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Ewoks
Homeworld Forest Moon of Endor
Distinctions Primitive, Curious

Ewoks are a fictional species of teddy-bear-like hunter-gatherers that inhabit the forest moon of Endor. They first appeared in the film Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi (1983). They have since featured in two made-for-television films, Caravan of Courage: An Ewok Adventure and Ewoks: The Battle for Endor, as well as an animated series and several books and games.

Contents

Concept and creation

George Lucas created the Ewoks because he wanted Return of the Jedi to feature a tribe of primitive creatures that bring down the technological Empire. He had originally intended the scenes to be set on the Wookiee home planet, but as the film series evolved, the Wookiees became technologically skilled. Lucas designed a new species instead, and says his approach was simple: Wookiees are tall, so he made Ewoks short.[1] The Ewok are named after the Miwok, a Native American tribe, indigenous to the Redwood forest in which the Endor scenes were filmed for Return of the Jedi, near the San Rafael location of Lucas' Skywalker Ranch.[2]

As presented in the films, Ewoks appear as stocky, sapient bipeds which stand about one meter tall. They have flat faces, are completely covered in fur, and have large jewel-like eyes. Both their fur and their eyes come in a variety of earth-tones, primarily brown, white, grey, gold, and black. Despite their small size, Ewoks are strong; in the climactic battle scene of The Return of the Jedi, they are shown physically overpowering and once even throwing Imperial Stormtroopers, though this detail is not consistent throughout the film. Ewoks live high among the trees of their home moon's forests, in villages built on platforms between the closely spaced trees.

An "Ewokese" language was created for the films by Ben Burtt, Return of the Jedi’s sound designer.[3] On the commentary track for the DVD of Return of the Jedi, Burtt explains that the language is based on Kalmyk, a language spoken by the isolated, nomadic Kalmyk people of China. Burtt heard the language in a documentary and liked its sound, which seems very alien to Western ears, and after some research identified an 80-year old Kalmyk refugee. Burtt recorded her telling folk stories in her native language, and then used the recordings as a basis for sounds that became the Ewok language and were performed by voice actors who imitated the old woman's voice in different styles. For the scene in which C-3P0 speaks Ewokese, actor Anthony Daniels worked with Burtt and invented words, based on the Kalmyk recordings.[4]

Appearances

The Ewoks are involved in a large portion of the final installment in Lucas' original Star Wars trilogy. When the Empire begins operations on the moon of Endor, prior to the events depicted in the film, it ignores the primitive Ewoks. Princess Leia Organa, part of a Rebel strike team, then befriends the Ewok Wicket W. Warrick, a scout from said village, and is taken to meet the other Ewoks. The rest of the strike team are trapped by Ewoks and brought to the village. The Ewoks worship the protocol droid C3PO, thinking he is a god due to his shininess and gold coverings and a later display of power arranged by Luke Skywalker through the Force. C3PO tells the Council of Elders the adventures of the Rebel heroes Skywalker, Princess Leia, and Han Solo. The Ewoks accept the Rebels into their tribe and ally themselves to their cause. They then help in the ground battle to destroy the Imperial shield generator on the forest floor, and their primitive weapons fell the Imperial Stormtroopers and the AT-ST walkers of the Empire. This assistance paves the way to victory at the Battle of Endor. Later that night the Ewoks are shown holding a huge celebration.

References

  1. ^ George Lucas, commentary track on the Return of the Jedi DVD.
  2. ^ http://www.nytimes.com/1997/01/26/movies/the-names-came-from-earth.html
  3. ^ Frank Northen Magill, Great Events from History II: 1897-1921 (Salem Pr Inc, 1993), 2393.
  4. ^ Ben Burtt, DVD commentary on The Return of the Jedi.

External links


Simple English

Ewoks are a fictional race of small, bear-like creatures from George Lucas' Star Wars universe. They first appeared in the film Return of the Jedi.

They live on the forests on the moon of the Planet Endor. They often wear the skins or skulls of animals they have hunted. The most famous Ewok is Wicket W. Warwik, a brave Ewok who destroyed an entire Imperial shield projector. The Ewoks were also well known for their victory against the Empire in the "Battle of Endor".

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