Star Wars: 6 things to know about the Ewoks

Star Wars: As Disney + just released two TV movies and a series focused on Ewoks from the Star Wars universe, find out what you might not know about these adorable (but fearsome) little creatures.

Lucasfilm Ltd.

They are not named!

When they first appeared in Return of the Jedi (1983), the Ewoks were never called that. No dialogue identifies them as a tribe, although their names appear in the script, the novel from the film, as well as the credits and promotional material.

We discover that they live on the planet Endor, in a rather primitive way, and show a particular know-how in the manufacture of traps. Following a prophecy, they mistake C-3PO for a god, which allows the droid to save his fellow humans and Wookie, who is on the brink of certain death.

The heroes of the saga are mainly dealing with Wicket W. Warrick (played by Warwick Davis then aged 11), who stands out within the tribe and dialogues with Princess Leia.

Lucasfilm Ltd.
Han and Luke prisoners of the Ewoks in “Return of the Jedi”

It had to be Wookies

When the time came to imagine a primitive tribe that would overthrow the Empire for the sake of its trilogy, George Lucas opted for the Wookies instead. But over the course of the plot, Chewbacca demonstrated that he knew how to shoot with a blaster as well as pilot the Millennium Falcon … the Wookies no longer did the job!

It is for this reason that he created a new species, indeed primitive, the Ewoks, who live tribally, without technology and fight with spears, knives and slingshots. These furry little characters were so successful that they even got their solo films.

Lucasfilm Ltd.

They had their own movies!

Barely a year after the release of Return of the Jedi released on television The Adventure of the Ewoks: Caravan of Courage, directed by John Korty. The story is written by George Lucas, who is also an executive producer, and the action sets between The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi.

In this untold story, a ship crashes on the forest moon of Endor. The family that occupied it is chased by a terrible gorax (a kind of giant ape-like creature). Having managed to escape him, the two children, Cindel and Mace, will be helped by Ewoks to free their parents …

This first essay is followed by L’Aventure des Ewoks – La Bataille pour Endor (1985), directed by Jim and Ken Wheat (future screenwriters of Pitch Black). It takes place very shortly before Return of the Jedi, but has a major inconsistency: the Ewoks speak English there. This is inconsistent with the fact that creatures do not speak this language in Return of the Jedi.

In this second film, an army led by the dark Terak and Charal launches an attack on the village of the Ewoks. Cindel’s family (the little girl from the previous film) perishes in the assault, but the latter manages to escape with Wicket. Along the way, they will meet an old man who will help them fight Terak and his troops …

Prior to these two feature films, a children’s book focusing on an Ewok was released in April 1984, The Adventures of Teebo, written and drawn by Joe Johnston. Yes, the director of Captain America and Jumanji, the artistic director of the visual effects of Episodes V and VI and the production designer of these two Ewoks TV movies.

Dorothy and the Ewoks!

If the telefilms have allowed the Ewoks to be endowed with eyelids (which was not the case in Episode VI), this animated series soberly titled Star Wars: Ewoks allows you to better discover their culture. It takes place before the events of Episode VI and lasted for 2 seasons, broadcast from 1985 to 1987.

We find Wicket, but also Teebo, seen in episode VI and hero of his own comic as we have seen. The animation is entrusted to the Canadian studio Nelvana, which had just made Droids: The Adventures of R2-D2 and C-3PO (1985) and had signed the animated passage of the Holiday Special Star Wars.

Here is the pilot of the series:

Each episode sees the group of furry heroes battling various creatures as they roam Endor (so the series confirms that it is not just a forest planet).

The credits of this cartoon, broadcast in France in Récré A2, were signed Dorothée, with the challenge of having to rhyme in “oc”:

But she also performed a new song, Our friends the Ewoks, released in 1984:

Pets for seriously injured people

In the official novel Life Debt, we learn that Doctor Arsad of the New Republic uses the Ewoks as a therapy tool. The author Chuck Wendig tells that the Ewoks are used to console the seriously wounded of war, as in our world are sometimes used cats.

Century
Extract from the original version of the novel

These “Therapeutic Ewoks” are soothing and part of the recovery process. It is also mentioned that those who refuse to lend themselves to this mode of healing see their Ewok replaced by a companion droid.

A fan film with the entire cast of Star Wars!

During the filming of the Return of the Jedi, the interpreter of Wicket shot with David Tomblin a small film entitled Revenge of the Ewok (1982). Tomblin was an assistant director on the set of Episode VI and many of the cast members agreed to shoot in his short film.

We follow Warwick Davis in his own role, looking for work as an actor, and whose agent tells him that he is going to play an Ewok. From then on, the young boy looked everywhere for the other Ewoks … on the plateau of Return of the Jedi !

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