we like to talk about. But this is one of those shows where I feel like anyone could just put it on and kind of vaguely recognize the archetypes but not feel like there’s too much. And that partially comes from the fact that Willow is one movie that came out 34 years ago. Going, you know, touching on one of mine and Jason’s favorite topics, a.k.a.  the X-Men. There are three Willow novels written by none other than Chris Claremont, that expand the lore of the story. But even then, you’re talking about three books. The third one, which is incredibly hard to find that most people haven’t read and one movie. So there is not a lot of lore you can have that breeziness that kind of fun of expanding the idea of what the show is. Well, kind of using it as a vessel to sort of nod to the things that we really like and enjoy about fantasy.

 

Jason Concepcion I really appreciate that about it. It’s a very, very easy and fun watch. Okay. So basically Boorman is like, okay, here’s the deal. You, your dad, man, Morgan and I were trying to find this armor at one point in time in order to defend Tir Asleen from this, the evil crone that we are currently sort of in a mission against. You know, right now, even though our real mission is find Elora Danan and find Eric. Commander Ballantine of Tir Asleen, he has Elora prisoner. He has been possessed by the Gales. Jade finds him just as he’s getting on his horse with with Elora. And he’s like, listen, I’m. He tries to kind of play it off, you know? He’s like, Well, I’m working for the queen. I’m working for Queen Sorsha, you know, Elora’s mom. And it was my job to take Elora back home, and that’s what I’m doing. And then Willow shows up and says, Well, yeah, that may be the case, but Elora should only go home if she wants to go home and she’s unconscious over the back of your horse right now. It doesn’t look like she’s doing anything that she actually wants to do. It should be her decision. So the whole party shows up. You know, Willow’s friend Silas,  his compatriot Silas, Prince Graydon, Boorman, Kit. And they take out their swords and we get a big fight. But Ballentine and his men getaway with the Elora in this kind of in the in the confusion after Willow attempts to do some sort of like magic spell, all he does is really kind of cause a lot of smoke to be to be thrown up. And by the time the smoke clears, Elora and Commander Ballentine are gone. Willow then tells them that Ballantine’s men have been overtaken by evil magic. And this is the work of the Gales. All of a sudden we hear the voice of the crone speaking through these storm clouds on the horizon. And the crone, we learn, does not want to kill Elora because a Elora can’t really be killed like her energy is indestructible. You kill her.

 

Rosie Knight And now she’s not. You could have killed the baby, but now you can’t really kill.

 

Jason Concepcion Yeah, you can’t do anything now.

 

Rosie Knight 18 year old Elora Danan.

 

Jason Concepcion She. You might banish her from from the world for a while, but she’ll just be reborn again. What you need to do and what the crone wants to do is, as an adult, take her prisoner and therefore remove her light energy from the world. And that’s how you could rule this land. This is exactly what Bavmorda was trying to do in that in the original movie. Elsewhere, Elora manages to get free of Commander Ballantine. She runs into the woods. And while this is happening, our heroes wagon is broken down. And we get a nice nod to the kind of Lucasfilm DNA of this when. So the wagon wheel has like fallen off the wagon and they’re trying to figure out how to fix it. And Boorman is like, Well, hold on, you’re a sorceror. Can’t you just, like, lift it with magic? And Willow is like, no, we can’t do that. Although there’s going to be other reasons why he can’t use his magic right now that we’ll tell you in a second. In the forest, while Willow and Boorman and Silas are trying to figure out what’s up with the wagon wheel, Kit and Jade are having a much needed conversation. They haven’t really had a moment alone since they’ve started this adventure. And the last kind of real interaction between them was When did you know Kit was being introduced to her future husband, Prince Graydon and Jade was feeling not great about it and Kit was also feeling really shitty about it. And they basically had an argument.

 

Rosie Knight Yeah, and Jade wanted, Jade was going to become the first woman to have been able to train as a knight, but it would have meant leaving Kit. And Kit was feeling very, Kit was very spoiled about it and caused a big drama and it was a huge moment. And now they’re having a conversation because Ballantine, who is the evil, now evilly possessed man who stole Elora Danan.

