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Film / Star Wars: Ewok Adventures

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In the mid-1980s, two Star Wars Legends Made-for-TV Movies were produced: The Ewok Adventure (1984), later retitled Caravan of Courage: An Ewok Adventure, and Ewoks: The Battle for Endor (1985). They star a young child, Cindel, whose family has crash-landed on Endor, and Wicket, the Ewok who befriended Leia in Return of the Jedi. The success of these movies led to an animated series, Ewoks, which ran for two seasons. The main character, Cindel, got a cameo much later in the Legends novel trilogy Black Fleet Crisis as a reporter, and Teek was featured in the safety video for Star Tours prior to the 2011 refurbishment.

In 2004, the movies were released on a double-feature DVD under the title Star Wars: Ewok Adventures, and later launched on Disney+ in April 2021.

Caravan of Courage contains examples of:

  • Alien Sky: Both films feature several shots of the Endor gas giant in the sky.
  • All There in the Manual: Supplementary materials give "Towani" as the family's surname, but only their first names are ever mentioned onscreen.
  • Badass Adorable: All the Ewoks count, but special points go out to Chukha-Trok for doing things like chasing down a galloping horse and taking on the Gorax with only an axe.
  • Badass Family: Wicket's family, which include his two older brothers and father volunteering to go on a dangerous journey no Ewok has ever returned from.
  • Beauty Equals Goodness: The humans and their alien allies are cute, but the dangerous things they meet are ugly monsters who can be killed without any thought.
  • Big Guy Fatality Syndrome: Well, he's big for an Ewok, and sadly Chukha-Trok does not make it.
  • Bottomless Pits: In the Gorax's cave fortress.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The gifts the shaman Ewok gives the caravan before they leave come in handy several times on the trip.
  • The Clan: The Ewok tribe appears to be a variation of this trope.
  • Continuity Nod: The music played during Cindel and Wicket's first meeting is the same one played during Leia and Wicket's first encounter.
  • Disney Villain Death: The Gorax falls down twice into a bottomless pit.
  • Giant Spider: The Rearing spiders that lurk in the caves under the Gorax's fortress. Unlike Earth spiders, these have six legs like insects.
  • Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: Cindel.
  • Hand in the Hole: Mace sees a cute furry critter sticking out of a hole in a tree so, against the advice of everyone else present, he tries sticking his hand in the hole to catch it. The "cute furry critter" turned out to be the lure of a much larger creature that promptly bites his arm and the only reason he gets away is because the Ewoks fight it off.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Chukha-Trok dies during a rockslide when he tries to buy time for the others to escape from the Gorax.
  • Hitchhiker Heroes: The Ewoks join with Cindel and her brother Mace on their quest to find their parents.
  • Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: The only thing Mace manages to hit with his blaster is a giant boulder. Justified in that he's a teenager who's possibly never had to use a gun before.
  • Mama Bear: Cindel's mother picks up Mace's blaster rifle and shoots the Gorax in the back, causing it to fall to its apparent death, as it threatens Cindel on the other side of a giant chasm.
  • Manly Tears: Mace cries when Chukha-Trok gets crushed. Fortunately he avenges his friend a little bit later.
  • Market-Based Title: Originally, the film aired in the U.S. under the title The Ewok Adventure, and the title Caravan of Courage: An Ewok Adventure was only used for overseas theatrical releases. For the 2004 DVD release, Lucasfilm decided that the Caravan of Courage title would henceforth be used in the U.S. as well.
  • The Millstone: Mace. Pretty much all he does the entire film is be moody and doing stupid things that endanger himself and force the Ewoks to rescue him again. Justified in that he's not supposed to be a hero or anything, he's a scared kid way out of his depth, and feels he has to be brave to reassure Cindel. Only in the final battle does he learn humility and, subsequently, pull his weight.
  • Missing Child: The first two scenes, of two different families. The Towanis are shown looking for their kids, then Deej gets worried about two of his sons going missing and looks for them.
  • My New Gift Is Lame: Mace is visibly unimpressed with the very plain rock he gets, while everyone else gets cool toys. After an unsuccessful attempt to trade it for something else, he throws it away. Unfortunately, they kinda need it much later on... Fortunately Wicket had more sense and took the rock with him when the kid ditched it.
  • Narrator: A first for a Star Wars project, replacing the title crawl. The voice is by Burl Ives of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer fame.
  • Our Giants Are Bigger: The Gorax is essentially a sci-fi version of a classic fairy tale giant.
  • Parents in Distress: The entire film is about Mace and Cindel rescuing their parents from the Gorax.
  • Planetary Romance: In contrast to the Space Opera of the main Star Wars series, this one is effectively a kid-friendly fantasy adventure that happens to be set on another planet. Or moon, if we want to get technical.
  • Prequel: This movie and the sequel is established by later sources to take place before Return of the Jedi. Interestingly, the actor who played Mace, Eric Walker, said in an interview that this was not the original intention: Producer Tom Smith said during filming that it was supposed to take place 150 years after Return of the Jedi, which was overwritten once Cindel appeared in post-Endor expanded universe material - though this creates a bit of a Continuity Snarl (see You No Take Candle under The Battle for Endor, below.)
  • Roger Rabbit Effect: Izrina, the queen of the Wisties, is clearly cartoonish, and interacts with people who are live-action.
  • Savage Wolves: A gigantic wolf-like monster - called a boar wolf in supplementary material, though never named as such in the film - features in some of the movie's more intense scenes.
  • Single-Biome Planet: Averted, despite having been played straight when Endor first appeared in ​Return of the Jedi. There it was called a ​"forest moon" and seemed to have no other type of environment, but this film and its sequel show the moon to have more varied environments.
  • Soap Opera Disease: At the beginning of the film, poor Cindel comes down with this tragic ailment. Fortunately, it's cured by the random medicine that the Ewoks have on hand.
  • Take Up My Sword: In his final moments, Chukha-Trok gives Mace his axe. Mace uses it to deliver the final blow to the Gorax.
  • Treetop Town: The Ewok village, though they're featured less due to the film's reduced budget.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Cute?: While crossing the webbed bridge, a baby rearing spider dangles above Mace who cut its web and it screamed down to the bottomless chasm.

