Star Wars: Ewoks was among the first Star Wars cartoon series along with Star Wars: Droids. Produced by Nelvana, Ewoks was introduced when the frenzy around Star Wars was starting to fade. It ran for two seasons and celebrates its 30th anniversary this year. In this article we’ll introduce you to the heroes and villains of the Ewoks cartoon.
Star Wars: Ewoks consists of 35 episodes, but most of the episodes in the second season are just about 10 minutes long. Both seasons had a different opening tune and the first season aired in the Ewoks and Droids Adventure Hour. The adventures of Ewoks take place before A New Hope and the two Ewok television movies. The cartoon may have become part of Legends, but most stories always had to be taken with a large grain of salt.
The heroes from the cartoon series were the same Ewoks that joined the battle against the Empire in Return of the Jedi. The main protagonist was Wicket Wystri Warrick, a young Ewok who dreamed of becoming a warrior. Wicket was the son of Deej and Shodu and had two older brothers (Weechee and Widdle) and a baby sister (Winda). Although very brave, smart, and inventive, Wicket often seemed to fall in a lot of trouble, and with the help of his friends succeeded in rectifying the problems he got himself (or the other Ewoks) into. One of these adventures involved using a long lost weapon devised by his great-grandfather, Erpham Warrick. This Ewok battle wagon accidentally fell into the hands of King Gorneesh’s tribe of Duloks, and Wicket destroyed it so it could never harm anybody again. Wicket started the show wearing his brown hood, but in the second season he sported a green one with his precious belt of honor.
Kneesaa a Jari Kintaka was the youngest daughter of Chief Chirpa and Wicket’s dearest friend. Raised by her father as an Ewok princess, Kneesaa was a bit more mature than her fellow friends, serving as a unique voice of reason and never hesitating to get them out of trouble. One adventure eventually reunited her with her elder sister Asha, who disappeared many years ago after their mother Ra-Lee was killed by a hanadak. Wicket deeply cared for Kneesaa and they would eventually marry and become the leaders of the tribe.
Teebo was a close friend of Wicket and shared a lot of his adventures. He was the son of Warok and Batcheela and the older brother of Malani. While Teebo was clumsy and irresponsible sometimes, his affinity for magic allowed him to become the apprentice of Logray, the Ewok shaman. His magic rarely had the desired effect, but it was able to save the day on more than one occasion. Teebo would later become an Ewok warrior as well. The character looked a lot different than he was portrayed in Return of the Jedi and seemed to resemble Paploo.
Latara was the daughter of Lumat and Zephee and the older sister of the Woklings Nippet and Wiley. She was considered beautiful by Ewok standards and always dressed in the latest fashion. In addition to caring about her appearance, Latara was a hoodmaker apprentice that wanted to be respected by other Ewoks. Her stubbornness and greediness sometimes got her into trouble, like when she decided to join the traveling Jindas or when she disappointed the underwater monarch, King Elbo. Latara would often — sometimes begrudgingly — take part in adventures with her friend Kneesaa and the boys. She knew that Teebo was in love with her, and though she rarely showed her feelings for him she liked him despite the fact he was a lurdo.
Next to our four main heroes, there are other prominent Ewoks who appeared regularly on the show. Chirpa was the leader of the tribe and the father of Kneesaa. He was a firm chief who respected the courage of Wicket and his friends. Strangely enough, his fur changed from gray to brown in the second season.
Logray was the wise Ewok shaman and wizard. As a young warrior, he had been taken captive by Morag, an evil witch. By serving her, Logray learned her magic secrets and became a powerful wizard aided by the properties of the Sunstar, a magical artifact. Logray allowed Teebo to become his new apprentice after his former pupil turned evil. Logray looks completely different from the way he was portrayed in Return of the Jedi.
Paploo is also portrayed differently from the film, looking much bigger despite the fact that he’s a younger Ewok. He was one of the fiercest warriors of the tribe and had some adventures in the company of Wicket during the first season.
Malani was Teebo’s wokling sister who had a crush on Wicket. Once she tried to become an Ewok warrior because she thought this would generate Wicket’s interest in her.
Baga was the Bordok pet of Kneesaa. He started out with blueish fur, which eventually turned brown in the second season. One time Kneesaa preferred the company of another creature, the beautiful Silky. However, Silky ended up being a shape-shifting Quarf working for Jadru, a feline enchantress. After they were defeated, Kneesaa knew she had been wrong and apologized to Baga.