 

Jason Concepcion Really Jade’s mentor.

 

Rosie Knight He’s Jade’s mentor. He raised Jade was raised as an orphan in the palace and it has been most of her life. Ballantine has been that father figure and has trained on how to fight. So now they’re in a position where.

 

Jason Concepcion Yeah.

 

Rosie Knight He’s going to need to die.

 

Jason Concepcion So Kit is saying to Jade exactly that, Listen, if we face Ballantine again, you’ve got to be ready to kill him without hesitation. And Jade is like I wasn’t hesitating. I was focused on trying to save your life. And Kit is like, I’m a good I’m actually a good fighter, which you don’t think I can hold my own and I don’t need saving. And Jade then tells kit and we’re in really big reveal that. You know, basically saying, well, you’re a good fighter.

 

Rosie Knight I always let you win.

 

Jason Concepcion I’ve been helping you be a good fighter. And by the way, your mom ordered me to basically be your friend in order to train you to become a good fighter. And Kit is shaken at this. And, you know, Jade tries to soften it by saying, yeah, but then, you know, I developed feelings for you since, like, it became a real friendship and obviously something more. But Kit doesn’t want to hear this. In the woods, Elora, you know, goes through these kind of dark and shadowy woods to this sunny clearing. And she finds this this cabin and two woods women living there. Hubert and Anne. Elora is panicked. You know, she doesn’t know if Ballantine and the rest are right on her heels. And she’s telling these women, like, these bad men are coming. They’re wicked men. They want to take me prisoner, they may kill you and whatever. And Hubert and  Anne are just like, Hey, do you want to eat some roasted mushrooms? Don’t worry about it.

 

Rosie Knight They’re like, It’s fine. Don’t worry. We got you. It’s all good.

 

Jason Concepcion Don’t worry about it. Elsewhere, our heroes with the wagon are struggling. They’re lost in the storm. They decide, okay, we’re going to cover more ground if we split up. Kit specifically orders the teams so that she and Jade will be searching separately. Back to the woods, Elora tells the Woods women that, you know, it’s funny you mentioned Elora Danan and ladies because I am a Elora Danan. I know it’s weird.

 

Rosie Knight By the way.

 

Jason Concepcion By the way, I just found it out. I’m still processing that myself. It’s kind of a honestly, it’s kind of like been a huge mindfuck. Like, yeah, that’s true. I am a Elora Dan and they’re like, Oh, let us see the mark, then show us the mark on the arm if you really Elora Danan. She raises her sleeve, shows them the mark, and now all of a sudden these women are like, Holy shit, you’re the true empress.

 

Rosie Knight This is what they’ve been waiting for.

 

Jason Concepcion We’ve been waiting for this. There’s legends about this. There’s legends about what will happen. And they realize, Oh, that means you really are in danger. And if you’re the true empress, that means that we should join you in whatever adventure, whatever adventure, whatever.

 

Rosie Knight Whatever it is, you’ve got us on side.

 

Jason Concepcion We have your back. We. Let’s get out of here before these men show up. Let’s get you somewhere safe. A Elora says, No, no, no. We can’t go somewhere safe and just hold up. I have to rescue my boyfriend Eric from the Crone. They’re like, Okay, fine, we’re going to help you before they can do anything. Commander Ballantine shows up immediately, and I mean, like, almost. Immediately he kills Hubert.

 

Rosie Knight Yeah, and it’s such a shame, too, because Hubert just goes full badass. Hubert pulls out an ax, Hubert hits Ballantine with it, and everyone’s like, Oh, my God, Hubert, you’re so cool. Like, I can’t believe you did that. And then BALLANTINE Lo and behold, he’s basically a zombie because he’s been possessed by the evil of the leches and the gales. So then he just kills Hubert. R.I.P.

 

Jason Concepcion Hubert Hubert Hubert played by the Great had it Hannah Waddingham.

 

Rosie Knight Yeah.

