Warwick Davis has been a familiar name since he first landed the role of Wicket the Ewok in 1983’s Star Wars: Episode VI – Return Of the Jedi, though it was not until he appeared in the leading role of 1988’s Willow that he reached legendary status. Since then, he has added two more franchises to his resume – Leprechaun and the Harry Potter films – but it is Star Wars: Episode VIII and Willow that the actor has been discussing most recently, in an interview with news.com.au.
Most significantly, while discussing his feelings about Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Davis dropped some hints about what we can expect to see in Rian Johnson’s Star Wars: Episode VIII – in which Davis will play a small role.
“I think he [J.J Abrams] captured the humour of the original trilogy so well. What we loved about those films was that they didn’t take themselves too seriously in places and were able to kind of look at themselves and have a bit of a chuckle. There were some wonderful moments, some moving moments and it was full of all the action that we expect, so for me it [Star Wars: The Force Awakens] ticked all the boxes, I loved it. And I think it sets up the trilogy very well. Obviously we’re moving into the territory of Episode VIII very soon as well, and much like Empire Strikes Back I’m sure it’s going to deliver some quite impactful story moments, and it’ll leave us with some cliffhangers as well which resolve in Episode IX.
“I do [have a part in Episode VIII], yes. That’s all I can say.”
As any Star Wars fan will confirm, the presence of Warwick Davis in the Star Wars: Episode VIII cast does not necessarily mean he will be reprising the role of Wicket the Ewok. He also appeared in The Phantom Menace and The Force Awakens as entirely different characters. That being said, it doesn’t rule out the return of the Ewoks, either.
In the same interview, Warwick Davis is heard to respond to the idea of Disney revisiting the film Willow, now that it has acquired LucasFilm and its entire back catalogue.
“I think it’s probably best left alone [in terms of a remake]. But I don’t think a sequel would be out of the question. It would be interesting to see where the characters ended up. Val Kilmer and I, we’ve talked about it, we’ve actually talked about it quite a bit. He would very much like to do it as well. It’s about, is there more story, and I think there is. Did Willow become a sorcerer? He was fairly good at it but he wasn’t brilliant. And what became of Elora Danan when she grew up? There are few question marks that remain, and the world has been created, we have the characters, we know the environment, all of that is fabulous. To revisit, I’d enjoy it immensely.”
It certainly is the case that Disney – along with most other major film studios – is continuing to trawl its archives for material it can successfully re-use, and revisit. It is a very specific business strategy that reflects a desire to avoid risk by working with recognisable properties that can generate brand loyalty.
Could Disney be circling its way back to Willow in such a way as to put Warwick Davis back in the lead role? Only time will tell on that one – but in the meantime, we can enjoy the anticipation of wondering who Davis will be playing in Star Wars: Episode VIII.