Star Wars Movies 7: Ewoks: The Battle For Endor

Don’t let this title fool you. Although this movie does take place on Endor, and it does feature Wicket, played by Warwick Davis, this doesn’t take place during Return of the Jedi. That battle was called Battle of Endor. This is the Battle For Endor.

This movie is a direct sequel to Caravan of Courage: An Ewok Adventure. According to its Wikipedia page, it takes place after the Ewoks animated series and before Return of the Jedi. That’s right, there was also a short lived Ewoks animated series. Say what you will about George Lucas’s perceived declining movie quality, but he knows how to run an entertainment business. He knows how to make money. Taking place six months after the first Ewoks movie, the Towani family is preparing to finally leave the forest moon of Endor. They’re almost done fixing up their ship. In the meantime, Cindel, the young girl from the first movie, has become close friends with Wicket.

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Star Wars Movies 6: Caravan of Courage: An Ewok Adventure

We’ve got a strange one here.

In-between the two Star Wars trilogies, George Lucas’s filmography gets a bit weird. He took a long break from directing, but he involved himself with a number of strange projects to varying degrees of involvement and success. Probably his most successful project during that time period was Indiana Jones (directed by Steven Spielberg). He produced movies like The Land Before Time (great movie), Howard the Duck (not so great of a move). He even made a few cameos, like in Men In Black and Beverly Hills Cop III.

Among his many works, he came up with the story for a series of TV movies based on the ewoks from Return of the Jedi. He originally came up with the story for a one hour special, although the writer and director stretched it to a 2-hour special. Enter Caravan of Courage: An Ewok Adventure. Taking place on the forest moon of Endor, this movie stars two children in a family of four, who some time ago crash landed on the planet. It also stars a group of ewoks who help them find their missing parents. In case you feel like seeing this movie, I won’t say anything else about the main plot, not that the spoilers would be huge or unexpected.

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Star Wars movies 5 – Return of the Jedi

As with the other two entries in the original trilogy, there’s so much information on the creation of Return of the Jedi that it’s not worth talking about. That said, opinions on this movie, while generally positive, are more polarizing than the other two. That actually makes it worth talking about the movie itself. It’s worth talking about the movie’s strengths, weaknesses and some of its strange choices.

Released in 1983, Return of the Jedi was, at the time, thought to be the last Star Wars movie by a lot of people. Yet even back then, George Lucas talked about a 9-movie epic. Even Mark Hamill mentioned in an interview that he was asked if he’d be willing to do another three movies.

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Comics of March 14, 2018

So with my Star Wars blogathon so far, I’ve looked at as many non-theatrical releases as I have theatrical releases, and after Return of the Jedi, it’s going to be skewed more towards non-theatrical releases. The last post in particular is for Return of the Ewok, which is obscure even though it’s Star Wars. Not even the Holiday Special can say that. Also, I’m planning at least one more blogathon after Star Wars (It’ll be all the Dreamworks movies), but after that, I’ll probably just do movie theme months where I talk about one movie a week. As much as I’m enjoying these blogathons, I find that it’s limiting my free time. But for now, it’s time to talk about comics.

The comics I picked up this week include All-New Wolverine 32, Supergirl 19, Detective Comics 976 and Action Comics 999. These are my first impressions. Since I’m not writing full reviews every week anymore because of my new job, I’m considering a monthly post talking about my two favourite comics of the month in greater detail instead. If you like the idea, please say so in the comments.

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Star Wars Movies 4: Return of the Ewok

Believe it or not, even in the realm of the extremely popular Star Wars franchise, there are things that hardly anyone knows about. These include the 24-minute mockumentary short called Return of the Ewok, filmed during the making of Return of the Jedi. Return of the Ewok never received a proper release, although it’s been shown at a couple Star Wars conventions. The mockumentary short stars then 12-year-old Warwick Davis, who made his cinematic debut in Return of the Jedi as the ewok, Wicket.

The original 16mm print of Return of the Ewok is said to be lost, and for a while, the only known copy was a VHS copy belonging to Davis himself. In 1999, he loaned his copy to Lucasfilm so they could make their own copy. Davis publically screened the film for the first time that same year at the very first Star Wars Celebration, and it was also shown in both 2002 and 2005 (basically, the three years that the Prequel films released). All three showings also included a question and answer session with Davis.

Also because it’s so obscure, there aren’t really any pictures worth posting.

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Star Wars movies 3: The Empire Strikes Back

Like the original Star Wars, the background information on this movie is so well documented that it’s not worth talking about this movie’s creation. There are a number of well-made documentaries on the behind the scenes, written biographies about George Lucas, and so much interview footage that it’s ridiculous. So there’s really nothing more I can add. This movie’s also been discussed so much on a philosophical level that I’m not really smart enough to add anything of value.

The Empire Strikes Back is often considered not only the best Star Wars movie to date, but one of the greatest sequels of all-time, for any genre. It took a movie that, while good, is kind of silly fun, and made it a much more dramatic, much deeper and much more emotionally satisfying story. It introduces the movie world’s second most iconic musical theme (behind only the Star Wars main theme), the Imperial March, and it makes brilliant use of the theme throughout the film. The then young cast clearly gave more refined, nuanced performances. It’s got what may just be the most shocking reveal in the history of fiction, and despite that shocker’s cultural impact, it is possible to hide that shock reveal from kids and sometimes even adults. It’s also worth it to see this kind of reaction.

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Star Wars movies 2: The Star Wars Holiday Special

With the then surprising massive success that was 1977’s Star Wars, the general public and multiple entertainment businesses took note. Even 7 months after the movie’s release, Star Wars was still in the top 10 earners in theaters. Good luck seeing that happen these days. 20th Century Fox had already announced the next movie in the works (then known as Star Wars 2). In fact thanks to several Star Wars themed skits and variety segments from shows like Donny and Marie and The Richard Pryor Show, ticket sales were even boosted at the end of 1977. Additionally, Lucasfilm came under pressure from various licensees with ideas for products.

One of their licensees, CBS, suggested a full-length variety special. George Lucas became convinced that a special could sustain interest in the series while he worked on The Empire Strikes Back, planned for a 1980 release. So he not only greenlit the project, but he even gave them a few ideas to work with. He actually came up with the idea of Chewbacca celebrating a holiday with his wife, child and potentially his father.

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