In an interview with Collider, Jonathan Kasdan shared that a narrative-based time gap between the original “Willow” and the Disney+ series, one that broadly (although by no means exactly) matches the real-time gap between the two releases, was born out of the necessity to supplement the story that Kasdan wanted to tell. Kasdan told Collider that:
“I’m someone who came out of seeing [the feature] thinking, ‘Well, I expect one of these every three years […] I’m supposed to see Elora at seven, and then at 12, and then at 15,’ and all these things. And because the realities of the industry, and the world, created a dynamic where this was the moment when we could make a story about these characters and follow it up, I knew that in story terms, at least, there was going to be a good 20-year gap between the movie and when we picked up. […] The story I wanted to tell was [always] about Elora learning about magic. So it sort of organically just arose, that the way to tell that story and experience her whole journey was to hide that information from her for that period of time and to let it be something that she discovers along with the audience.”
The gap did more than offer Elora a chance at adulthood, however. Jumping forward in time allowed all of the original actors that were able to return to “Willow” to do so. Otherwise, Warwick Davis would have been forced to pretend that 30 years worth of aging all came down to the inherent exhaustion of parenthood. Come to think of it, that would have been pretty damn funny, actually.
The “Willow” series is now streaming on Disney+.