 

Jason Concepcion Of Ted Lasso fame. Of Game of Thrones  fame. And you see her and you’re thinking, oh, she’s going to be around for a little while. No, not even an episode.

 

Rosie Knight R.I.P..

 

Jason Concepcion R.I.P. to Hubert, quickly, both women are cut down and goes down in quick, quick order right after that. And the commander promises a Elora that more will die unless you come with us. You have to come with us, or your friends will continue to get cut down. Kit and Borman continue their conversation about Madmartiganin. You why did why did Boorman return from their adventures Madmartigan? And where is my dad? What happened? Boorman kind of insinuates that something there was some kind of fight that was deadly because he says, I got lucky basically saying, you know, your dad didn’t get so lucky. They’re looking at this kind of like storm surging all around them and they start thinking, you know, we’re in the middle of this dark energy, this dark storm. Maybe what we need is some light. Maybe what we need is that magical armor that I was telling you about at the top of this episode. Meanwhile, back at the wagon, Graydon tells Jade, Hey, have you noticed? Like, I noticed that Willow’s magic is like he didn’t want to he didn’t want to lift the wagon. And then when he used the spell, when Ballantine showed up, it really was not. It didn’t work. Really. I’m worried that Willow’s magic is I’m really worried that Willow’s magic is fading. Is that the case? And it turns out it is. We then see Willow, have a conversation with his friend Silas, where he’s basically saying, hey, I don’t have much magic left. I need to save every drop of energy, magical energy that I have left in order to beat the crone when we face her, in order to save a Elora Danan. I can’t. I can’t waste all this. Suddenly we have an answer on why Willow, you know who has been bragging about what a great sorceror he is ever since he’s arrived in this story. He’s been talking about it a lot.

 

Rosie Knight He has to. That’s it. That’s the game that he has to play. And the other interesting thing is he he is very wary of the future. He has these visions and he is seeing something that he feels like he can’t stop. He wants to. So he’s saving his magic. And that is, like you said, why he’s, you know, just lift the car. I know it can’t take that much magic. Just a little bit.

 

Jason Concepcion Like, as you said, he has Willow, as he’s talking to his friend, has a flash of a vision and he realizes that he knows where they need to go. We go to Boorman and Kit. They come to a graveyard. This, Boorman says, this is probably where the armor is, somewhere in this the tunnels of this necropolis, and they decide to go down in there. Elora, meanwhile, being held by a Captain Ballantine decides enough is enough. I’m I’m a I’ve just learned that I am the true empress. That means that I have magical power and in fact, I have almost infinite magical power if I can just get in touch with it. Willow is trying to teach me an incantation. Maybe it’ll work. She uses a little bit of her magic to get one of Ballantine’s goons away from her. And then she starts the incantation that Willow taught her. That is, we imagine, supposed to call some sort of, like, magical protectors to do to fight for her. Nothing happens. But then her friends, Graydon, Jade, Willow and Silas, actually do arrive.

 

Rosie Knight So maybe it did work.

 

Jason Concepcion Maybe it didn’t work. Jade begs Ballantine if he’s in there, her mentor, to let her help him, help him get free. And he’s like, no, they lower their that their helms and they get in another big fight, another big sword fight. All the while down in the graveyard, Kit and Boorman are getting chased by warerats.

 

Rosie Knight Just like they are on the side quest And it is not going well. Kit is not a fan

 

Jason Concepcion It’s really not going well. There is no hint of this magical armor. And in fact they may get eaten by rats.

 

Rosie Knight You know, very shady stuff, like he keeps going off by himself and.

 

Jason Concepcion Yes.

 

Rosie Knight And Kit’s kind of left, not really understanding what’s going on. And then, of course, there are the ware rats.

 

Jason Concepcion Yes. Back at the fight, Elora is like, Willow, we need your sorcery. You’ve been talking a big game.

 

Rosie Knight Please, just do some magic, my guy.

