Rewatching the 1988 movie Willow scene-by-scene. Why? Because it’s freaking Willow! Here’s two short scenes, in which Kael gets slapped and Willow flies, 56:30-58:17 on the Blu-ray.
We cut from the previous shot straight to Bavmorda’s throne room, not bothering was an establishing shot of the castle exterior. I suppose by this point, the audience recognizes this place as her throne room. In this shot, we see Bavmorda on her throne, with a bridge-like structure in front of her that visitors must cross to speak with her. There are also two stairways on each side of her and an additional door to one side, I’m guessing her advisors approach from these stairs, and the door leads to her private rooms. There are big windows behind her so that, metaphorically, she had turned her back to the light.
General Kael enters with two NockMaar soldiers. Bavmorda asks if he’s found the child. Kael, not wearing his skull helmet but still holding it to his side, says, “The search goes on, my queen.” Bavmorda says, “Why, with my powers and the strength of my army, can you not find one little child” The “with my powers” part of that sentence is interesting. Has Bavmorda given his warrior strength a boost with her magic? “We look even now,” Kael says. “It won’t be long.”
Bavmorda, who’s not sitting on her throne but pacing back and forth in front of it, hurried over to Kael and shouts, “Find the child!” She then backhands him across the face. This doesn’t appear to hurt him, but as a symbolic gesture, it’s loud and clear. Bavmorda calms down a little and says, “Time is running out” in a somewhat more measured tone. The movie doesn’t specify how much time, but based on the official map, I figure at least a couple of days must have passed for this message to get to Bavmorda, and that Willow and friends have been travelling unnoticed during this time.
Speaking of which, the movie does a classic George Lucas wipe to Elora Danan sitting by a campfire at night. Willow is right next to her, giving her a playful hello. Madmartigan admits the baby is cute, “when she’s quiet.” Willow says the baby is really a princess. Madmartigan goes into sarcasm mode, saying “Really? And you’re a great sorcerer, and I’m the king of Cashmere.” This line baffles a lot of first-time viewers, but thanks to the tie-in books, we know that Cashmere is a kingdom located to the easternmost part of this continent. The books also reveal that Madmartigan once romanced a Cashmere princess, which adds a curious layer to his joke.
Madmartigan says “Good night, Willow,” and he lies down to sleep by the fire, in a fetal position. Then it’s time for comedy shtick with the Brownies, as they are also sleeping next to the fire. Rool has a nightmare about rats, which wakes up Franjean. “You and that stupid rat dream,” he says. Do I dare ask if these two are a couple? Do fans ship them?
Willow picks up Cherlyndrea’s wand and starts playing with it, waving it around. He recites three magic words, which according to the canon are, “Tuatha locktwaar tuatha.” Where did he learn these words? Well, back during his disastrous disappearing pig trick near the start of the movie, he also spoke magic words, those being “Wuppity bairn, deru, deru.” So he must have learned this magical language from somewhere, either from the High Aldwin or from his own personal studies. Anyway, the causing a spark and puff of smoke to alight under Willow, sending him flying straight up into the air
This wakes up Madmartigan, who looks around for Willow, and then spots him sitting on a tree branch. Madmartigan goes back to sleep. Willow ponders the wand for a moment, and then whispers to Madmartigan for help, but Madmartigan has already fallen asleep again. So what have we gained from this short scene. First, confirmation that the wand is indeed a powerful magic item, as we were told it was, and second, the banter between Willow and Madmartigan helps establish their growing friendship (for now).
Next: Gone fishing.
Want more? Check out my book, CINE HIGH, now available for the Kindle and the free Kindle app.