There aren’t many things in the Star Wars universe quite as divisive as the Ewoks in Return of the Jedi. Jar Jar Binks is more or less universally reviled, but those furry little buggers from Endor create conflicts that threaten to tear families apart. A lot of people who saw the original trilogy at a young age didn’t have an issue with them early on, but have grown increasingly irritated with them over the years. This video that has been making the rounds shows what that epic space battle at the end of Jedi would look like without constantly cutting away to the action back on the forest moon.
This HD video from Prometheus4vids is indeed rather awesome, but if you’re thinking to yourself that the action will be a little awkward and bumpy without any of the scenes from Endor, you’re definitely right. Not only are many of the jumps where there is originally a cutaway to Han, Leia, and the crew on the surface clunky and awkward with no transition, but there are big narrative leaps as well, like the force field is magically down for no real reason.
Granted, all of you have seen Return of the Jedi like a million times and this is going to be an easy hurdle to get over, but as great as an epic space battle is, this is definitely missing a key component.
It’s hard not to imagine the what-if possibilities of the original plan for this sequence. Instead of a bunch of cute, cuddly little teddy bears on Endor, the scene was supposed to take place on Kashyyyk, the home world of the Wookiees in the Middle Rim. Now that would have been badass, a bunch of hairy, seven-foot-tall warriors engaged in a brutal, Vietnam War style guerilla conflict with heavily armed Imperial forces. That makes a lot more sense, though it wouldn’t have sold nearly as many action figures.
I didn’t have a problem with the Ewoks when I first saw Jedi as a kid, and to be honest I still don’t hate them like many people, but as I’ve grown up, it has become more and more difficult to take them seriously as any kind of legitimate threat at all, I don’t care how many people say they’re fierce warriors. But they’re here to stay, and that scene of one playing a bunch of stormtrooper helmets like a set of bongos is admittedly pretty cool.
What do you think? Have you been waiting for the Ewoks to be excised from Return of the Jedi since 1983, or are you fine with their fuzzy little presence?