Friday, May 25, 2007


Yub Nub! Defending the Ewoks

By Odienator
What is it about the Ewoks that turns people against Return of the Jedi? It can't be because they are cute, as the proprietor of this blog described them. Have you looked at an Ewok? They are ugly as hell, with their raggedy clothes and their mismatched fur and faces only an Ewok Mom could love. For my money, R2-D2 is far cuter. It cannot be that.

Is it because they are the results of a drunken night of debauchery and planning at the Kenner Toy factory? Perhaps. I suspect that the majority of the creatures introduced after Lucas struck pay dirt on the marketing deal on Star Wars were created to cash in on gullible kids like me. If you hate the Ewoks because of that, but love other characters, then you are guilty of a hypocrisy matched only by their creator.

If you find them annoying, then I have two words for you: Jar-Jar Binks. Which would you rather have?

The reason I think most people hate the Ewoks is exactly why I love them. They're low-tech creatures in a high tech galaxy far far away. They're not just scraggly looking teddy bears who cuss in what sounds like Russian. They're commentary on the state of our technological world, a back-to-basics approach that Lucas would have been wise to adhere to when he made the "bad" trilogy. I love the Ewoks because they are bootleg as hell. And they know how to party. Lucas should never have cut their little calypso number from the end of Jedi in his revisited version. You know these blue collar primitives knew how to knock back whatever you get shitfaced with on Endor.

The Arrogant Worms have a song that says that Canada has "rocks and trees and trees and rocks and rocks and trees and trees and rocks and water." So do the Ewoks. Stormtroopers attacking? Fly by on some beat-up hang glider and drop a load of rocks on 'em. Knock them down with a forest's worth of chopped down trees. Enemies invading your turf? Stick spears in their faces — regardless of whether they have laser guns — and say "Yub Nub!" Then try to cook them.

Lucas and company had the audacity to ask us to believe that rocks and trees and trees and rocks could stop the Imperial Army. The fact that they do leads me to believe that Larry Kasdan was going for something deeper than toy shopping with the Ewoks. Technology is all fine and good, but sometimes a candle works better than a light bulb. Especially if you didn't pay your electric bill.

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Interesting defense.

My pro-Ewok stance comes down to the belief that the Rebels needed every possible ally at that point. Never mind the Ewoks' primitive tools and culture; to defeat the Empire, you have to take what you can get.

It's stated more clearly in Mulan: "A single grain of rice can tip the scale. One man may be the difference between victory and defeat."

Or, as Han Solo himself said: "Short help's better than no help at all."
Don't forget that the Ewoks were originally supposed to be wookiees (spelling?), but Lucas had already put a Wookiee (spelling again? I know. What kind of a fan am I?) in his first movie, so he decided to basically "cut them in half" (his words) and call them ewoks.
As I said in the other post, I'm in total agreement with you that the original Ewok celebration was much better than Lucas' lame replacement in the "special edition." I really think that what has worked against them is that Williams' music that accompanies many of their scenes ploddingly and with way too much syrup.
Ewoks are cute because they have fur. If snakes had fur, Paris Hilton would have on in her purse.

The reasoning in your defense is sound, but they still look fake whereas the lobster guys on the pickle ships look real. I think Lucas should have used spider monkeys....real ones. And by the thousands. Sure, they'd be difficult to wrangle, and you know Carrie Fisher would now have behind the scenes scat throwing stories to tell, but the end result would have been dynamite. There's something a little menacing about monkeys, but not Ewoks - even when they do sorta talk Russian.

I'll give Lucas credit for killing a few off.

Incidentally, for funny Ewok material check out this hilarious blog: The Darth Side-Memoirs of a Monster - specifically, the The Ewok Cook-Out.
I've always had a bit of a soft spot for the ewoks. But then, it was said by some unkind peers that I WAS an ewok (okay, so I'm not the tallest guy you'll ever meet). Anyhow, thanks for defending us.
Yub Nub, Bob! I'm not the tallest guy either.

Jeffrey: Monkeys speaking Russian would be far more terrifying than Ewoks. Thanks for giving Lucas the idea to change the Ewoks into CGI Monkeys in the Special Special edition!

Damian, I didn't know that the Ewoks were originally supposed to be Wookies. I guess the Star Wars Special had already taken us to Wookie-land (and it was nasty), so Lucas made them Ewoks.

EC, OK, I'll go with you to a point on the music being syrupy. But it's not the Ewoks' fault! They wanted AC/DC to accompany their scenes!
According to Lucas on the Jedi commentary, he had originally wanted a wookiee fight way back in the original Star Wars, but by the time Jedi rolled around he decided that he'd made wookiees "technologically advanced" since Chewie co-piloted the Falcon and he had to make another set of creatures who were more primitive.
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