|Star Wars: Ewoks|
|No. of episodes||
approx. 15–30 min. per episode
- "For two years, we had three series, Droids, Ewoks and the second season of Ewoks, that were really superior efforts as far as what's out there on television. Each one of the Ewoks episodes had the quality in artwork that went into it, and production values that you usually only see when you have a primetime special. And it was a very good effort from everybody. I'm sorry we won't be back, but we're looking ahead—onward and upward."
- ―Ewoks story editor Paul Dini in 1988
Star Wars: Ewoks is an animated television series set in the Star Wars galaxy. It focuses on the Ewok characters introduced in Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi. Produced by Nelvana on behalf of Lucasfilm, Ewoks was broadcast on ABC from 1985 to 1986. The first season was advertised as simply Ewoks, and was aired as part of the Ewoks and Droids Adventure Hour. The second season was advertised as The All New Ewoks.
Ewoks focuses on the adventures of Wicket W. Warrick and his friends on the forest moon of Endor shortly (3.5 ABY) before the Battle of Endor, and thus before Return of the Jedi. The primary recurring villains are Morag the Tulgah Witch who had a personal grudge against the tribe's shaman, Master Logray, and the Duloks, a rival species that is related to the Ewoks.
With Droids and Ewoks, executive producer George Lucas hoped to raise the standards for Saturday morning animation; he wanted the animation and voice acting to be better than the average shows of the time. Pre-production began in May of 1984. During this time Lucas met with the two series' producers, directors and writers, who collaborated on story ideas. The stories were often inspired by The Lord of the Rings, Pogo and the Uncle Scrooge stories. Lucas layed out his basic ideas for the series, but wasn't involved with day-to-day matters. As the episodes were being worked on, rough cuts were screened for him. The series were under strict broadcast standards, and there were limitations as to what could be shown or dealt with in the episodes. ABC reportedly rejected an episode concept that was to be called "The Starman" because it was "too Star Warsy".
The series had two different opening sequences, one for each season. The first season's opening featured a song by the American blues musician Taj Mahal, while the second season opening featured the Ewoks singing a song about their friendship.
Warwick Davis, the actor who portrayed Wicket in all of the character's live-action appearances, auditioned for the same role in the animated series, but was ultimately not given the role. James Cranna is the only actor who participated in both the Ewoks films and animated series; he voiced the Ewok Widdle Warrick in Caravan of Courage: An Ewok Adventure, and voiced Teebo in the second season of Ewoks.
In the mid 1990s, beginning in 1994, the US Sci-Fi Channel ran episodes of the series, along with those of its counterpart, Star Wars: Droids, on its "Cartoon Quest" and "Animation Station" blocks of programming.
Prior to the debut of the series, Joe Johnston wrote and illustrated an Ewok storybook titled The Adventures of Teebo, which formed the basis of the show. Among other things the book introduced the Duloks (who were originally much nastier than the bumbling Duloks in the TV series). In 1984, Random House began publishing a series of children's books with the subtitle "An Ewok Adventure", which were meant to tie in to both the series and the film it spun off from, Caravan of Courage: An Ewok Adventure.
In 1985, Kenner produced a toy line based on the series, including action figures, ship models, and other items. In 1986, Star Comics, an imprint of Marvel Comics published a bi-monthly Ewoks comic, which was based on the animated series. The comic ran for two years, ending with issue #14. Like the TV series, this was aimed towards a younger audience. It was produced along with the Droids comic, which was based on the Droids animated series. Issue #10 of Marvel Ewoks was a cross-over with Star Wars Droids 4: Lost in Time.
An Ewoks LP record, associated with the Ewoks cartoon series and featuring music from the show, was released in France by AB Productions. It can be seen here at the official Star Wars website. It is unrelated to the Ewoks soundtrack released to promote Caravan of Courage and The Battle For Endor.
