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The Curator of Schlock #113 by Jeff Shuster

Star Wars: The Ewok Adventure: The Caravan of Courage

It’s Willow with Ewoks.

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Hey, I bet you guys didn’t know that I was once a huge Star Wars fan. I bought the toys whenever I could afford them, could hum every note of the score, and had the dialogue from Episode IV: A New Hope memorized word for word. But then something happened…I TURNED SIX YEARS-OLD! Yeah, Return of the Jedi came and went out of the theaters and I moved on to other movies like Disney’s TRON. You know, that series we’re not getting a finale to!

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Why should Disney make TRON 3 when they can just release a new Star Wars movie each year? That’ll will keep the nerds happy. Maybe they’ll get around to TRON 3 when Olivia Wilde turns 80. I’m not bitter or anything.

Of course, people tend to forget that George Lucas put out another Star Wars movie back in 1984, Star Wars: The Ewok Adventure: The Caravan of Courage. This was a made-for-TV affair, but my interest was still piqued.

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Except that whole Ewok part in that they were my least favorite part of Return of the Jedi because they were cuddly teddy bears. Corporations kept pushing cute things on me when I was child: Rainbow Brite, Herself the Elf, Strawberry Shortcake, My Little Pony, Cabbage Patch Kids, and, of course, Care Bears. I liked monsters! Like the Rancor Monster that Luke Skywalker mercilessly butchered in Return of the Jedi. And then I got subjected to alien teddy bears! I’m not bitter or anything.

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Anyway, Star Wars: The Ewok Adventure: The Caravan of Courage is about a human family that crashes their star cruiser on the planet of Endor. The mom and dad get kidnapped by a giant ogre. Cut to some Ewoks including Wicket, the one Warwick Davis played in Return of the Jedi. At least, I assume this is the same Wicket from Return of the Jedi. The movie doesn’t reference Return of the Jedi at all. I assume this move takes place after Jedi since the Ewoks don’t want burn the little girl they find alive. Her name is Cindel and she’s played by Aubree Miller. She has an older brother named Mace (Eric Walker) who starts shooting at the Ewoks with his blaster. He figures the Ewoks must have kidnapped them, and Ewoks don’t speak any English further complicating the situation.

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At least we in the audience know what’s going on because Burl Ives narrates the whole thing, explaining the intricacies of Ewok society (just like he did for Reindeer society in Rudoplph the Red-nosed Reindeer).  For instance, there’s a special tree that provides a special sap that the Ewoks use to cure all of their ills. Oh, and before going on a quest, the village mystic will bestow gifts on the adventurers that are the totems of ancient Ewok warriors. And wouldn’t you know, the tribe decides to send a band of Ewok warriors to help the kids save their parents and kill the giant troll. They also run into some fairies and fight a giant spider at some point. The whole affair is like a prototype Willow, but without Val Kilmer. I’m not bitter or anything.

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Five Things I Learned from Star Wars: The Ewok Adventure: The Caravan of Courage

  1. Burl Ives commands authority with every syllable he utters.
  2. Ewoks can talk without having to move their mouths.
  3. Sometimes a stupid rock is not a stupid rock, but a valuable tool that’s vital to your quest.
  4. Ewok priestesses wield dark, magical powers.
  5. Sometimes happy endings aren’t so bad.

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Jeffrey Shuster 1

Photo by Leslie Salas

Jeffrey Shuster (episode 47episode 102episode 124, and episode 131) is an MFA candidate at the University of Central Florida.

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