Impressed by Paploo

Allow me to paint you a picture with my imagination brush:

I had just returned home around 8:30pm – I had been at a volleyball game coaching my team to another victory (boo yeah!) – and ended up on the couch flipping through the channels trying to find something to watch. Lo and behold, I came across Return of the Jedi during the speeder bike chase and said to myself “You know, I haven’t watched ‘Jedi’ in a while so I might as well keep watching.” So, there I am, on the couch, watching Return of the Jedi as the film continues. The Rebel heroes meet their soon-to-be Ewok allies, Luke tells Leia they are siblings, Han gets jealous and Leia wants a hug, Vader and Luke end up discussing Vader’s moral compass, the Rebel fleet enters hyperspace, and the Rebels discover, thanks to the Ewoks, that there is a “back-door” to the Imperial facility on Endor. 

Paploo with Wicket

Paploo discusses his plan with Wicket. Photo Credit – Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi

Okay, so, the Rebels are led to the back-door by the Ewoks. Unfortunately, as you already know, the entry is guarded by four scout troopers milling about and chatting without a care in the galaxy. As Han Solo and his Rebel pathfinders do not want to alert the Empire to their presence, he and the group discuss their options. As they do so, the highly strung C-3PO learns from an Ewok counterpart that “…our furry companion has gone and done something rather rash.” Telling this to the group, Leia expressing an audible “Oh, no” the group watches as one Ewok moves towards the scout troopers.

Or rather, Paploo, the Ewok in question, moves towards the scout bikes sitting at the end of the clearing. Getting onto one of the bikes, Paploo proceeds to turn it on and zips off into the forest pursued by three of the four scouts. “Not bad for a little furball. There is only one left,” Han professes, obviously impressed by Paploo’s ingenuity. 

Like Han, I too have always been impressed by Paploo’s quick-thinking decision to steal a speeder bike. But what truly impressed me during this particular viewing of Return of the Jedi as I sat on my couch was the fact that Paploo seems to know PRECISELY how to operate the scout bike. This realization had never dawned on me prior to this moment, the fact that this primitive creature with absolutely zero technological understanding knew the exact sequence of buttons and switches that needed to be activated for the bike to work. Impressive, Paploo, most impressive.

Granted, it is entirely possible that Paploo just gets lucky, that he randomly flips the correct switches and the bike ends up working. I’m hardly opposed to this possibility. It is, after all, the most likely way the scene is meant to be viewed. Never-the-less, as I sat on my couch watching Paploo start the bike, for the first time it dawned on me that the Ewok furball knew what to do. And, as a result, a second thought, a question, popped into my mind: how can we explain the primitive Paploo’s expertise in Imperial technology?

Honestly, I think explaining Paploo’s actions as intentional is easy, and actually works in conjunction with the thoughts I laid out about the Ewoks in my piece “Cute, Funny, and Very Deadly” way back in 2015. In that post – which was part of Ewok Week – I made the point that the Ewoks were either preparing to fight the Empire, or they had already started the fight when the Rebels show up. You can go read that post to get a deeper look at these ideas, especially since I believe Paploo’s apptitude with a scout bike can easily be tacked onto them. 

Paploo Speeder
Paploo pilots the stolen speeder.
Photo Credit – Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi

If the Ewoks were already fighting the Empire, or just preparing for their war, it would make logical sense that the primitive beings took the time to learn about their foreign invaders. We can assume, then, that Paploo, and perhaps a number of other Ewoks, had already stolen scout bikes in order to learn more about these curious and unfamiliar machine. When he sneaks up on the bikes to steal one in Return of the Jedi, Paploo would already have an understanding, even a basic one, about how the contraption works. Not to mention, he also seems to know how to drive the speeder once it zips off into the forest. The initial acceleration surprises Paploo, but he regains control with relative ease and pilots the bike deeper into the forest with the three Imperial scouts hot on his tail. 

Again, it could just be that Paploo gets lucky. Maybe he did. Honestly though, I find it far more likely, and way more interesting, if he and other Ewoks had taken the time to learn about the bikes as part of an attempt to better understand their enemy. But you can decide for yourself.

Leave a comment and let me know what you think about Paploo and his speeder bike excursion!

A Star Wars Celebration

My twelfth birthday party was a Star Wars celebration. Just ten days before I turned the big “one-two” (March 24, 1997) the Special Edition of Return of the Jedi was released in movie theaters. So on the Sunday before my birthday, a handful of friends and I were dropped off at the local theater to see Episode VI/

While there are plenty of gripes to be had with the Star Wars Special Edition – George Lucas’ re-mastered/edited Original Trilogy – as a kid I really had no issue with them. At the time, what got me excited was seeing Star Wars on a big screen, plain and simple. Besides, the Original Trilogy Special Edition were not just another set of films. Oh no, they were the pinnacle of cinematic brilliance in my young mind, a new way of experiencing Star Wars in a shape and form I had never imagined possible. Coupled with the knowledge that Lucas was, at the time, working on a new Star Wars trilogy, the Special Edition was, in many respects, my first step into a fundamentally different way of being a Star Wars fan.

