Since the alphabet is the building block of our language, the Powet Alphabet is the building block of what makes us geeks.

We are the E, E, E, E, Eeeeeeewoks!


What’s not to like about the Ewoks? A lot of things apparently. It would be dishonest not to mention the near universally negative fan reaction to these characters. They were considered by most to be cutesy characters made to appeal to children and fans consider it unrealistic that a bunch of teddy bears with sticks and stones would overthrow the Empire.


But I don’t want to talk about the hate. Those haters are a bunch of losers. The Ewoks were made to appeal to children? Well I was 5 years old when I saw Return of the Jedi in theatres and I thought the Ewoks were the cat’s ass, and I still do! I have one distinct memory of when I first saw Jedi and that’s when Wicket first appeared on screen and I turned to my mother and said “That’s an Ewok”. Somehow I think she had put that together.

I just loved these things from the start, and this was from a more innocent time when people were allowed to love things with fur and not be a dirty furry like those Sonic fans. I got all the figures and these stuffed Ewok toys. They truly were the high point of the movie.


Rumour has it that in Return of the Jedi George Lucas had originally intended to have the Ewoks be the Wookies and that he just swapped the syllables around and made them cute. Well needless to say Lucas does change his mind all the time (see the prequel trilogy) but he also constantly lies about having previously established ideas for stories (see all of Star Wars). So much to say, the Ewoks are said to have been named after the Miwok, a Native American tribe native to the woods where Return of the Jedi was filmed. So here we have two completely plausible but completely conflicting tales of where the Ewoks get their names.


Speaking of conflict! Did you ever wonder if the “Forest Moon of Endor” meant that they were on Endor, which was the name of a moon around an unnamed planet or that they were on a moon or a planet named Endor? Well, it turns out that due to all sorts of bullshit, it’s both. Yes, it’s so ridiculous, but according to fans and various conflicting canon, Endor is a planet with a moon named Endor. How is this possible? I don’t know, how it is possible for Obiwan not to remember “owning any Droids” or for a bunch of old people who were alive while there were tons of Jedi kicking around not to believe in the Force? Lots of stuff in Star Wars doesn’t make sense, but let’s not worry about it, we’re talking about Star Wars as it was in 1983, when it was still good.

As I mentioned, the Ewoks play a great role in the 3rd Star Wars movie. They befriend our heroes and are pivotal in overthrowing the Empire’s forces which allows them to disable a shield which protects the Death Star, yada yada yada, the Rebel forces win. No, this is not the same as a bunch of savages overthrowing the entire Empire. It is, however, about on par with a farm boy nailing the bulls eye which destroys the first Death Star. Hippies vs. technology is a pretty solid theme of Star Wars, and anyone who’s got a problem with that has a stick up their ass.


The Ewok race is shown to have a pretty low tech level. They don’t have plumbing or guns or anything. They walk around with sticks, live in huts in the trees and have a gay old time. Their interaction with other races in this film isn’t really demonstrated. As far as we could tell, Wicket’s encounter with Leia where he scores a sweet cookie could very well be “First Contact” for the Ewoks. Of course this all comes into question when various Expanded Universe sources are considered, but I ignore a lot of that and enjoy Star Wars more that way. Within the scope of this movie, the Ewoks are as we were a few thousand years ago and the most technologically advanced civilization on their world. The small village we see is the only one ever shown.


Wicket is certainly the main Ewok in the film. This youngster is the first Ewok seen as he encounters Leia, and is often prominently shown in other scenes, such as when he attempts to romance R2D2, who’s homosexuality is well established. Wicket is played by the now famous Warwick Davis, who was just a child when Return of the Jedi was filmed. The role was originally intended for Kenny Baker, the man behind the dome of R2D2, but he fell ill and a replacement was needed. George Lucas was so impressed with Warwick’s mannerisms as an Ewok that he gave him the part, even though he only showed up to be one of the many extras playing Ewoks. Warwick had based his movements on the way his dog would tilt his head when curious about things. Wicket’s character’s full name became “Wicket W. Warrick”, an homage for Warwick’s name.