A lot of danger that threatened the Ewoks revolved around the power of the magical object known as the Sunstar/Shadowstone. One of the most dangerous adversaries the Ewoks ever faced was Morag, the evil Tulgah witch who resided in Mount Thunderstorm, a dormant volcano. When she learned that the Ewoks possessed the Sunstar/Shadowstone, she managed to steal it from the village. But Logray, who had been taken captive by Morag as a servant, learned her magic spells and was able to split the artifact in two — Logray got the Sunstar and Morag received the Shadowstone. Morag continuously tried to destroy the Ewoks and steal the Sunstar. Right before she perished, she succeeded in combining the power of the stones once again. This power totally corrupted Morag and she transformed into a lava monster that was defeated by Logray. In the end, the Ewoks retrieved the Sunstar/Shadowstone, though they would continue to call it the Sunstar.
As soon as other evil entities on Endor learned about the Sunstar’s power, they confronted the Ewoks to obtain it. Creatures with magical abilities such as the Stranger (a Nightspirit Wizard), Jadru, and Odra (the Duchess of Sleet) tried to do this, but all failed in their efforts. When Zarrak was Logray’s apprentice, he tried to steal the Sunstar and was banished by Chirpa from the village. Years later, the corrupted Zarrak tried to lure Teebo to the dark side, but he himself fell into the Realm of the Spirits, some kind of dark dimension. One time the Ewoks thought they’d truly lost the Sunstar when the evil Imperial scientist, Doctor Raygar, traveled to Endor aboard the Star Destroyer of Admiral Kazz. The Argazdan desired the Sunstar above all else and attacked the Ewok village to steal the stone. In the end, Wicket and his friends were able to recapture the Sunstar with the help of a little droid named PD-28.
Another enemy of the Ewoks were the Duloks, a primitive, superstitious, and brutal species that lived in the swamp regions of Endor. They were distant relatives of the Ewoks covered in green or brown fur and their tribes were led by a king. The tribe of King Gorneesh and his wife, Lady Urgah, regularly tried to make life miserable for the Ewoks whom they hated for living under better conditions in the forests of Endor. A lot of their plans to harass the Ewoks were devised by accident or came about when they formed an alliance with more powerful beings such as Morag. Other prominent members of this Dulok tribe included Murgoob (an ancient oracle) and Umwak, the tribe’s shaman.
The Totem Master was an evil robber who enslaved beings using a magic ring. An enchanted totem pole would come alive at the village of his victims to enable his slaves to perform the robbery. After the Totem Master robbed Bright Tree Village, Latara and Teebo fell victim to his enchantments, but Wicket and Kneesaa were able to break his spells. A beam from the Totem Master’s ring was eventually reflected by Wicket, turning the villain into a totem pole himself and shattering his ring into many pieces.
The Raich was a voracious being that was defeated by the Ewoks. Wicket accidentally awoke it and it took all the creatures from the forest captive to satisfy his appetite. A magical cap had to be remade and placed onto the monster’s head in order to transform it into a tree-like structure. Though Wicket awakened the Raich, he and his friends made sure to undo the evil he had caused.
The Phlogs were giant humanoids whose ancestors were likely slaves that crashed down on Endor in a starship. Because of their size, they were a danger to nearly every resident on the planet, but Logray said that the Phlogs were usually calm and peaceful when they weren’t disturbed. However, when Morag and the Duloks kidnapped an infant the Phlogs called Nahkee, his parents became very angry and attacked the Ewok village since Morag made it appear that the Ewoks were responsible. Wicket and his friends eventually rescued Nahkee and the Duloks were uncovered as the true kidnappers.
These are but a handful of the heroes and villains from Star Wars: Ewoks. Some are weird, spooky, clumsy, or even funny. The show offers a brighter view on the daily life on Endor that could be very dangerous indeed.
Selected Viewing & Reading: Star Wars Ewoks (1985 – 1986), The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia (2008).
Tim Veekhoven (Sompeetalay) from Belgium is president and co founder of TeeKay-421, the Belgian Star Wars fanclub. He has contributed to Star Wars Insider, Build the Millennium Falcon, and has created character names and back stories for What’s the Story? and Rogues Gallery.