I am unable to remember every detail about my twelfth birthday. Today, twenty-two years removed, many of the details are a blur. I can recall which friends I went with, but I do not remember what we talked about as we sat and waited for Return of the Jedi to begin. I am sure our conversation was brilliantly nerdy and immaculately adolescent. I would expect nothing less from almost 12-year-old me. Likewise, my memory of watching the film on that Sunday afternoon is spotty, and I am just not able to bring forth the emotions/feelings I had as the movie played.

Except, that is not entirely true. While memories fade as time moves on, I CAN recall precisely how I felt at the end of the film. Etched into my mind is the sheer joy, hope, and wonder of seeing the various celebrations which took place across the Star Wars galaxy following the Battle of Endor. While the original cut of Return of the Jedi ONLY included the Rebels celebrating with the Ewoks after the battle, in this new Special Edition of the film George Lucas inserted brief shots of galactic citizens flooding streets and celebrating together. As I sat there watching these Star Wars celebrations unfolding on Bespin, Tatooine, Naboo, and Coruscant, I was left feeling dizzy with excitement. Even now, as I think of that moment in the theater, the memory is visceral, I am still dizzy and overwhelmed.

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But why? Why, after watching two hours of Return of the Jedi, would the end, and the inclusion of these celebrations, resonate with me so deeply? Honestly, the answer is so dang obvious that it is almost underwhelming: it’s because humans and aliens across the galaxy were coming together to celebrate the downfall of the Galactic Empire.

I always enjoyed the original celebration at the end of Return of the Jedi, where the Ewoks and Rebels are dancing/singing together (and Lando is awkwardly clapping along to the “Ewok beat”) following their victory at Endor. But this Star Wars celebration was always small scale and localized, it was JUST the participants from the battle who were rejoicing. In the Special Edition, what we end up seeing is the news of the Endor victory cascading across the galaxy: another Death Star destroyed, the Imperial fleet in tatters, and most importantly, the Emperor dead. On Coruscant, in the heart of the Imperial capital, fireworks were launched and statues torn down. On Naboo, Gungans danced and shouted “Wesa free!” Seeing these celebrations taking place on different planets expanded the impact of what the Rebellion had accomplished not for themselves, but for the galaxy writ-large. In that moment, as I sat transfixed by the sights and sounds of these Star Wars celebrations, I was transported across the vast expanse of the Star Wars galaxy and was given the chance to truly experience just how important the Rebel cause, and victory, was for average people. 

George Lucas gets a lot of flak for choices he made with the Special Edition but to this day I am incredibly grateful – as a Star Wars fan and a person – for the addition of these celebrations at the end of Return of the Jedi. On a day I was having a Star Wars celebration of my own, getting to witness the joy of individuals within Star Wars celebrating the defeat of the Empire was truly special. 

Ewoks Battling for Endor

Every time I watch Ewoks: The Battle for Endor I laugh as the movie begins. I can’t help it. You see, in the first minutes of the film, as the opening credits and music are playing, we see three things: a gorgeous meadow on the forest moon of Endor, an Ewok skipping with a little girl, and the same Ewok picking flowers for that little girl. What an opening!!!

And then, all of a sudden, the laughter stops and things get really absurd. An Ewok village is raided by marauders; the little girl’s brother, mother, and father are killed by said marauders; and she, her Ewok friend (who turns out to be Wicket), and all the Ewok villagers are taken captive.

What a way to start a movie for kids!!!

Okay, lets back up for a second.

Wicket and Cindel Photo Credit - Ewoks: The Battle for Endor

Wicket and Cindel
Photo Credit – Ewoks: The Battle for Endor

For those of you who are unaware, after Return of the Jedi came out in 1983, the Ewoks were a pretty big deal. Little kids loved them. Of course they did, Ewoks reminded them of their teddy bears. So, riding this wave of popularity, Star Wars creator George Lucas released two made-for-TV movies about the Ewoks. The first, in 1984, was The Ewok Adventure: Caravan of Courage. The second, Ewoks: The Battle for Endor, was released in 1985. Both were nominated for a couple of Primetime Emmys and both won the Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Special Visual Effects. An Ewoks cartoon series was also released, and would air two seasons from 1985-1987.The main Ewok protagonist of them all: Wicket W. Warrick, the same Ewok who discovers Leia in Return of the Jedi.