Warwick Davis returned to star in another George Lucas film, Willow, and can now be seen playing 20% of the characters in the Star Wars prequels and Harry Potter films. For a good laugh check our Warwick’s commentary on the Willow DVD, where he admits to being scared of pretty much every object, he came in contact with during the shooting of the film.

And what does Warwick Davis think of all the haters?

Following the Return of the Jedi in the fall of 1984 was a made for TV movie “The Ewok Adventure”. This movie centers around the main character of Cindel who befriends the Ewoks and goes along on a fun adventure with them in order to save her family from a giant named Gorax. The story is a standard adventure film as the group called the “Caravan of Courage” march along and encounter various random challenges and monsters. Cindel is played by Aubree Miller, an actress who has literally not acted in anything not starring an Ewok. There is virtually no noticeable cast, with the biggest stars being notable little people such as Warwick Davis and probably every little person you’ve seen in films that was working in 1984. The Ewoks in this film are the same ones from the Return of the Jedi, which makes you wonder if any other Ewoks have random encounters with human insurgents. For fans of the Ewoks the film is quite enjoyable, though clearly marketed towards children, more so than the Return of the Jedi was. It was one of my favourites as a child and I enjoyed rewatching a tapped off of television version of this and it’s sequel as much as I did watching similar versions of the original trilogy, but what do kids know?


The sequel to this film, “Ewoks: The Battle for Endor” was released about a year later in the Fall of 1985, again a made for TV movie. The basic story is a bit ridiculous. After having spent the entire last film sacrificing a ton of effort (and one unlucky Ewok) in a quest to get her family back Cindel’s family is promptly killed. Her and a now fluently English (Basic, is it?) speaking Wicket go out on a new quest to rescue the rest of the Ewoks who have now been kidnapped. They run into a weird cutesy fast forward motion creature named Teek and a crotchety old man named Noa played by the diabetes ridden Wilford Brimley. This character provides great unintentional humour in the film as he acts like he doesn’t want cute Wicket and Cindel around all the while predictably having a heart of gold. It also raises the question as to how someone who crashed on Endor acquired a southern accent. The villains of the film are much more over the top, being a bizarre race called the Marauders who are completely devoid of technology, not even having a grasp of electricity, but somehow having laser guns at their disposal.


Aside from the original trilogy and the prequel trilogy this movie and it’s sequel are the next closest thing to a canonical Star Wars film. George Lucas was involved in the story, the actors and suits for the Ewoks as used in the Return of the Jedi return in this film. This being said the implications this movie has on the Star Wars universe are considerable, something which some fans may not consider to be canon. For example in most of the Star Wars films we see aliens supplementing all animals, but this films features a number of Earth animals living on the forest moon. The Ewoks themselves are also now seen to use a great deal of magic. Is this some other way in which a species is able to tap into the force? Although other species are not seen to do more standard magic there is also a witch in this film who appears to also be human, though she has no knowledge of human technology and her backstory is not explained.


Growing up I simply assumed this movie to follow the Return of the Jedi. The opening scene pans down from Endor’s sky much like one of the last scenes of Jedi does. Nothing in the film really insinuates otherwise, but for whatever reason “fans” feel the need to argue that this movie should actually take place prior to the Return of the Jedi, because they think there should be remnants of the Empire’s presence or something ridiculous like that. Of course there are major problems with this, not the least of which being that when this movie came out Star Wars was being told in a fairly linear fashion, not in the time jumping retcon infested prequel shit fest we’ve come to expect from the Star Wars universe. Wicket is intimately familiar with humans in the movie, and learns their language, most reasonably expected to be basic, which is always presented to the audience as English, and is the language used by most in the Star Wars universe. Cindel and her family speak it and so does Wilfred Brimley in the second film. I mean, having them both speak a foreign language would be like two Chinese people getting stranded on a desert island but both of them happen to speak nothing but German. Aside from that whole retardation is the simple fact that Wicket and the other Ewoks have no knowledge of humans when the gang show up in Return of the Jedi. They’re ready to kill them until they decide C3P0 might be their God. Simply put, there’s no valid reason for this to be considered a prequel, yet even official canon now states these films to take place before the events of Return of the Jedi, which is total crap and you should feel no need to pay attention to such ridiculousness.