 

Jason Concepcion Where is the fucking magic? Let’s go. He is, like, making an excuse, you know, the sense we get is, man, that the Willows Gas tank must be on empty. But then he uses a spell anyway. And it is quite impressive. Ballantine’s men are like, torn apart by this. Ballantine himself is like, bathed in this very destructive energy and he falls to the ground. We see, you know, in the wake of this, that Silas has been wounded in the fighting and then he dies, heartbreakingly, in Willow’s arms, and Ballantine now mortally wounded like he’s done. But he’s back to himself now and he talks to Jade. He’s telling her, listen, you have to protect Elora now that she’s back, she has to be protected. Here’s what’s up with the Crone. The crone is terrified of Elora. You have to take Elora to the Memorial City and that if you do that and protect her, you can defeat the crown. And that’s it. And then Tir Asleen will be safe forever. And now that I’ve told you everything that I know, I need you to kill me because I’m not going to make it. Jade, with tears in her eyes, finishes him off. There’s a storm there in this place called The Pitiless Path, which is now flooding because they’re in the middle of this like terrible rainstorm. They see a set of steps going up the hill and Boorman’s like, I don’t know where we’re going, but I see a set of steps that gets us out of this floodplain. So I’m going up there and they end up like on this mesa on the top of this mountain with this very, very, very, very scary city in the in the distance. And they’re all like, where the fuck are we? We have no idea where this is. But Willow knows because he was there in Willow, the movie.

 

Rosie Knight He was.

 

Jason Concepcion Nockmaar.

 

Rosie Knight Nockmaar.

 

Jason Concepcion Da da da. The birthplace of Elora Danan. You. You’re absolutely right. This is like a it’s almost like a YA take on fantasy. It’s super, super fun.

 

Rosie Knight Yeah. It’s really fun. It’s like. I love the I think that the thing that makes it stand out to me, I, I love anything YA really. Like I read a lot of YA books, I love stories where they tell them through the lens of young characters, I think is really interesting way to reinvigorate a franchise or to tell any story I loved. You know, Force Awakens, I love The Last Jedi. But what I think is really cool here is that fun mixture between the new characters. But still, this is a Willow show. So you have Willow there. And the way that they kind of tie them together in this, this D&D esque.

 

Jason Concepcion It’s very D&D esque.

 

Rosie Knight It just feels really different and very fun. And it’s is I really I think that you will spot on. When I when I spoke to Jon Kasdan about making the show, he was sort of making jokes about how nobody really knows about Willow. You know, it’s not a high kind of profile property. And I think that in the way that you mentioned, that probably gave them a lot of free rein under the Disney banner. And, you know, in my interview with him for Den of Geek, he said, like, this wouldn’t have happened without Disney. Plus, they needed IP, they needed content. So he got to take this swing and make something that does feel really different. And it kind of it’s a great holiday show, but it does make me laugh because I’m just like, you just drop this casually on November 30th. And it’s just so different to anything else that Disney Plus or any other stream is really doing. It’s it’s very fun and I’m really excited to kind of continue the journey with these characters, especially Jade and Kit, because we’re really getting to see this friendship growing into something more between them. And you’re getting the fun of like Elora and Graydon, and you get to see all these different little relationships that are building. And something I think is really special is, you know, it doesn’t seem like Val Kilmer is going to be able to be in this season. He’s had a lot of health issues.

 

Jason Concepcion They do something else. Yeah. Yeah. And yes or something.

 

Rosie Knight Exactly. Or have you know. But what I think is really interesting is they are very keen to keep the carrot instead of just being like Madmartigan died.

 

Jason Concepcion Yeah.

 

Rosie Knight Most of the legacy characters here are deeply connected to Madmartigan.  Jade has a Madmartigan esque about her because Jade is a knight who wants to fight and wants to be there and will do anything. And Jade kind of has this mysterious past, just like Madmartigan Teigen. Then you have a who’s obviously your standard Mad, and then you have Kit, who is also connected to Madmartigan and who much of her journey has really driven by wanting to find out what happened to her dad. So it’s really interesting that even though the character might not be appearing in the show, you still there’s no easy writing that out. They’ve just decided to embrace that character and kind of the legacy of avows performance and build in in different ways, which I think is really inventive and very comic book.