Alright, here is the deal: the movies and the cartoons are really fun (and somewhat ridiculous), and originally I was going to write about all of them at length for this week of Ewokery. Buuuuuut I really just want to talk about The Battle for Endor. Why? Because it. is. awesome!!! Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy them all but when I was a kid, I wore out the VHS we had of Ewoks: The Battle for Endor. I watched it so much that I am pretty sure the VHS broke. Thank goodness for DVDs and YouTube!

So it is this point in the post I am going to tell YOU to go watch Ewoks: The Battle for Endor if you haven’t already. Now, Caravan of Courage does take place before it, but you don’t HAVE to watch it to understand what is going on in The Battle for Endor. And, because I am so good to you all, I have provided a YouTube link to the movie all over this post so you really have no excuse.

In the meantime, if you want to wait, or if you happen to be at work right now and can’t hide the fact that you are watching a movie when your boss walks by, I will just share some more little nuggets about the movie that I enjoy or that are just outright ridiculous…or both.

Some reasons I enjoy Ewoks: The Battle for Endor

Along with Caravan of Courage and the cartoon series, The Battle for Endor is part of the Star Wars: Expanded Universe (now called Legends). All take place BEFORE the events of Return of the Jedi which means that at some point Wicket somehow forgot how to speak Basic (English) by the time he is poking Leia with his spear in Return of the Jedi.

Another fun EU fact: the little girl, Cindel Towani, she doesn’t just show up in Caravan of Courage and The Battle for Endor. She is ALSO a minor character in Tyrant’s Test, one of the novels in The Black Fleet Crisis.

Noa, played by Wilfred Brimley Photo Credit - Ewoks: The Battle for Endor

Noa, played by Wilfred Brimley
Photo Credit – Ewoks: The Battle for Endor

Speaking of characters, in The Battle for Endor (but NOT in Caravan of Courage), Cindel’s father is played by Paul Gleason. You might recall Mr. Gleason as the principal in The Breakfast Club. The primary male lead in the film, though, is played by….drum roll…Wilfred Brimley!

Brimley plays a character named Noa who flips between being a mean old man, and a tender old man, in most of his early interactions with Cindel and Wicket. For example, he yells at Wicket and Cindel for building a fire, stating they will burn down the entire forest (never-mind the fact that Wicket is a native and knows what he is doing). Then, next thing you know, Noa has invited them into his home and is building a fire for them in his home’s fireplace.

BTW, Cindel and Wicket escape from those marauders right after they are captured, and they find their way to Noa’s home thanks to a curious little creature named Teek. Besides being REALLY fast, Teek is mischievous and funny, but also tender and caring. Honestly, Teek has always been my favorite character in the film.

Teek!!! Photo Credit - Ewoks: The Battle for Endor

Photo Credit – Ewoks: The Battle for Endor

However, I also really love Wicket, mostly because of the strange things he says and the way he acts. Just as Noa flips between angry and tender, Wicket flips between intelligent and childish. In one moment he is showing off his Ewok ingenuity, the next he is is completely helpless having been caught in a trap. Basically, he is the perfect mix of smart and funny, making him easy for little kids to identify with.

But what about the other Ewoks in the movie?

Frankly, the other Ewoks play a very small direct role in the film until the final act begins. I will spare you the full plot summary, but suffice it to say it is in the finale that the Ewoks finally battle for Endor after escaping from the castle they are held prisoner in. Yeah, a castle, in the middle of a very large, rocky plain on the forest moon of Endor.

When the battle between the Ewoks and the marauders plays out, what ensues is a visually stunning, albeit completely one-sided fight. You hardly need me to tell you who wins the battle for Endor. The Ewoks are brilliant in their fight against the bad guys, ranging from tactics that make the marauders trip and fall over, throwing spears at them, and launching explosions from a catapult Noa had sitting around. In fact, the best moment in the fight has GOT to be when one of the Ewoks saves Wicket by launching himself from the catapult, flipping end over end and landing on a baddie. It just doesn’t get much better than that.

Ewoks on the attack!!! Photo Credit - Ewoks: The Battle for Endor

Ewoks on the attack…with guns!!!
Photo Credit – Ewoks: The Battle for Endor

And with that, I honestly have very little else to say. I grew up loving the movie and I still do. But at this point, I would rather hear what you think about the movie so leave some thoughts in the comment section. And if this is the first time you have seen it, I would love to know what you newbies think!

Also, feel free to leave some thoughts on Caravan of Courage and the Ewok cartoon series!

