Lucasfilm Casts Trans Actress Talisa Garcia In Willow Series, A First For The Company

With post-production underway on the "Willow" sequel series, we've just gotten word the project will be the first by Lucasfilm to feature an openly transgender actress in the form of Talisa Garcia, star of  "Baptiste," "Serve and Protect," and "The Girlfriend Experience."

According to Deadline, Garcia was already part of the "Willow" cast well before Lucasfilm's parent company, Disney, came under fire for sponsoring Florida's HB 1557, the anti-LGBTQ+ legislation also known as the "Don't Say Gay" bill. She will play what's said to be a small role as a queen and mother to Tony Revolori's character on the show, possibly for only a single episode. However, Garcia's role is believed to be a speaking one.

What's more, Garcia's casting marks the rare occasion of a trans woman playing a cis-female character in a film or series. Other recent examples including Patti Harrison's turn in Nikole Beckwith's acclaimed dramedy film "Together Together" (and one of my personal favorites of 2021), where she played Anna, a young woman who becomes a gestational surrogate. Harrison is also the first openly trans actress to lend her voice to a Disney animated film, having voiced the Tail Chief in "Raya and the Last Dragon."

Willow Ufgood lives!

A follow-up to the 1988 fantasy-adventure film of the same name, the "Willow" show has Warwick Davis reprising his beloved role as wannabe sorcerer and all-around good guy, Willow Ufgood.

Story-wise, the "Willow" series reportedly centers on Kit ("Castle Rock" and "Mare of Easttown" star Ruby Cruz), a princess who sets out on a quest to rescue her twin brother with the aid of a servant named Jade (Erin Kellyman), a kitchen maid named Dove (Ellie Bamber), and a thief named Boorman (Amer Chadha-Patel). Revolori's role is still unknown, although the latest casting update points to him portraying a prince of some kind.

Between Garcia and the other known actors, it's nice to see the show is taking steps to be more inclusive when it comes to casting. That's appropriate, too, given that "Willow" the movie is one of the all-too-rare genre films to feature an actor with dwarfism as its lead — an area of representation where Disney still stands to make some much-needed improvements.

Jonathan Kasdan ("Solo: A Star Wars Story") and Wendy Mericle ("Arrow") are serving as the head writers on the "Willow" series, with Stephen Woolfenden ("Outlander") directing the first two episodes.

"Willow" is expected to premiere on Disney+ in 2022.