The series received its first home video release in 1990 when J2 Communications released The Star Wars Trilogy Animated Collection. The collection consisted of three VHS tapes; one tape contained one episode, while the other two tapes contained two episodes each—with one of those repeating the episode from the single-episode tape. Each tape began with a Star Wars Animated Classics trailer promoting the "Special Double Length Edition" volumes. However, for the single volume tapes, the white box covers were shown, but differing content was advertised. CBS/Fox Video also released the complete series on Region 2 VHS in the UK.
On June 26, 2002, prequel trilogy producer Rick McCallum responded to a question about a complete DVD release on StarWars.com's now defunct "Ask the Jedi Council" feature, in which he said "I hope so. Definitely. At some point after we're finished with Episode III, we'd really like to make all of that material available to our fans on DVD. Unfortunately, we won't be even thinking of making any firm plans until we're finished with this trilogy." However, in 2005, at McCallum's Celebration III "Spectacular", he and Lucasfilm's Vice President of marketing Jim Ward dodged questions about a complete DVD release of the series.
The Ewoks in this series speak exclusively Basic rather than Ewokese. In a series aimed at a younger audience, the practical reason for this break from canon is obvious, but no in-universe explanation has been provided. It does not appear that Ewok dialogue is translated from Ewokese for viewers: the episode "Battle for the Sunstar" shows Ewoks communicating with Doctor Raygar and Imperial droids without a translator.
In Star Wars: Rebel Assault II: The Hidden Empire, pressing Alt-v and then typing "ovres" will turn on theatre mode, where R2-D2, Darth Vader and C-3PO watch the cutscenes and comment MST3K-style. At one point, they imitate Rookie One, saying "Let's see what's on the telly. It's the Ewoks/Droids cartoon hour! I loved that show! Especially that episode where R2 joined that cult.... and began talking like a hippie..."
The novel Outcast contains a reference to the show: Ben Skywalker takes a deep breath of Dorin's helium-rich atmosphere and sings, his voice "as high and ridiculous as that of an animated Ewok in a children's broadcast".
|Season||Episodes||First airdate||Last airdate|
|One||13||September 7, 1985||November 30, 1985|
|Two||22||September 13, 1986||December 13, 1986|
Notes and referencesEdit
- ↑ Tasty Taste (Apr 20, 2006 11:42 AM). Books, Comics, & Television VIPs. StarWars.com Message Boards. Archived from the original on November 25, 2010. Retrieved on February 24, 2013.
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 "A Star Wars CELibration"—Star Wars Insider 27
- ↑ Star Wars Insider 31
- ↑ A history of home video releases of Star Wars: Ewoks - Rebelscum.com
- ↑ http://www.starwarz.com/tbone/index.php?categoryid=20&p2_articleid=121&p2_page=2
- ↑ http://www.comingsoon.net/news.php?id=9297
- ↑ "CVI: The StarWars.com And Beyond Panel" - TheForce.Net
- ↑ "GameScape"—Star Wars Insider 62
- ↑ Outcast, Chapter Twenty-nine
- ↑ 14.00 14.01 14.02 14.03 14.04 14.05 14.06 14.07 14.08 14.09 14.10 14.11 14.12 14.13 14.14 14.15 14.16 14.17 14.18 14.19 14.20 14.21 14.22 14.23 14.24 14.25 14.26 14.27 14.28 14.29 14.30 14.31 14.32 Erickson, Hal. Television Cartoon Shows: An Illustrated Encyclopedia, 1949–2003. 2nd ed. Vol. I: The Shows A–L. 2 vols. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Co., Inc., Publishers, 2005, p. 306
- ↑ 15.00 15.01 15.02 15.03 15.04 15.05 15.06 15.07 15.08 15.09 15.10 Erickson, Hal. Television Cartoon Shows: An Illustrated Encyclopedia, 1949–2003. 2nd ed. Vol. I: The Shows A–L. 2 vols. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Co., Inc., Publishers, 2005, p. 307
- Star Wars: Ewoks at the Big Cartoon DataBase
- "Ewoks Episode Guide" At TV Tome
- Fox Home Entertainment's Star Wars: Ewoks site - at the Internet Archive
- Ewoks Layouts and Posing - Original artwork by a Brian Lemay, a crewmember of the show