Check out these other Ewok Week posts:

The Imperial Talker Presents: Ewok Week

The Music of the Ewoks

Ewok Jerky

Ewok Haikus

Cute, Funny, and Very Deadly

Fan Feelings on Ewoks

The Scout

Fan Feelings on Ewoks

When it comes to the Ewoks and their role in Return of the Jedi, one thing is certain: their inclusion in the film is hotly debated among Star Wars fans. There are fans who absolutely love and adore the Ewoks, and there are also fans who despise them and believe the Ewoks are ridiculous part of the Star Wars galaxy. Why do people have these particular feelings about Ewoks? Well, according to Barney Stinson (from the show How I Met Your Mother), if you were born after May 25, 1973, you like Ewoks because they remind you of your teddy bear. Here, go see what I mean: Barney on Ewoks and Age.

While there is, perhaps, a nugget of truth in what Barney says, it is also much more complicated. People have preferences on different topics for a whole slew of reasons, Ewoks included. So, in this post, I decided to collect thoughts on Ewoks from people who were willing to share. Whether they were for or against Ewoks, or just felt neutral about them, I wanted to honor all sides of the “Great Ewok Debate” and provide a space for anyone who wanted to participate. I hope you enjoy these Fan Feelings on Ewoks and, just like with the Ewok Haikus, if you want to add to the page, feel free to send me your thoughts on Ewoks. Or just leave a comment! Either way, lets keep the conversation(s) going!!!

From Mark Lockard (Blogger at the Disembodied Beard; follow him on Twitter @LockardMk)

Ewok-bashing. It’s real, and it’s in your community. Did you know?

Ewoks are an easy target, and not just for stormtroopers driving chicken-walkers. They’re easy to make fun of because they’re an especially childish character in what’s already a kinda childish movie. I get why people don’t really like them playing a role in a high-stakes movie like Return of the Jedi. I don’t agree, but I get it.

I don’t agree because childish doesn’t have to mean that you as an adult can’t love it, or that its somehow less meaningful than something labeled for adults. Some of the best stories we’ll ever have are kids’ stories. And some of the best characters we’ll ever have are waddling, singing, teddy bears from outer space. Ewoks do for the Star Wars viewer what the annihilation of Alderaan cannot: it gives us a community, full of living beings whose very home is as stake.

So much of the original Star Wars trilogy takes place on desolate planets or isolated ships. From Tatooine to Hoth to Dagobah, we don’t get to see much of how the menace that is the galactic empire impacts groups of beings just living their lives together. Ewoks give us that. They put a face (a cuddly one, yes) on the cause of the rebellion. They are representative of the cultures and beings we’re all hoping Luke, Leia, Han, Chewie, R2, and 3P0 will save.

And in the midst of that hope, they remind us that sometimes our love ones die and don’t come back. Not everyone gets to see the happy end of the story. It reminds us that war isn’t a space opera; it’s death in our midst. Which is why it’s fitting that the Ewoks are also the voices of joy after the Death Star is destroyed. They’re the first to celebrate peace because they know how valuable it is.

In that way, Ewoks are us: the non-heroes; the non-Jedi; the everyday human. Cheering them on is only natural.

From Star Wars Guy (Follow him on Twitter @StarWarsNerdMN)

As someone who first watched ROTJ when he was 7 years old, I have never been a fan of the Ewoks. As a child, I didn’t think they were cool because they were basically teddy bears. What’s cool about that to a 7 year old boy? Nothing, that’s what. As I grew older, and my fandom increased, I of course wondered how a band of primitive teddy bears could take on an Imperial Garrison. Then as I got even older, it felt like the Ewoks were just a money grab to sell toys. Now, in my late 30’s, I resent the Ewoks because they took the place of Wookiees. I mean, how cool would it have been to have the end of ROTJ take place on Kashyyyk?!

From Trey Loomis

Ewoks are very interesting creatures. They look like soft fluffy teddy bears, but they also have a feisty fighting spirit. The moment they are introduced in Star Wars I instantly fell in love with them. As they fell on the battlefield my heart wept for them. When they were kicking the storm troopers asses I cheered out-loud. No other sci-fi universe has creatures as amazing as the Ewoks.

From Cameron Clark (Blogger over at the Four Letter Nerd)

I know Ewoks get a bit of a bad rap from a majority of people. Personally I have a bit of a soft spot for these tiny, inquisitive, homicidal creatures. In fact, my wife (who likes Ewoks almost more than anything else in Star Wars) and I even named our first Shih-Tzu Wicket after the Ewok portrayed by Warwick Davis in Return of the Jedi. They seem get a lot of flak for being too cute and cuddly, and it often gets point out how ridiculous it is that these tiny, big-eyed teddy bears were able to help the Rebel Alliance defeat the Empire on the forest moon of Endor, but it appears that the Ewoks are the apex predators of that moon. I mean, they easily captured pretty much all of the heroes and would have eaten their corpses after a nice roasting had it not been for them mistaking C-3PO for a god. These creatures are smart, calculating, have a pretty complex societal structure, and are the top of the Endorian food chain. Their guerrilla style tactics would be unfamiliar to the Stormtroopers and the surprising amount of violence wrapped up in such an unassuming package is liable to catch anyone off guard.

