The Ewoks and the Lost Children

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Review – “Ewoks: The Battle For Endor” (1985)

On the surface, it's the story of how the Towani family — separated after their starcruiser crashed and the parents were kidnapped by the Gorax — were reunited with help from the Ewoks. But this is truly a hero's journey: It's rich in symbolic gifts, ungrateful boys, sudden alliances, and animal feedings — and pleasantly unmarred by chatty cathys like Harrison Ford whose structural equivalent in Ewok Adventure , Chukha-Trok, dies in a heroic and timely fashion after hacking at the evil Gorax's foot with an ax.

As the internet burbles with fond recollections of people's tender first exposures to Star Wars , I'll brag that I was close to Cindel's age — 5 — when I first saw Ewok Adventure. Its importance was instantly clear. I goggled at that first shot of a giant moon cutting through the darkness — followed by the parents' symbolically tiny flashlight cutting through the woods. This would be a story about light and dark, one instantly understood.

Plus, the clueless parents' few lines were real crowd-pleasers. It only got better: "Please Mace, we're not mad at you! I was captivated. This was the stuff of fantasy. But then the story takes a sharp and modernist turn. It pivots from a tale about human parents who carelessly lost their children to a disorienting PBS nature documentary about a creature who appears to have lost his too.

The viewer is introduced to Deej, a crunch-faced and scraggle-toothed little creature with a tattered hood who the narrator explains is looking for his children. An Ewok merrily swings as he chirps his concern. Only after watching the whole film can you go back to the beginning and start to understand some of the dialogue between Deej and his wife Shodu. In the meantime, Deej flies, as the viewer watches in stunned incomprehension.

Deej doesn't only find his children; he finds the human children too. Made for relatively little money, it often feels small compared to what we were used to in the saga even then, but ILM still did some decent creature work throughout the film, most notably with the Gorax, though even its pet—looking like a hybrid of ALF and a Rodent of Unusual Size—was pretty effective.

There are also some odd choices and inconsistencies with the theatrical films, especially given that this was a Lucasfilm production through and through, with many Star Wars alumni working in various capacities on the film, and ILM handling the effects.

Ewoks: Battle for Endor

Things like: Mace wearing something very similar to rebel pilot gear and even looking a little like Mark Hamill in some shots ; his blaster being referred to as a gun, and sometimes having the wrong sound effect when firing. Apparently the movie is supposed to take place years after Return of the Jedi , though it was also shoehorned into the new defunct EU continuum to take place much closer to the events of that film given the young age of Wicket, who befriends Cindel with all of the same exuberance as he did Leia.

The little fella has a thing for human girls, I guess. In all honesty this is just an excuse for me to talk about the Gorax. Because the Gorax scared the everloving crap out of me as a kid. And even as an adult it is remarkably effective in the wide shots , though that could just be a muscle memory of terror leftover from childhood. It is a combination of its menacingly inhuman face and its body language as it tromps across the screen looking to squish furry little Ewoks.

The musical score for Caravan of Courage was composed by Peter Bernstein. During the production of Caravan of Courage , the children in the cast had to balance their school work with acting in the film. During their time on the set, Lucasfilm decided that it might be an educational and rewarding experience for the older children, Eric Walker Mace and Warwick Davis Wicket , to be given their own camera to use between takes. When the film was released on DVD in it contained nothing but the film itself.

Eric Walker and Warwick Davis stated in interviews that they would be happy to record a cast commentary for another future DVD release, if Lucasfilm someday allowed a more detailed release of the films. In , Random House released a children's book adaptation of The Ewok Adventure by Amy Ehrlich, titled The Ewoks and the Lost Children , and utilized the story presented in the film, along with stills from the film. Since the release of The Ewok Adventure in , several elements from the film have gone on to appear in other works from the Star Wars Expanded Universe.

Many of the characters, locations, or other elements are elaborated on in greater detail. The Ewok Adventure was first shown on American television November 25, The release was a single double-sided disc, with one film on each side.

For this release, the film bore the theatrical release title, Caravan of Courage. It is available to rent and buy in Standard Definition.

Common Sense says

O'Connor noted the film's story as being almost "aggressively simple" and that "Mr. Lucas and crew do not come up with anything terribly astonishing. Pointing to the main characters and plot elements, one pair of writers concluded that both Caravan of Courage and its sequel Battle for Endor are fairy tales despite occurring in a science fiction setting.

They point to magical phenomena in both films, which is a fantasy element. They argue that in a science fiction story, the hero wants to disrupt or challenge the hierarchy of a supposed " utopian " society; whereas in both Ewok films, society is not challenged or disputed. Additionally, they argue, that while the Star Wars saga also has fairy tale tropes , it adhered more towards science fiction. Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.

Home FAQ Contact. For the series of road trip television specials, see Caravan of Courage TV series.

Caravan Of Courage: An Ewok Adventure Review | Movies4Kids

Adventure Family Fantasy Science fiction. Lucasfilm Korty Films. This section needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. Main article: Ewoks soundtrack.

British Board of Film Classification.

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