Return of the Ewok is a 24-minute mockumentary starring Warwick Davis, the actor who played the Ewok Wicket W. Warrick in Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi and the Ewok spin-off films. It was created by Davis and David Tomblin, Return of the Jedi's first assistant director. Tomblin directed. Lucasfilm Ltd. planned to use the movie as a promotional film for Return of the Jedi, but post-production on the film was never completed.
The film is set in both the "real world" and the fictional locations of the Star Wars universe. Real-world locations include an airport, Elstree Studios and the actors' dressing rooms, while the fictional locations include Dagobah, the Death Star II, Jabba's Palace, and the forest Moon of Endor. Throughout the film, these two realities are intermixed to produce an alternate reality.
- "There comes a time in every man's life when he must go out into the world to seek his fame and fortune."
- ―Warwick Davis
Return of the Ewok focuses on the fictional account of Davis's decision to become an actor and act as Wicket in Return of the Jedi. It also follows his transformation into Wicket. The film was shot on Tomblin's own 16mm camera and created during production of Return of the Jedi. As Warwick and as Wicket, he visits and interacts with many of the cast and crew of the movie and then characters of the movie. As Warwick, he goes to Elstree Studios where he interacts with the cast, both in and out of character. At one point, he even interacts with Luke Skywalker as he jumps out of a movie screen. As Wicket, he goes to Dagobah to see Yoda, and the Death Star he sees Darth Vader, and is chased by Boba Fett.
Return of the Ewok was conceived by David Tomblin and funded by George Lucas. According to Warwick Davis, "[Tomblin] kept thinking of it in the night, he used to jump up and write little bits. Eventually, he ended up with this whole story, and we made this little film." Tomblin told Starlog magazine: "At lunch times, I would rush around and try and shoot pieces for it." 
The original 16 mm print of Return of the Ewok is said to be lost; for years, Warwick Davis's VHS dub was the only known copy. In 1999, he loaned this copy to Lucasfilm so that they could make their own copy. Davis first publicly screened the film that same year at the first Star Wars Celebration. This was followed by screenings at both Celebration II in 2002, and Celebration III in 2005. In 2005, the film won the Pioneer Award in the Lucasfilm-sponsored Official Star Wars Fan Film Awards. The first UK screening of the film was at the National Space Centre in Leicester for the Star Wars day convention on November 12, 2005; it was presented by Davis, and included a question-and-answer session with Davis.
The 2004 DVD release of the original trilogy included a bonus disc that contained an easter egg of bloopers from the films, which included a high-quality clip from Return of the Ewok of Wicket being chased by Boba Fett on the Death Star. In April 2005, approximately four minutes of the film was made available on the official Star Wars website for members of the Hyperspace fan club. This copy showed minimal cleanup, and the soundtrack has been altered in several places. Whereas the original film used Supertramp's "Take The Long Way Home," the online version substituted incidental music. Dialogue was also changed; in one example, Wicket's cry of "Crikey, it's Lord Vader!" near the end of the film was been excised.
The best known quality bootleg of the entire film is a fan preservation project created in May 2005, a collaboration between Garrett Gilchrist of California and SKot Kirkwood of Texas. Their DVD version combines footage taken from the clip on StarWars.com, combined with a camcorder recording of the movie from one of its public showings, as well as clips culled from other sources, such as a brief excerpt shown on VH1. Gilchrist digitally cleaned up portions of the video and audio, then combined and edited the footage from different sources to reconstruct the film. At 25 minutes, this version is slightly longer than the original, with Gilchrist adding his own opening and ending credits.
- The Making of Star Wars: Return of the Jedi
- "Wicket Unleashed"—Star Wars Insider 31
- "Return of the Ewok"—Star Wars Insider 46
- "Skywalking"—Star Wars Insider 87
- "Warwick Davis Presents: A Star Wars Acting Master Class"—Star Wars Insider 143
Notes and referencesEdit
- Entry - At the BFI Film and Television database