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Jon Kasdan On How His Career Recently Intersected With His Famous Filmmaker Father Because Of Willow - Exclusive

Although movie fans often see second-generation actors come up through the ranks in Hollywood, it's rare for second-generation filmmakers to establish themselves in the business, much less work in the company of their famous parent. Amazingly, that's exactly how it worked out for screenwriter Jon Kasdan, who co-wrote the script for 2018's "Solo: A Star Wars Story" with his father, Lawrence Kasdan.

The elder Kasdan is the legendary scribe behind such "Star Wars" film epics as "Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back," "Episode VI – Return of the Jedi," and "Episode VII – The Force Awakens," as well as "Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark." Lawrence Kasdan's contributions have been pivotal to the Lucasfilm library, and with "Solo," his collaboration with his youngest son marked a passing of the torch, since Jon Kasdan is now the writer and executive producer of the new Disney+ series "Willow."

A sequel to the 1988 movie of the same name, the series "Willow" picks up 20 years after the events of the film. Following the defeat of her evil mother, Queen Bavmorda (Jean Marsh), Sorsha (Joanne Whalley) has assumed the position of queen of the kingdom of Tir Asleen, though the whereabouts of her husband, Madmartigan (Val Kilmer), is a mystery. Sorsha does have the company of her twin children, Princess Kit (Ruby Cruz) and Prince Airk (Dempsey Bryk), but when Airk is kidnapped, a fellowship is formed to rescue him. The first step of the mission, though, is to recruit the help of the sorcerer Willow Ufgood (Warwick Davis), who left the kingdom years before.

"Willow" is a passion project for Jon Kasdan, since he fell in love with the original movie as a child and has long dreamed to continue the story of the Nelwyn hero. But little did the filmmaker know that he would once more cross paths with his father in a unique way while he was working on the series.

Jon and Lawrence Kasdan's recent projects connected through Light and Magic

While Jon Kasdan said it was "very cool" growing up with a personal connection to "Star Wars" and "Indiana Jones" through his father's involvement in the films, he admitted in an exclusive interview with Looper that his experience of watching "Willow" in a theater at age 8 is what really taught him about the power of movies.

One of the biggest contributors to the power of "Willow" was filmmaker George Lucas' special effects company, Industrial Light and Magic (ILM), which not only created the visual effects work for every "Star Wars" episode, but also the "Indiana Jones" films and "Willow." It was ILM's involvement in the latter that Jon Kasdan said provided a "surreal moment" that connected his and Lawrence Kasdan's most recent Lucasfilm projects.

"My father wrote and directed a wonderful documentary about Industrial Light and Magic called 'Light and Magic.' In it, there's a long section about the morphing technology that was revolutionized in 'Willow,'" Jon Kasdan told Looper. "I was sitting there in my home watching my dad's documentary [on Disney+, which included the making of the movie] 'Willow' as I was finalizing the color on the sixth episode of [the series] 'Willow.' It was unbelievable. To have our lives intersect and our careers intersect in this way is staggering."

Executive produced by original "Willow" director Ron Howard and also starring Ellie Bamber, Tony Revolori, Amar Chadha-Patel, and Erin Kellyman, "Willow" is streaming exclusively on Disney+. New episodes of the series air every Wednesday through January 11, 2023.