Ewoks: The Battle for Endor contains examples of:

  • Achievements in Ignorance: In an attempt to save Noa when Terak was about to kill him, Wicket swung a sling at the Marauder and struck the ring around his neck. Not only did this result in Terak's death, but Charal was left trapped in the form of a raven forever.
  • Acid Pool: Upon arriving at the Marauders' fortress and finding it surrounded by a moat, Wicket tried to swim across it. Noa stopped him and used a tree branch to show him that the moat was sulfuric.
  • Actionized Sequel: This one contains quite a bit more action than the first one, as evidenced by the fact that it has the word "battle" in the title.
  • Actor Allusion: There's a scene of Wilford Brimley eating what he calls "some kinda porridge". Brimley is best-known to many viewers for the porridge commercials he did for Quaker Oats.
  • Artifact Title: It's weird that this movie is titled after the Ewoks, considering Wicket is the only Ewok that's actually onscreen for most of it. The rest of the Ewoks spend the majority of the film in cages at Terak's castle. Moreover, the film seems to be more focused on Cindel and Noa's relationship than anything to do with Wicket or the other Ewoks. Even the villains' plans revolve around Cindel and Noa, with the Ewoks essentially only being involved because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time.
  • Big Bad: Terak.
  • Breakout Character: Cindel's role is expanded from the first movie, as the death of her entire family turns her into the de facto main character. Well, unless you count Wicket, whose role is also expanded in the second movie.
  • Call-Forward: The Ewoks fight against the Marauders at the climax is similar to the climax of Return of the Jedi.
  • Caught in a Snare: This happens to Wicket after he and Cindel find Noa's ship, and it happens to him again during the climax.
  • Connected All Along: Retroactivetly, Charal the Witch was established as being a Nightsister from the planet Dathomir, with the EU reference guide Book of Sith establishing that Mother Talzin knew Charal directly. It also means that Charal shares the same homeworld as Asajj Ventress and Darth Maul.
  • Content Warning: The network warned before its first airing that young children might find the film upsetting.
  • Cool Old Guy: Noa
  • Darker and Edgier: The cute bits are the only things keeping you from breaking down and crying.
  • Death of a Child: Mace, who can't be much older than thirteen, is killed in the opening.
  • Demoted to Extra: Aside from Cindel and Wicket, this happens to everyone from the first movie.
  • Disney Villain Death: Two Marauders that chase after Cindel and Wicket who freed themselves, end up falling off a cliff.
  • Do Not Go Gentle: Cindel's brother and father are both last seen defiantly shooting at forces who have them outgunned and outnumbered, before their life-monitoring signals on Cindel's bracelet go out.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: The deaths of Mace and the children's parents.
  • Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: Charal the witch.
  • Evil Tower of Ominousness: The brutal Sanyassans live inside a large castle which is introduced in a creepy fashion.
  • Good Colors, Evil Colors: Charal has black hair, wears a black dress, and has a black horse. To throw Cindel off guard, she takes the form of a beautiful young woman with blonde hair, wears a white dress, and has a white horse.
  • Great Escape: Upon infiltrating the Marauders' fortress, Noa and Wicket free Cindel and the captured Ewoks.
  • Happy Ending Override: In the first few minutes, Cindel's entire family is murdered by the new Big Bad's minions. The fate of Cindel's family can feel downright jarring after the relatively lighthearted first film.
  • Heartwarming Orphan: Cindel becomes one after her family is killed.
  • Hope Spot: Cindel wakes up hearing a feminine voice calling her name. She thought it was her mother at first, but it was Charal in the form of a young witch to draw her out.
  • Horse of a Different Color: While the Ewoks tend to ride regular old horses (alien horses?), the Marauders' wagons are pulled by blurrgs, peculiar creatures that look like a cross between a tadpole and a Tyrannosaurus rex. Blurrgs would return in a smaller form in The Mandalorian, years later.
  • Insufficiently Advanced Alien: The Sanyassans can’t tell the difference between an amulet of ultimate power and what is essentially a car battery.
