Ewok

From Academic Kids

Alternative meanings: Ewoks (cartoon)

Template:Infobox StarWarsSpecies

In the Star Wars series of films, Ewoks are sentient furred bipeds native to the forest moon of Endor who help the Rebel Alliance defeat the forces of the Galactic Empire in the Battle of Endor. Ewoks are curious individuals that stand about one meter tall; they are omnivorous and use spears, slings, and knives as weapons; they also use hang gliders, battle wagons, and bordoks as vehicles. Ewoks can display a cannibalistic behavior at times but this behavior is generally only witnessed during periods of extreme food deprivation. Their diet is primarily composed of berries, fruits, and small critters although Ewoks are known to hunt larger creatures for food in packs. They debuted in Episode VI, Return of the Jedi, though the word "Ewok" is not spoken in the film. George Lucas intended that a primitive race should overthrow the Empire in the final episode, and had originally planned to use Wookiees, but decided against it after it had been established that Chewbacca was proficient with technology. His answer was to create a new race called Ewoks, which is "Wookiee" with the syllables reversed.

Although extremely skilled in forest survival and the construction of primitive technology like gliders and catapults, the Ewoks have yet to progress past stone-level technology. They are quick learners, however, when exposed to advanced technology with simple mechanical processes and concepts.

Most Ewoks live high among the trees of Endor's forests, in villages built between the closely spaced trees. Ewoks venture to the forest floor to hunt, and set traps to catch various prey.

For the forest dwellers, the surrounding giant trees play an important cultural role. These hunter-gatherers are a deeply spiritual people. They believe themselves to be descendants of the Great Tree, a sacred tree in the forests.

The tribal structure of the Ewoks has a Council of Elders ruling over them, and the Council is headed by the Chief. A medicine man also lives in the Ewok village, a keeper of mystical lore, and a healer to the injured.

When the Empire began operations on the moon of Endor, they dismissed the primitive species as harmless. Imperial operations were situated around the area near Bright Tree Village, the village led by Chief Chirpa. Princess Leia Organa, part of a Rebel strike team, befriended the Ewok Wicket W. Warrick, a scout from said village.

These Ewoks also erroneously worshipped the protocol droid C-3PO, thinking he was their god. Threepio told the Council of Elders the adventures of the Rebel heroes Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, and Han Solo. The Ewoks accepted the Rebels into their tribe, and allied themselves to their cause. The Ewoks helped in the ground battle to destroy the Imperial shield generator on the forest floor, and their primitive weapons felled the stormtroopers and the scout walkers of the Empire. This assist paved the way to victory at the Battle of Endor. Later that night, the Ewoks held a huge celebration that could be heard throughout the forest.

The Ewoks later appeared in the cartoon series Ewoks (1985) and two TV specials, The Ewok Adventure (1984) and Ewoks: The Battle for Endor (1985), all of which were set chronologically after their Return of the Jedi appearance. Both TV specials revolve around the tribe seen in Return of the Jedi befriending a human family whose spaceship crashed on their moon. Some say that these movies took place before Return of the Jedi, but there is no logical explanation for this, since in Return of the Jedi Wicket cannot understand Leia when she speaks.

It is theorized in some fan circles that many of the Ewoks were killed due to environmental devastation caused by the destruction of Death Star II ("See Endorian Holocaust"), though the majority of the Death Star's debris was either removed by the Rebel fleet, blocked by deflector shields on the moon's surface, or sucked into a nearby wormhole called the Endor Gate.

Criticism

Many fans of the Star Wars series dislike the Ewoks, believing that the scenes with them defeating an army of the "Emperor's best" Storm Troopers stretch credibility even for a space opera, and that their cuteness was purely an attempt to introduce opportunities for merchandising rather than a serious addition to the story - criticism repeated nearly twenty years later about Jar Jar Binks in Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace. Furthermore, despite the fact that the word "Ewok" is never uttered or mentioned in Return of the Jedi, everyone knows their name, providing additional ammo to those that believe them to be a product of the shrewd merchandising and marketing teams at Lucasfilm.

It is believed that Ewoks are modelled after Hobbits, who similarly in The Lord of the Rings were Sauron's demise. Lucas chose the word Endor for the moon to honour this, since it is the Elvish name of Middle-earth, the setting of most of Tolkien's stories.

However, perhaps the Ewoks were just thrown in as an attempt to get very young children to love Star Wars as well as some of the older ones?

Language

The Ewoks speak a primitive language part of which is shown here. The lyrics of the Ewok celebration song heard in the epilogue of the original edition of Return of the Jedi is in this language.

Beecha wawa! 
       exc--"Oh my goodness!"
begoopa 
	exc--Goodbye 
chak 
	adv--Okay! 
coatee 
 	v--celebrate 
dengar (Note: Not the bounty hunter) 
 	command--Attack! Usage: "Dengar, Ewoks!" 
doo 
 	n--night 
glowah 
 	n--glory 
goo 
	n--light 
goonda
       n--food
goopa 
	exc--Hello 
kavark (or klark) 
	exc--Dang! 
lurdo 
	n--loser (generic insult) Usage: "You stupid lurdo!" 
nuv 
	n--love 
too 
	n--fight 
yah wah 
	n--power 
yub nub 
	n--freedom

Initially, Lucas wanted an artificial language based on mathematics and the computer they used for this, resulted something that looked much like ancient Greek.

Some have noted that certain phrases uttered by the Ewoks are in real languages sampled from Earth, such as Tagalog (Philippines), and Swedish : "Ayun! Puno daw 'ito!" (When C3PO is being worshipped) means: "There! This is the leader!" in Filipino. Even some English is present with an quick exchange between two Ewoks regarding C-3P0 saying "He is wise!" with the reply "As I am short."

See also

es:Ewok fi:Ewokit ja:イウォーク

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