Ewoks: The Battle for Endor
What’s a quick fix for having some bad actors in the first Ewok movie, starring as the human family in need of help from the Ewoks, as well as a slow-paced plotline? Killing off most of the actors, apparently! Two birds, one stone because the Battle for Endor definitely starts with action.
As the movie starts, we see the happy family that had been reunited at the end of the previous Ewoks movie, Caravan of Courage. Their happy coexistence with the Ewoks is very quickly disrupted, though, as attackers come into the village, setting it on fire. The attackers, led by a monstrous looking character named Terak, take all the Ewoks hostage and kill the parents and brother of the human family, leaving only the little girl, Cindal. The odd part of the dad dying, besides the fact that the actor was switched from part one with the teacher from The Breakfast Club, is that he’s featured in the movie’s poster as if he’s the star. However, he’s in the movie for all of about five minutes. The villains, who look like they’d fit in easily as part of Jabba the Hutt’s crew, came to the village to steal the family’s ship’s power supply which they believe to be magical. Naturally, these monstrous creatures are accompanied by a regular looking human witch.
Wicket helps Cindal escape, and then the action screeches to a halt. The two find an old man named Noa living in the forest, played by Wilford Brimley. The movie spends a while getting Wicket and Cindal acclimated to Noa and his live-in, little furry critter named Teek. Noa also once crashed on Endor and has become a lonely curmudgeon.
The witch finds and kidnaps Cindal, delivering her to Terak in hopes Cindal can unlock the “power” within the ship’s power supply they stole. When Cindal doesn’t know how to release the power in any sort of mystical form, she and the witch are locked away with the rest of the Ewoks.
Noa, Teek, and Wicket journey to Terak’s castle to save the day. They help “all” the Ewoks escape, which isn’t very many comparatively speaking to the ones shown in Return of the Jedi. Terak goes in pursuit with his army. The confrontation that ensues is reminiscent of the battle in Return of the Jedi as the Ewoks attack with spears, arrows, and traps. The climactic scene has Noa versus Terak in a duel. Noa has a walking stick, Terak a sword. Luckily Wicket throws a rock that hits the witch’s ring which Terak previously took from the witch. The power from within the broken ring kills Terak. Noa then uses the power supply, stolen back from Terak, to fix his own ship and flies away at the end with Cindal as all say a sad farewell to the Ewoks.
The weird thing about Wicket’s character development through the two Ewok movies is that, living with Cindal’s family, he’s learned to speak English fairly well. Supposedly, this movie is set just prior to Return of the Jedi. Why, then, would he have forgotten all of his English before his encounter with Leia?
The other element of Battle for Endor that is incongruous with the Star Wars franchise as a whole is that the movie leans heavily on sword and sorcery style fantasy rather than sci-fi. Other than the use of the Force, Star Wars has no mysticism and magic. Yet, this movie is filled with fantasy movie tropes. Both Ewok movies are. The feel of these movies is more similar, at times, to George Lucas’ Willow rather than Star Wars.
Sure, this movie is still plaqued with some bad acting and silly plot lines, but all in all, it wasn’t bad. As far as the two Ewok made for TV movies go, this one was much darker and more action-filled than the first, making it more watchable for all ages instead of just young children. Aside from its fantasy elements, this Ewoks installment is more like a true entry of the Star Wars saga.
Ewoks: The Battle for Endor – A Much Darker Ewok Movie
Writing - 7/107/10
Storyline - 7/107/10
Acting - 7/107/10
Music - 8/108/10
Production - 7.5/107.5/10
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