Saturday, December 8, 2012

Ewok To Remember

Since I got the ball rolling in my last entry, I have decided to keep it rolling by dedicating the whole month of December to writing about my favourite posse from the Star Wars Universe, the Ewoks. As you may have guessed, Wicket didn’t remain the only ewok on my toy shelf for long. Since their debut in ROTJ, and after two straight-to-television ewok movies and a cartoon, quite a number of other ewoks not named wicket have been introduced and “immortalized” in toy form. And towards the later part of 2012, as I have rekindled my love for these little furry dudes, I have tracked down & purchased as many “modern sculpted” ewoks as I could find to add to my ever growing collection.

YES! Even I have an action figure
and you can read all about me here...
One thing the Star Wars universe is famous (or notorious for) is that almost EVERY character that appeared in the movies has been given an action figure at some point. And if that wasn’t enough, almost all of these characters also have some form of “officially approved” backstory that you can find online. Seriously, go to any crowd scene in any of the movies like the canteena scene in a New Hope or Jabba’s Palace in Return of The Jedi. I’m pretty sure that every single human, alien or droid you can spot; regardless of screen time has some sort of detailed write up that can be looked up in Wookiepedia (not a typo, they actually have their own wiki!). And when I say detailed I mean the characters origin, what they were doing before their movie appearance and what happened to them after the movies (that is if the managed to survive the movies).

Can you name us all?
Anyway, the ewoks are no exception to this. Look up “ewok” and you will find quite a number of “notable” ewoks with interesting stories & backgrounds. And so thanks to Wookiepedia, I’d like to tell you about some “Ewoks to remember” in my collection:

Chief Chirpa
Claim to Fame: His name says it all; he was the boss, the leader of the ewoks. I don’t really remember him doing much in the movies other than sitting on his crude throne and listening to his ewok advisors. Since he was the chief I guess you could say he approved the whole alliance between the ewoks and the rebels so that’s a major accomplishment.

What you May not Know: After the whole Battle of Endor, Chief Chirpa remained chief of his village until he died (of old age?). His daughter Kneesa, who was introduced as partner for Wicket in the cartoon took over a co-chief of the tribe along with Wicket of course.

I'm telling you! Those rebels WILL taste good! 
Claim to Fame: He was the head shaman or medicine man of the tribe and a trusted advisor to Chief Chirpa.

What you May not Know: Apparently, although initially respected, he started dabbling in dark magic (apparently, he was the one who suggested to Chief Chirpa that they roast and eat Luke & company) and was exiled from the village. And just like Voldermort, his name was never to be spoken of again.

This spear tip's got your name on it....
Claim to Fame: This was my favourite ewok because he was one of the few ewoks who DIDN’T look cuddly…in fact he actually looked like he could kill you with his spear. Plus unlike most ewoks who sported cloth hoods, he had some dead animal's head on his top. He was one of the more aggressive ewoks towards the rebels, however when the rebels turned out to be friends, he was the one who cut loose R2D2 from his bindings and unfortunately got his ass burned for his troubles.

What you May not Know: Apparently he might have been Force Sensitive….

Claim to Fame: This ewok played an integral role of distracting the biker scouts by stealing one of their speeder bikes and rocketing out of control through the Endor forests with the biker scouts in hot pursuit. Luckily he survived that little stunt as well as the battle of Endor.

What you May not Know: After Logray was exiled, Paploo took over as medicine man of the village.

Willy & Wunka
Willy & Wunka (get it?)
Claim to Fame: These guys along with Chewbacca should be recognized as the true heroes of the battle for Endor. They were the ones who in the later part of the battle, managed to hijack an AT-ST walker that basically turned the tide of the battle in favour of the rebels.

What you May not Know: Willy, the brown one with the white cheeks is actually the older brother of Wicket. They have an even older brother, Weechee as well as a younger sister Winda. Wunka on the other hand also has a brother, Tokkat. After the Battle of Endor the brothers Tokkat & Wunka left Endor to become gunners on the Imperial I-class Star Destroyer Liberator….not bad for 2 little ewoks!

and Tokkat
Claim to Fame: He was one of the ewoks who took to the skies during the battle of endor on an ewok glider.

What you May not Know: He ROKS! Well, there really isn’t anything more to say about his guy…well he dropped rocks on stormtroopers… DOES this thing work?
Claim to Fame: At one point in the movie you see an ewok jumping up with an imperial blaster in hand…that was Flitchee

What you May not Know: After he the battle of Endor, while curiously trying to figure out where the lasers actually came out of, Flitchee unfortunately blew off his head…..just kidding!

Claim to Fame: He actually would have remained one of the many nameless ewoks in ROTJ had it not been for one crucial scene. Towards the end of the battle when the Empire started gaining the advantage, two ewoks were running away from enemy fire when they are rocked by a huge explosion. When the smoke clears you see one ewok still alive while the other is dead. Romba is the ewok who survives and the scene of him frantically trying to revive his dead friend is one of the few heart wrenching scenes from ROTJ many little kids will never forget.

What you May not Know: The ewok suit of Romba was re-used for Wicket’s older brother Weechee in the 2 succeeding Ewok TV films.

Claim to Fame: This was the other ewok in that sad scene I just mentioned above. Unfortunately Nanta’s only claim to fame was that he was the ewok who died. Yeah I'm pretty sure a lot of ewoks died in the Battle of Endor, but to my knowledge his was the only ewok death shown on-screen.

What you May not Know: For the longest time, the “ewok that died” remained unidentified and was basically referred to by fans as the ewok named “Corpsey”. Surprisingly though, Hasbro finally released an action figure of this dead ewok in 2012 with the proper name, Nanta, for those of you who would want to re-enact that scene.

Claim to Fame: Nothing actually, he was just one of the nameless ewoks that fought agianst the empire.  Although...he COULD have been that white ewok trying to single handedly bring down an AT-ST walker by pounding on its foot....

What you May not Know: What makes this dude really special though was that he was named after Noah, a 7 year old boy who was about to undergo a major surgery that would require months to recover. He lived near Hasbro’s headquarters and when they found out about his condition, they invited him to tour their Star Wars toys facilities. When they found out he was a fan of the ewoks they asked him to choose a couple of ewoks from a bunch of ROTJ screen caps for their next toy release. He chose Paploo & a white ewok. When Hasbro realized that the white ewok still didn’t have a name, they decided to name him after Noah….or at least an ‘ewok sounding’ version of his name, so…Nho’Apakk.

Claim to Fame: She never actually appeared in the movies but as i mentioned earlier, was created for the Ewok cartoon as a partner for Wicket.

What you May not Know: She was Chief Chirpa’s daughter, and took over as co-chieftain with Wicket when her father eventually died.

And that’s it for now I guess….there are a whole lot other ewoks out there but I know that not everyone shares my interest in these little guys so I’ll just leave it at that. Now with all these ewoks….I definitely needed someplace for them all to live…..