  • I Shall Return: Before the Marauders attacked, Cindel tells Wicket that she'll return to visit one day. She says it again as she and Noa leave Endor.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold. Noa didn't want Cindel and Wicket in his hut. Eventually he starts to warm up to them, especially Cindel.
  • Kill It with Fire: When Wicket use his slingshot to destroy Charal's ring which Terak wore in a pendant round his neck, the talisman shattered, releasing a great amount of energy, and the Marauder king was burned from the inside-out.
  • Light Is Not Good: Exploited by the villains, when Charal takes the form of a beautiful golden haired maiden with a white dress and horse to capture Cindel.
  • Lock-and-Load Montage: Noa of all people gets one, prepping his walking stick and a blaster before he goes off to rescue Cindel.
  • Mutual Kill: Teek tricks two Sanyassans into shooting each other by framing one of them for cheating at cards.
  • Oddly Named Sequel 2: Electric Boogaloo: Complicated by the fact that the first film has two titles, The Ewok Adventure and Caravan of Courage: An Ewok Adventure. However, Ewoks: The Battle for Endor does not logically follow either of those titles.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: Wicket fights a dragon-like creature - called a "condor dragon" in the EU - in a cave early on.
  • Papa Wolf: Deej goes completely to town on the Marauders after they surround Wicket. He fires his stolen blaster pistol at them until it either malfunctions or runs out of ammo, and then commandeers a catapult and launches himself onto the remaining one.
  • The Runt at the End: The littlest Marauder.
  • Scavenged Punk: The Marauders' technology is clearly scavenged from other sources. They have crude ray-guns that look held together with spit and glue.
  • Senseless Sacrifice: Cindel's father buys time to let Cindel escape. This accomplishes nothing besides getting himself killed, as she's captured right afterward.
  • Shapeshifter Mode Lock: The ultimate fate of Charal. According to the EU reference guide Book of Sith, the ring she used was a Talisman of Transformation, a dark side artifact used by the Nightsisters of Dathomir. They allowed their wearer to take the shape of another creature. Hers was the raven. When her ring was destroyed she was stuck in the form of a raven.
  • Stupid Evil: Terak has a vague idea of what he wants, a swift blade, and an itchy finger. To say the least, this is counterproductive for all concerned.
  • Sudden Sequel Death Syndrome: Barely 10 minutes into the film, Mace is killed, and so are both parents. Cindel is the only human protagonist from the first film to survive the second one. Considering how the goal of the first movie was to save the parents, it's a good example of a sequel making the previous work seem like a Shoot the Shaggy Dog. According to Lucas, his daughter was really into Heidi, so the sequel contrived to give Cindel the same kind of relationship with Noa.
  • Super-Speed: Teek, and presumably his species, can run really fast.
  • Taken for Granite: Terak's ultimate fate
  • Too Dumb to Live: The Marauders think the energy crystal for a star cruiser is a source of absolute power. Unfortunately, they refuse to listen when others try to explain that's not how it works.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Mace's Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy aim has improved, as he makes a few kills during the opening battle with the Sanyassans. Unfortunately, this motivates them to focus on targeting him.
  • Vine Swing: Ewoks swing from vines while striking at Marauders in both the opening and final battles.
  • Water Wake Up: Wicket splashes a bucket of water onto Noa to wake him up after Cindel was missing.
  • Whole-Plot Reference: The idea of an orphan girl living with an old hermit came from George Lucas having just seen a film version of Heidi with his then-7 year old daughter.
  • You No Take Candle: Wicket has learned some basic English from Cindel. This creates a bit of a Continuity Snarl, since this is supposed to be set before Return of the Jedi, but he can only speak Ewok in that one.

Alternative Title(s): The Ewok Adventure


Teek's Trick

Teek tricks two Sanyassan guards into shooting each other.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (1 votes)

Example of:

Main / MutualKill

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