Both Ewok movies are available on a single DVD which is reasonably cheap (but out of print). Unable to avoid some kind of retcon, the titles have been changed. The first movie was called “The Ewok Adventure” on it’s original airing. This is the title which appears on VHS and laser disc copies of the movie, as seen below on both the laser disc cover and a screen shot of the title as shown in the film. Much like with “A New Hope” as a rebranded sequel friendly title for what was previously known as “Star Wars”, the film is now refered to as “Caravan of Courage: an Ewok Adventure” both on the box for the films, and in the modified title screen. The sequel “Ewoks: The Battle for Endor” is now simply refered to as “The Battle for Endor” as the DVD itself is marketted as the “Ewok Adventure” movies, making the other title redundant. Aside from that the films on this disc are of good quality and I would recommend the purchase to fans.

Title screen from the laser disc

Title screen from the laser disc

Title screen from the newer DVD

Title screen from the newer DVD

The Ewok Adventure laser disc cover

The Ewok Adventure laser disc cover

Finally, following these movies, we have the amazing Ewoks Saturday morning cartoon which started in 1995. This series followed the canon started in the movies pretty well. Again we follow the same group of character, with Wicket as our star, and his same entourage such as the village elder Logray. Many themes from the films return, such as the whisps and Logray’s magic top lantern thing shown below in both live action and animated form.

ewok_adventure_magic ewoks_cartoon_top

The alien races from the movie do not return in this series, but instead we have a bunch of new ones, such as the main antagonists the Duloks. The series is your standard children’s TV show with random adventures taking place every week and a bunch of young Ewok characters being the focus of the story so that the audience has something to relate to. The show also happens to have one of the coolest opening themes out of the 80s.

Unfortunately, you’ll have a lot of trouble tracking down a nice video with this opening theme. I had to get this version from an old VHS tape. While a DVD of the show exists, and compiles 8 episodes and naturally comes with my recommendation, no opening or closing credits are used. Instead random barely related episodes are combined with poorly edited together intros into 2 “movies” of 4 episodes each. The second film uses a voiceover of Wicket as an adult recalling the events of his youth.


The time frame of this show is never really explain. While Cindel has left at the end of the Ewok adventure movies, no mention of any encounter with her is ever made. Since no big changes occur in the lives of these characters throughout the series it could take place pretty much anywhere, but it is commonly accepted to have taken place prior to events of the movies.


A question I’ve often asked myself is what kind of force powers Ewoks have. What is their midichlorian count anyway? Ewoks such a Logray are seen to use straight up magic in the movies and cartoon, something which would surely insinuate a strong ability to use the force. In the Return of the Jedi we see one Ewok steel a speeder bike and pilot it relatively well, and let’s not forget their amazing skills at controlling a glider which, by all know laws of physics, should not be able to achieve flight. Sounds like Jedi reflexes to me! What I wouldn’t give to see a whole new Star Wars trilogy completely focusing on Ewoks, having them pilot ships, wielding light sabers, and involved in the highest levels of space diplomacy. That would be a treat to put the prequel trilogy and all this Clone Wars garbage to shame.


As merchandising goes, there’s never been a shortage of Ewoks toys. They’ve always had their share of action figures. The Ewoks were the pride of my Star Wars figure collection, and the only ones I never sold. The Ewok village was a massive toy that I always coveted but never got as a child. With new toys lines came new Ewoks. There are 2 very cool looking Mighty Muggs figures, one of Wicket and a Target exclusive Teebo. There’s even a ridiculously expensive Ewoks Lego set. I’m sure someone more interested in collecting could go on at length about Ewoks in toys, but that’s about where my knowledge ends.


Ultimately, I consider the Ewoks to be a great addition to the species in the Star Wars universe. Did we really need another scaley ugly race? Yes, they appealed to children, but that on it’s own is not a bad thing. They are often compared to the likes of Jar Jar Binks but such a comparison is ridiculous. Jar Jar isn’t horrible because he appeals to children. He’s horrible because he’s an annoying pain in the ass. So long live the Ewoks, the saviours of the galaxy, who bested the Empire and showed us all that being cute doesn’t mean you can’t kick an ass or two.