Watch 11-Year-Old Warwick Davis In The Rare Star Wars Short, Return Of The Ewok
I may not be one of the foremost authorities on the subject of Star Wars, but I like to think I’m pretty knowledgeable. I grew up wearing out multiple VHS copies of the original trilogy. I befriended the kid across the street solely because his parents had bought him the AT-AT toy. I remember watching the bizarre early offshoots of the franchise, from the Droids comics to the live-action Ewoks movies to the infamous Star Wars Holiday Special. But I’ve never even heard of Return of the Ewok.
After stumbling onto clips on YouTube and doing a little judicious research, here’s the skinny as I’ve learned it: Apparently back in 1982 Return of the Jedi first assistant director David Tomblin produced a short mockumentary entitled, well, Return of the Ewok. The short stars 11-year-old Warwick Davis playing himself in a fictionalized account of how he was cast to play the Ewok Wicket in Jedi. That’s right: Tomblin and Davis beat HBO’s Life’s Too Short to the concept by a good three decades.
The flick was recorded during the making of Return of the Jedi and features appearances by Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, Carie Fisher, and more, winding between the real world where they’re making a movie and the fictional world of the movie they’re making. It’s kind of trippy, man.
The original 16mm print of Return of the Ewok has been lost, but bootleg copies have leaked out over the years, and at least one recording has made it to YouTube. It appears to have been surreptitiously recorded during a screening at a convention, so the sound and video quality is pretty bad. Still, it’s a fascinating chance to see a bit of Star Wars history I didn’t even know existed.