 

Jason Concepcion I have a theory. The Crone is a man, and it’s Madmartigan.

 

Rosie Knight Oh.

 

Jason Concepcion And he’s trying to get his kids back. He just wants to spend. That’s why he wants. That’s why he kidnaped Eric. He would love to kidnap Elora Danan because.

 

Rosie Knight Because he’s stuck.

 

Jason Concepcion Kit as well. Yeah.

 

Rosie Knight In Memorial City. So he can’t. Wow, that’s terrifying. And I love it. That would be so good. That would be so good. Yeah. And I think that’s another fun thing is that we didn’t even really touch on is the we haven’t seen the Crone yet, but the character designs so far for the scary monsters are like legitimately scary. One of them looks like a hellraiser.

 

Jason Concepcion Really, really terrifying. Yeah.

 

Rosie Knight And then you have, you know, the flying monsters, the gales. It’s very cool to see that high fantasy. Done in a way where you get both the darkness and the scariness of the monsters. But something that kind of blew me away when I was watching this is I really loved the visual landscape they create of the world. It’s very colorful, it’s very saturated and the colors are bright and the world feels very textured, but they’re not trying to make it look any different than the original willow, which was like very woodsy and very nature based. And I just yeah, it’s really fun. And I hope a lot of people I know in our Discord, there’s definitely a few people who’ve checked out the original movie because they really liked the first couple of episodes. And I hope.

 

Jason Concepcion Interesting movie too. I got to say, like when you watch the original Willow, I don’t know how many people will, but the what the thing that struck me rewatching it recently was. Man. Ron Howard wants you to see that they are not on a set like know the scope of all the shuttlers very few close ups in this in that movie. It’s all these like long shots where you see the background and you see the characters riding on horseback across the hills and you see the walls of the castle in the background of, like, the shot. And you see the characters. Head to toe in the in the frame and really, really interesting visual style from from Ron Howard, like really leaning into like the epic scale of it.

 

Rosie Knight Definitely. I think a lot about even the opening. I was watching it. So you have this really scary moment where you have the kitchen maid, definitely a nice echo there of what happens with Dove, but the kitchen maid who saves the baby, Elora Danan, when she’s just about to be killed. So the prophecy can happen and. There’s this huge chase through the woods and the death dogs are following her and it’s really scary. And they kind of but before they get to the opening sequence with the top where the title comes, it’s just her chillin on the side of a bank with the baby. And it just comes up next. And she says, Willow, and it’s like it feels like you’re reading one of those incredible pages in any fantasy novel, whether it’s something like Stardust or something like Game of Thrones. It feels like the page where you’re reading it and it’s the description of the trickling water and the the leaves and the the wind blowing through the branches, like Willow really gets into that epic space that fantasy can give you. And I think that that’s a fun thing about doing a TV show of it is like you can have time to do your side quests. The movie does have that. Like there’s some funny stuff where they go to they go to a brothel to try and find somebody to take the baby. And that becomes its own kind of comedic side. Quest. But you get to do a whole Side Quest episode, and you have the fantasy side quest. You have the personal side quest. So it’s really nice. I’m this to me. I reviewed it for IGN, Yeah. And I gave a very, very glowing review. No surprises because I thought it was great. But one of the things I pointed out is this to me feels like if you’re going to have a platform like Disney Plus, this is what you should be doing, like taking weird underseen movies and giving them space to kind of expand the lore and expand the world and introduce new characters and and kind of reimagine the these kind of tropes and fictional spaces. So, yeah, I think it’s, I think it’s really fun and very cozy, especially if you like fantasy already and you want to see a kind of adventure party story or story where you can have recognizable tropes and plotlines and ideas. It’s very cozy and comforting in that way, even though it’s, you know, predominantly new characters.

