After the original Star Wars trilogy concluded, the saga continued with two TV movies released over the course of two years that, while often overlooked now, remain fascinating installments in the overall franchise. Decades after they originally aired, it’s time to talk about The Ewok Adventures.
In 1983, Star Wars seemingly ended its story with Return of the Jedi, the third film in the original trilogy, which saw the defeat of Darth Vader and the Emperor, and the triumph of the Rebel Alliance. Though George Lucas’ prequel films wouldn’t actually come along for more than a decade, he still wanted to continue telling Star Wars stories in some form. This started with Ewoks, the furry creatures from Return of the Jedi, and what was initially going to be an Ewok Holiday Special for TV. As discussions about the Ewok story went on, the story expanded to feature length, and the name was changed from a holiday theme to The Ewok Adventure, in order to avoid associations with the infamous Star Wars Holiday Special from 1978. Eventually known as Caravan of Courage: An Ewok Adventure, the first film was shot in the California Redwood forests near Skywalker Ranch, and premiered on ABC in November of 1984.
At the time the first Ewok Adventure was conceived, the creatures were only known for their appearance in Return of the Jedi, and Lucas and company wanted to keep the story standalone. As a result, the first film contains very few of the hallmarks we associate with Star Wars. The Ewoks themselves, and their forest moon home on Endor, are just as we remember them. Aside from that, there’s not much to make the film look like Star Wars. The character Mace Towani wears an orange flight suit and carries a blaster, and there’s one starcruiser, but that’s about it.
This sense of separation from the main Star Wars saga begs the question of when exactly the films are set, and there was initially a little bit of disagreement on that front. In an interview with Empire, star Eric Walker recalled that the original plan was to set the films decades after Return of the Jedi, completely separate from the main saga. Later, though, Lucasfilm placed the two Ewok Adventures on the timeline between the events of The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, which means the Ewok Wicket and his friends were dealing with humans well before Princess Leia showed up.
Watch the full video to hear the rest of The Ewok Adventures finally explained.
Origins | 0:16
The Timeline | 1:06
A Quest Begins | 2:05
A Monster Battle | 3:06
Sequel Success | 3:49
An Orphan Looks For Help | 4:20
The Ewoks vs Another Army | 5:16
Strange Implications | 6:12
Ewok Magic | 6:56
Danger on Endor | 8:06
Are The Canonical? | 9:03
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