Does it get anymore adorable than this? Thanks to Cameron and Paige Clark for sharing this picture!!!

Does it get anymore adorable than this? Thanks to Cameron and Paige Clark for sharing this picture!!!

From Paige Clark (Check out this post she wrote for the Four Letter Nerd)

Ewoks. What do Ewoks mean to me? Would “everything” be a little dramatic? Ok, so maybe not everything, but there is a special place in my soul for the little furry guys. I’ve always been on the nerdy side, but didn’t watch Star Wars until I was in High School and didn’t fully appreciate it until I started dating my now husband and he opened my eyes to the Force. When I first watched Return of the Jedi and Wicket took Princess Leia “hostage,” he took my heart hostage as well. I don’t know what it is about them that make them so appealing. Maybe their baby bear like qualities or the fact that they kicked some serious Empire ass during the battle. If you think about it, it truly is amazing how clever they are to maintain the society they do. They have their own government, social order, and apparently religion as well. That is truly remarkable. The love they have for one another is evident when one Ewok is killed and the other is obviously heartbroken trying to wake him up. I tear up every time. When my husband and I got our first dog he looked just like the little baby Ewok from the movie and he was chocolate brown just like Wicket. When we found out I was pregnant the first time around our son came home from the hospital as Yoda, and our second son came home as Wicket –to say we are fans would be an understatement.

From Carter Daniel (Follow him on Twitter @hRXQN5J3VNfer5Q)

It is a known fact that Ewok’s are iconic creatures, love them or hate them. However, I find it difficult to discuss how I think they should be seen. I believe that the Ewok’s were creatures that were created mainly to help the Rebels in ROTJ. But I also believe this lead to the merchandise which then lead to the criticism they have received. The Ewok’s are little, cute, fuzzy creatures but they did try to eat our heroes and then they helped them murder the foot soldiers that opposed them. They aren’t awful, just misunderstood in a strange way. I almost feel that the Ewok’s are a bit underrated and that they don’t receive enough love. And I also feel like their full story, their origin story, has yet to be truly told (*cough….. Marvel). Some may disagree with this but I think it could be a cool story and could even change fan perceptions of them.

From Alicia Hickman

Looks like a few of Alicia Hickman's Ewoks snagged a Stormtrooper...

Looks like a few of Alicia Hickman’s Ewoks snagged a Stormtrooper…

So here I am in my living room, reeling from the stats quiz I just totally bombed. I can start reading this article about information theory and metadata or I can set up my favorite LEGO Star Wars set, the Ewok Village. Which will I choose? Search your feelings.

This isn’t my favorite set just because it comes with a plethora of unique and rare minfigs (Luke in his black Jedi get-up with cybernetic hand, Leia with her hair down, and a smiling instead of smirking Han). It’s my favorite because of the Ewoks. It’s my favorite because of the minute detail LEGO designers put into the design of the treetop village.

But enough about my super awesome collection of LEGO Star Wars sets. Why do I like Ewoks? When I was younger, I liked them because they were cute, fuzzy comic relief in a movie with much too long of a speeder chase scene. As a kid, I missed the Ewok using Stormtrooper helmets as bongos or what that signified. I missed the fact that Ewoks were clearly capable of catching much larger, sentient prey, subduing them, and subsequently having them for dinner in a highly inhospitable way. To young me, they were fun and funny to watch.

...and now they are cooking him.

…and now they are cooking him.

As an adult, I still love the diminutive fuzzballs. My attachment has not lessened because I’m old, cynical, and jaded now. But I do see them as more than just cute and fuzzy comic relief, or as others like to claim, a Lucasfilm merchandising cash grab. They are predators – hunters who stalk their prey and come up with schemes to entice and trap them. They live in a community, have a history and a language. After one evening and one flamboyant retelling of the Star Wars saga by C-3PO, they pledge their allegiance to Han, Leia, and Luke, sacrificing their lives for a cause that doesn’t really affect them. But mostly, Ewoks show us that small, overlooked, seemingly unimportant people can make a difference. As Han says, “Short help is better than no help at all.” Really, the only failing of the Ewoks is their misguided love and admiration for C-3PO, because that droid totally blows.

From Michael Miller (Check out his Guest Talker post entitled The Nature of a Hero)

There are a lot of reasons to love Ewoks.  That’s why the Imperial Talker is giving us a whole Ewok Week!!!  But for me personally, the reason I most love Ewoks is because of how the celebrate.  The second Death Star is destroyed.  Vader has been redeemed.  The Rebelliion rejoices.  It can’t get any better right?  Wrong!  Just add a little Ewok music, singing, and dancing for the ultimate party.  I defy you to listen to the Ewok celebration from the ending of the original Return Of The Jedi and not smile.  You can’t!  It’s one of the most fun pieces of music in the whole series and is an excellent way to capture the jubilation of the moment.  I can’t get enough of it.  Go Ewoks!