 

Jason Concepcion I have I have one more wrinkle to my Madmartigan as the criminal theory. And it’s that he put the Cuirass on. He put the magical set of armor on. But like as as Boorman was telling us, the locks are kind of, the key that unlocks that suit of armor. It. It can tell if you’re worthy of much like Thor’s hammer, right? You can tell if you’re worthy of wearing it. So what happens if you’re not worthy of wearing it and you put it on?

 

Rosie Knight Do you get trapped in it?

 

Jason Concepcion You get trapped in it.

 

Rosie Knight I love that. That would be so great. I’d love to see where that could go. And kind of I feel like this episode especially leans into this idea of Kit is looking for Eric, but now she’s realizing, Wait a minute, I’m out of the castle for the first time, I could be looking for my dad. And I think this idea of where is Madmartigan and what happened to him? That’s probably going to play a key part going into the next five episodes.

 

Jason Concepcion And by the way, it helps us get around, you know, Val Kilmer not being able to be in the film. Is this a suit of armor, folks?

 

Rosie Knight Yeah.

 

Jason Concepcion That’s him.

 

Rosie Knight And if you want, you can do the voiceover. And I believe now it’s it’s Val son who does all of his voiceover work for him. Yeah, I believe that that was something that had to come out of a documentary recently. So I think that that’s already established that he could, if we wanted to have some voiceovers for Kit, rather than necessarily a visual and vowed to do very supportive. He did a very supportive Instagram post recently about the show.

 

Jason Concepcion Yeah. He you know, he met his eventually wife Joanne Wally Kilmer on Willow. So I’m sure it’s a movie that is very special to him. They had and they had you know, his son is his son with Joel while he Kilmer. So I’m sure that that is. This is a project, I’m sure that is special to him. And we can’t wait to continue following it over the course of the season. Big thank you to Rosie Knight for joining us on X-ray Vision, Rosie. What do you have to plug? You mentioned all your writings on Willow and various other places. What else are you doing? Can you reveal anything of your secret project yet?

 

Rosie Knight Not yet, but but soon. Hopefully soon. Because I did. I did. Just finish the first draft of said secret project. So fingers crossed.

 

Jason Concepcion Oh.

 

Rosie Knight It will be soon. Well, yes. If you want to know more about Willow, feel free. I wrote a bunch of different pieces. That’s going to be a great Willow story in the new Den of Geek magazine. You can get that from your local comic book shop. I will be writing a really exciting cover story for Den of Geek in the New Year, too, which hasn’t been announced yet. And same as always, IGN, Polygon. We just put out the best comics of 2022 at Polygon. I submitted some something about a film that I really loved called Slash Back for a Nerdist piece that will be out soon about the best Underseen movies and TV of the year. So yeah, lots of fun stuff and always here. And Rosie Marx on Instagram and Letterboxd.

 

Jason Concepcion Catch the next episode of X-ray Vision on December 16th for the movie event of the decade. Avatar, Way of Water. That’s right, folks. Yeah, it’s here. It’s watery. Subscribe to the show on YouTube. Follow on @XRVpod on Twitter and check out the Discord. Meet and hang out with tons of amazing fans and listeners. Plus, Rosie and I will be there. Five star reviews. We got to have them.

 

Rosie Knight We love them.

 

Jason Concepcion We need them. We love to get them. Here is one from Anisha21: Helps fill the gaps. I love this podcast so much. Thank you so much, Anisha.

 

Rosie Knight Thank you.

 

Jason Concepcion I love a lot of fandoms but can’t get into reading comics and high fantasy. They’re just not for me. Listening to this podcast helps me fill in the gaps in my knowledge, form theories and draw connections where I haven’t seen them previously. I can’t recommend it more. Thank you so much.

 

Rosie Knight Yeah, thank you.

 

Jason Concepcion X-ray Vision is a Crooked Media production. The show is produced by Chris Lord and Saul Rubin. The show is executive produced by myself and Sandy Girard. Our editing and sound design is by Vasilis Fotopoulos. Delon Villanueva and Matt deGroot provide video production support. Alex Reliford handles social media. Thank you, Brian Vasquez for our theme music. Folks, we’ll see you next time. Goodbye.