Monday, December 3, 2012

Something Wicket This Way Comes

Return of the Jedi usually doesn’t come out on top when it comes to people’s ranking of Star Wars movies. There would be a lot who would say that of the 3 original films, it is clearly the weakest. I for one would never rank it above The Empire Strikes Back, but against A New Hope, it’s really a toss-up for me.

at the very least...ROTJ gave us THIS
Return of the Jedi will always have a special place in my heart as it was the FIRST Star Wars film I actually saw in the theatre (I was too young to catch the first 2) and despite introducing us to bikini slave Leia, it definitely had its low points as well, Boba Fett going out like a chump near the beginning of the film for example. But there is one aspect of ROTJ that most haters point to as the film’s biggest downfall…the introduction of the ewoks.

are THESE the wookies you're looking for?
First of all, I get it, it does seem rather unrealistic that a bunch of short primitive furry creatures could defeat fully armed storm troopers, speeder bikes & AT-ST walkers. Supposedly, Lucas’ original plan was to have the final battle done against wookies, but more than that, he really wanted the battle to be precisely a battle between high tech & low tech with the low tech coming out on top (classic David & Goliath scenario). Unfortunately, as the films progressed, Chewbacca showcased that a wookie isn’t quite as “primitive” as one might think. (can YOU pilot a Millenium Falcon?), thus the need to create a new primitive race. Enter the ewoks.

If you really tried, you could come up with a number of logical reasons how the ewoks could realistically defeat the empire troops. I’ll give you 3 right off the bat, homecourt advantage (it was their forest), numbers & the element of surprise. And if that is not enough reason to convince you, here’s a detail that people tend to forget…the ewoks actually didn’t WIN. For a moment, the Empire did take back the advantage and had the ewoks on the run and the rebellion leaders held at AT-ST gunpoint…that is until it was revealed that the AT-ST was actually pirated by Chewie and a couple ewoks (Willie & Wunka in case you’re wondering). But had Chewie & co not done what they did, the ewoks really would have lost. 
Romba & his
Score one for the wookie! (and Willie & Winka too)

The original Wicket W. Warrick
Anyway, in case you’re still wondering, I don’t share the ewok dislike. I was 7 when I saw ROTJ and as many point out the perfect target audience for ewoks. I LOVED them! As I wrote in a previous article, the ewoks were the first ROTJ action figures I sought out. And naturally, Wicket was my favourite. Not just favourite ewok, but favourite action figures in my collection for quite some time! There was a time when I lived and breathed ewoks…..I walked around and talked like an ewok (yub nub! Weetchiwawa!) , I watched ROTJ over & over again just to see bikini slave le….i mean the ewoks! And I even enjoyed the 2 made for TV Ewok adventure movies that followed.

the NEW & Improved Wicket
with 2nd snazzy oufit!
So when I found out that Hasbro was finally making an updated version of Wicket I got really excited. And even though I tried really hard to resist the temptation of collecting Star Wars, I made an exception with this guy. I just HAD to have this new Wicket, especially since he has such an excellent sculpt, looking like he literally just stepped out of the movie screen. The moment I saw him in a store, I didn’t hesitate and scooped him up. And for the longest time, he stood proudly displayed next to my computer as the LONE ewok in my room.

Then one day, on one of my toy “hunts” I spotted the new updated Logray and I thought to myself, “hmmmm Wicket HAS been looking rather lonely by himself on my desk…”