Leave a comment and check out other Ewok Week posts:

The Imperial Talker Presents: Ewok Week

The Music of the Ewoks

Ewok Jerky

Ewok Haikus

Cute, Funny, and Very Deadly

Ewoks Battling for Endor

The Scout

Ewok Haiku Poems

I hope you enjoy these Ewok haiku poems submitted by fans of Star Wars and The Imperial Talker. Feel free to email your own Ewok-related haiku if you would like to add to the page!

Ewok, my Ewok
So fuzzy, more than a bear
Toppling Empires

Submitted by: Michael Miller

Furballs on Endor
Little shits, mostly useless
except selling toys

Submitted by: Derek Waddell

Occupied, you resist;
teddy bears armed and lethal.
Brain that Stormtrooper.

“Nanta?” he whispers,
shaking his fallen partner
as walkers advance.

Submitted by: Mark Lockard

Teddy bear? No, no.
Mammaloids, cute and creepy —
They’d make a nice pet.

Submitted by: Anonymous

Ewoks of Endor
In beautiful forest live
Abafar jerky

Submitted by: Tom Cagle

Endor’s Warriors
Saviors of Rebellion
Curious with hats

Small in their stature
Though they will get any job done
Ewoks equal life

C-3PO god?
Captivates them with story
Now time to party

Crafty in forest
They set any trap with logs
Chicken walkers warned

Submitted by: David Miller

Danvay tu kreeth, fruk//
Dee fratta enanah tu//
Ehda chu gooka

Submitted by: Cameron Clark

Yub Yub Yub Yub Yub
Ewoks are ready to fight
Yub Yub Yub Yub Yub

Submitted by: Alicia Cagle

Indigenous forces,
Endor Empire couldn’t hold,
Ewoks saved Rebels.

Submitted by: Dave Suscheck

Poor little Ewok,
Will they ever consider
An Ewok Jedi?

Submitted by: Matthew Baldwin

Fighting for Yub Nub
Ewoks spring a clever trap,
Then feast on the dead

In meadow, Wicket
Skips and picks flowers as his
Village is raided

Submitted by: Jeff Cagle (The Imperial Talker)

Be sure to check out other Ewok Week posts:

The Imperial Talker Presents: Ewok Week

The Music of the Ewoks

Ewok Jerky

Cute, Funny, and Very Deadly

Fan Feelings on Ewoks

Ewoks Battling for Endor

The Scout

Ewok Jerky

Have you ever wondered what Ewok tastes like? Well, if you are curious, you needn’t go on a hunting trip to Endor to snag one of those furry creatures yourself. Oh no, just travel to the settlement of Pons Ora on the Outer Rim world of Abafar and then head for the Power Sliders diner. There, the Sullustan Mister Borkus has a number of delicious entrees ready for you to try including his famous Ewok Jerky!

Alright, silly quasi-advertisements aside, everything I just described comes straight out of Episode 12 from Season 5 of The Clone Wars. I will spare you the plot of the episode and would rather direct your attention to the featured image at the top of this post. There, you will see Mister Borkus himself (the big guy in the pic) and, behind/above him, you will see part of the menu. On it, you will also see the following two words written in Aurebesh, the alphabet of the Star Wars galaxy:

Ewok JerkyTranslation: Ewok Jerky

You know, I bet you don’t have to travel the whole way to Abafar to chow down on some Ewok meat. Chances are it is shipped all over the galaxy. Heck, if a diner on an obscure Outer Rim world offers Ewok Jerky, some other restaurant in the galaxy probably makes a great Ewok Steak or some Smoked Ewok Ribs. I mean sure, Abafar could be the only location offering Ewok on the menu, but unless Abafar is really close to Endor, it would cost Mister Borkus a fortune to get the meat in the first place. It all boils down to supply and demand. Economics 101.

And if you are saying to yourself, “What the heck, Ewoks were hunted and eaten, that is super messed up” I am not going to disagree with you. In fact, given that the Ewoks are part of the Living Force, and are also sentient beings, one has to ask: why in the hell weren’t the Jedi protecting them from poaching and consumption? I will let you ponder this one on your own.

An Ewok hunting party surrounds Han, Luke, and Chewbacca Photo Credit - Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi

An Ewok hunting party surrounds Han, Luke, and Chewbacca.
Photo Credit – Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi

A final thought, though. Since the Ewoks were a delicacy on Abafar, and presumably other worlds, then there were surely groups that went to Endor to hunt, capture, and kill the furballs. If so, then this could explain the extreme caution the Ewoks exhibit around Leia, Han, Luke, and Chewie, not to mention the Empire.

