The experience of working on The Force Awakens also shaped the way that Kasdan approached Willow, encouraging his excitement of continuing a story with a new generation.
“I personally am just not as interested in prequels as I am in sequels,” he explains. “So the other unique quality that Willow had was an opportunity to continue a story rather than go back and tell you where that story began. The cultural moment around when Episode VII came out, the amount of excitement just to see what happened next, it’s irreplaceable. I’m a huge fan of House of the Dragon and Lord of the Rings [The Rings of Power], but it’s not the same feeling to me as going to see Episode VII was. We get to see where that world might go.”
Kasdan’s personal connection to The Force Awakens is part of what made it make such an impact.
“It was a movie that I got to really be on set with and live with because my dad and JJ were sort of collaborating through the moment when we were starting work on Solo, so I was really close to it and had done some work with them on it. Specifically, I remember going to see that movie and the moment when the lightsaber flies into Rey’s hand, the explosion in the room, it’s everything you love about movies, entertainment, and storytelling.”
That wasn’t the only Star Wars project that shaped the series, though, as it was while working on Solo that Kasdan connected with Ron Howard and Warwick Davis, who both shared his passion for bringing Willow back to the screen. So he quickly brought them in on his scheme.
“[Kennedy] was suddenly confronted by three people conspiring for more Willow. The timing of it was perfect for the launch of Disney+. That was the only place this could have happened. The stars really aligned in an in-world kind of way that allowed this magic to be cast.”