Unsung Heroes #1: the midwife from Willow
Posted by Luke at 23:51 on 14 Sep 2012
Of all the films George Lucas could have chosen to "fix", his 1988 fantasy adventure Willow really should have been first in line. Not that it's rubbish or anything - in fact it's quite brilliant - but the special effects were... ambitious. Which is a polite way of saying shite. Except for the early ILM computer stuff though, that was pretty slick. (*awkwardly mimes morphing into a panther*)
But is there a reason the renowned tinkerer won't revisit Willow? Some dark secret preventing him from delving into his past? Could it be that, perhaps, he can't face the guilt of writing one of the most shortchanged characters in movie history?
I'm talking of course about the midwife who smuggled baby Elora Danan to safety from the clutches of the evil Queen Bavmorda. If this seemingly innocuous old woman hadn't stepped up, the realm would have forever remained in darkness, Willow would still be in the midget village playing with his wand and Joanne Whalley would never have married Val Kilmer.
Her reward for this act of selfless bravery? Hunted down and torn apart by devil dogs within the first few minutes of the film, never to be mentioned ever again:
Interestingly it's not the first time Lucas has had a character unwittingly set the events of an entire film in motion. The beginning of Star Wars sees an Imperial gunner told to hold fire on an escape pod, which just so happened to contain two droids who would go on to be instrumental in bringing down the Empire. Darth Vader probably Force-crushed that officer guy's pelvis into dust when he found out. But fuck him he picked the wrong side anyway.
So here's to you old lady. We'll never know who you were, where you came from, your backstory, motivations, objectives or plan - or even if you were just a plain old batshit crazy baby thief - but your actions were the catalyst for everything that followed. Thanks to you, peace came to the kingdoms of Nockmaar and Galladoorn, and a little acorn man grew into a big tree of hero magic and stuff. May your gnawed bones rest in peace.