If they aren’t cautious around outsiders, they could end up on someone’s dinner plate 1,000 light-years away.

Leave a comment and let me know what you think about the Ewok’s being eaten!

Be sure to check out other Ewok Week posts:

The Imperial Talker Presents: Ewok Week

The Music of the Ewoks

Ewok Haikus

Cute, Funny, and Very Deadly

Fan Feelings on Ewoks

Ewoks Battling for Endor

The Scout

The Music of the Ewoks

In this week devoted to Ewoks, it is only right that we set the mood with some of the music associated with the little furballs. I have to admit that the title of this post is a bit misleading, though. While I do have some musical training (high school chorus!), I can’t really provide a well-informed commentary on the music the Ewoks play (or rather, that composer John Williams created FOR them). Instead, what I have done is provided just a few thoughts/reflections on two pieces from the Return of the Jedi soundtrack: ‘Parade of the Ewoks’ and ‘Ewok Celebration.’

And never fear for I have also provided links to each piece so you needn’t head off to YouTube or Spotify. Just click the title of each section below, each of which is aptly named for the song being discussed.

Parade of the Ewoks

‘Parade of the Ewoks’ is not just one of the more unique pieces of music in the entire Star Wars soundtrack, but I would also rank it as one of the most iconic pieces. Yeah, you heard me, I would put it up there with ‘The Imperial March,’ ‘Duel of the Fates,’ ‘Across the Stars,’ ‘The Hologram/Binary Sunset,’ and ‘The Throne Room.’ And no, this is NOT my entire list of iconic Star Wars music, I am just giving examples.

While I love the way ‘Parade of the Ewoks’ sounds, what I truly appreciate about this short piece is that it captures the essence of the Ewoks and translates this into a sort of musical story about them. In the Return of the Jedi, the very first Ewok we meet is Wicket. Probably the most popular of all the Ewoks, Wicket initially gives off the impression that these primitive creatures are curious, simple and even somewhat ridiculous. However, as the movie progresses, the Ewoks turn out to be much more capable and interesting than perhaps we originally anticipated. Think about it – this first Ewok we meet is holding a rudimentary spear and is frightened when Leia takes off her helmet. But later in the film, we see one Ewok pilot a speeder bike, two will drive an AT-ST along with Chewbacca, and another is seen raising a captured Stormtrooper blaster.

Flitchee holds up a Stormtrooper blaster in triumph. Photo Credit - Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi

Flitchee holds up a Stormtrooper blaster in triumph.
Photo Credit – Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi

Primitive they might be, but don’t confuse this with being simple-minded or incompetent. The Ewoks are far more intelligent and dynamic than meets the eye.

So, as you listen to ‘Parade of the Ewoks,’ pay attention to the melody that repeats over and over again. This melody, which all would agree is the theme music for the Ewoks, will not repeat in exactly the same way, though. Rather, while it begins in a modest and unassuming manner, when it does repeat it will do so in a new way each time. The essence of the melody, the essence of the Ewoks, will remain the same, but the melody will also evolve, becoming more robust, more dynamic, just as the Ewoks do in the film. And what we are left with, then, is a melodious biography that beautifully describes these fascinating creatures, one that consistently stays true to their humble and curious nature while also illuminating them as exciting and vibrant creatures.

Ewok Celebration (‘Yub Nub’)

The score that originally played during the final scene in Return of the Jedi, ‘Ewok Celebration,’ was, and for many older Star Wars fans still is, the music that highlighted the victory of the Rebellion over the Empire.

Of course, I use the words “originally” and “was” for obvious reasons.

When the original films were remastered and re-released as Special Editions in the late 90s, ‘Ewok Celebration’ was replaced by a different piece titled ‘Victory Celebration.’ Being in a theater watching the Special Edition of Return of the Jedi was an overwhelming and powerful experience, but I also remember feeling surprised by the change.

However, this isn’t to say that I dislike ‘Victory Celebration.’ Oh no, I do like it and think it works well with the added scenes George Lucas installed in the final frames. But while I genuinely enjoy ‘Victory Celebration,’ I have always felt a little sad that ‘Ewok Celebration’ was pulled from the film.

Comic Title: Yub Nub Photo Credit: Mark Lockard (Blogger at the Disembodied Beard; follow him on Twitter @LockardMk)

Comic Title: Yub Nub
Photo Credit: Mark Lockard (Blogger at the Disembodied Beard; follow him on Twitter @LockardMk)

You see, the thing about ‘Ewok Celebration’ is that it is not just music, it is a song. And, it is not just any type of song, but one sung in Ewokese, the language of the Ewoks. In fact, it is commonly called ‘Yub Nub’ (Freedom), called this because it is the first Ewok word in the song.

Really, my feeling of sadness is because ‘Ewok Celebration’ was always PART of the story. While the vast majority of music in Star Wars is non-diegetic, playing in the background, ‘Yub Nub’ always gave off the vibe of being diegetic, actually being sung by the Ewoks. I am aware that the people singing actually sound more like a choir and less a tribe of primitive beings, but who cares! ‘Ewok Celebration’ was an internal piece of Star Wars and, when it got pulled, I have just always had the feeling that Return of the Jedi lost a little piece of itself.

Of course, my feelings about ‘Ewok Celebration’ are also due to the surreal recognition that many of the little kids out there who are growing up loving Star Wars have probably never even heard ‘Ewok Celebration.’ I am sure some have, but chances are most haven’t. Well, someday when I have kids, I will be happy to watch any version of Star Wars with them, but I will also be sure to show them the ORIGINAL versions of the original films, and will have them experience ‘Ewok Celebration’ in all of its Yub Nubby glory!

My kids deserve it, and so do the Ewoks.

**Check out the lyrics for ‘Ewok Celebration’ on Wookiepedia.**

Be sure to check out other Ewok Week posts:

The Imperial Talker Presents: Ewok Week

Ewok Jerky

Ewok Haikus

Cute, Funny, and Very Deadly

Fan Feelings on Ewoks

Ewoks Battling for Endor

The Scout

The Imperial Talker Presents: Ewok Week

Welcome to Ewok Week! Yub Yub!!!!

For the entire week, I will be presenting posts ranging from fun and lighthearted to outright disturbing, all dedicated to those furry little creatures from the Sanctuary Moon of Endor who help the Rebels defeat the Empire.

Of course, I am well aware that while some of you may love and adore the Ewoks, others of you probably hate them with a passion and think they are a ridiculous part of the Star Wars universe. Knowing these different feelings about Ewoks exist, I asked for people to submit their thoughts on the Ewoks, be them good, bad, or neutral. Having collected a number of submissions already, I will be publishing them in an article titled “Fan Feelings on Ewoks.” And, for those of you who want to contribute to this post, even after it goes live, feel free to send me a paragraph or two with your thoughts and I will include them in the post.

Photo Credit - Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi

Photo Credit – Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi

Really, you should all think of Ewok Week as an open forum, an opportunity to engage with not just my thoughts on the Ewoks, but to share your own. So feel free to email me a paragraph, to comment on the posts, to send me an Ewok Haiku or some Ewok Fan Art, and, if nothing else, to just sit back and enjoy the opportunity to think about the Ewoks.

Oh, and one last thing — Ewok Week is the very first week-long series I have dedicated to a particular element within the Star Wars galaxy, it won’t be the last. At the end of the week, I will be asking you to help me decide what the topic for the next week-long series. Starting thinking now about what you might like it to be!

Enjoy Ewok Week and May the Force be with you!

Jeff – The Imperial Talker

Be sure to check out other Ewok Week posts:

The Music of the Ewoks

Ewok Jerky

Ewok Haikus

Cute, Funny, and Very Deadly

Fan Feelings on Ewoks

Ewoks Battling for Endor

The Scout

Special Announcement: Ewok Week Coming Later This Summer

September 14-18, 2015

When I began this blog, I knew that every now and again I would want to change things up and do something different. Well, that is going to happen later this summer when I spend an entire week devoted to the Ewoks, those furry little creatures from the Sanctuary Moon. I have lots of exciting posts about Ewoks already in the works, from an exploration of Ewok Religion, to an original piece of fan fiction, and a look at one of the most ridiculous (but oddly entertaining) made-for-TV movies ever – Ewoks: The Battle for Endor (haven’t seen it? No worries, I got ya covered – Go HERE and watch it now!!!)

Wicket! Photo Credit - Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the JEdi

Photo Credit – Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi

BUT, to pull this off, and make Ewok Week a success, I will need your help!!! I am looking for:

  • Original Ewok Fan Art that I can reveal that week on the Site
  • Ewok Haiku – Write an original Ewok related haiku and email it to me to post!
  • Write a short paragraph about how you feel about Ewoks. Do you love them, hate them, feel neutral towards them?
  • Do you have an idea that YOU want to write about? Let me know and we can chat logistics!
  • Have a suggestion to help me make Ewok Week a success? Fill me in! I am open to any and all ideas.

Ultimately, I want Ewok Week to be not about me, but about you, the fan of The Imperial Talker, enjoying a week of fun devoted to a species in the Star Wars galaxy. AND, at the end of the week, I will be asking for your suggestions about the NEXT species I will devote an entire week too on the site.

Get ready for some adorable fun coming soon! And in the meantime, start sending me your Ewok art, ideas, and more!

Email: imperialtalker@gmail.com (or go to the Contact Page)

Facebook: The Imperial Talker

Twitter: @imperialtalker