Star Wars: Ewoks & The Battle for Endor

Jim and Ken Wheat wrote and directed Ewoks: The Battle for Endor, a 1985 made-for-TV film based on a George Lucas novella. It follows Cindel, a little girl who teams up with her companions Noa, Wicket, and the other Ewoks to fight a band of Marauders. The film is a sequel to Caravan of Courage: An Ewok Adventure, which was released in 1984.

Airing

On November 24, 1985, ABC aired the picture as a holiday television special. Due to the violent nature of the picture and the upsetting theme of Cindel’s family’s death, it was accompanied by a “parent’s discretion” warning. The final photo was used as a still image during the end credits (whereas all home video releases have the end credits rolling after the final scene, over a traditional black background).

In 1991, the picture was broadcast on the Disney Channel. The moment when Terak pops out of Noa’s bed when Cindel has a nightmare about the Marauders coming into Noa’s house to get her was removed in a version for television when Cindel has a nightmare about the Marauders coming into Noa’s house to get her. She wakes up after the men break-in in this television adaptation. 

Two scenes were cut from a home video release: as Wicket is chased by Terak’s men, he rushes to Noa’s house only to be told by Noa that their only hope is the star cruiser; in another scene, Terak’s men burn down Noa’s house. Cindel’s statement appears on the DVD release “Do something, Wicket! Do something!” instead of “Do something, Wicket! Use your sling! You hit the ring!”

Home video

MGM distributed the picture on VHS and Laserdisc in 1990. The film was released on DVD on November 23, 2004, by Lucasfilm and 20th Century Fox. The film is presented on DVD in its original 1.33:1 aspect ratio, with English subtitles and a Dolby Digital 2.0 English audio track. Star Wars: Ewok Adventures was promoted as a “double feature” featuring Caravan of Courage and The Battle for Endor. 

The CD is split into two halves, with one film on each side. Eric Walker was dissatisfied with the lack of extras on the DVD. The movie, along with Caravan of Courage, was announced on Disney’s fan club website D23.com on March 16, 2021, and will be available on Disney+ starting April 2. 

How The Battle for Endor was Received

George Lucas informed Starlog in late 1985 that further Ewok films were in the works, and both Warwick Davis and Eric Walker thought a third was on the way. “We created two, and were going to do a third,” Lucas later recounted, “but they were quite expensive to make.”

Ewoks: The Battle for Endor was described by Lucas biographer John Baxter as “a dry run for Willow.” In a 2001 StarWars.com poll, fans chose this film as their favorite of the two Ewok films. In 2009, StarWars.com published a series of articles commemorating the 25th anniversary of the Ewok films, exploring various aspects of each.

The performers of “Star Wars in 30 Minutes” did a spoof called “Lucasfilm in Five Minutes 1983-2005” during the Celebration IV opening ceremonies, in which they re-enacted segments or copied elements from all significant Lucasfilm productions from 1983 to 2005. In the act, both Ewok films were included. Noa Briqualon and Teek were ranked #7 on Bonnie Burton’s list of “10 Unlikely Unleashed Figures,” however she thought Teek would make a better figure than Noa.

Progression

The Holocron continuity database classed the film as C-canon. Following the Disney takeover in 2012, Lucasfilm’s canon system was extensively restructured in preparation for the Star Wars sequel trilogy. Only the six episodic films, The Clone Wars TV series and everything after that were to be considered canon as of April 25, 2014. There has been some debate about the story’s location in the canon; according to a timeline published in Star Wars Insider, the Ewok flicks take place just before Return of the Jedi.

Despite the fact that the films make considerable use of Ewokese, Ben Burtt’s language for the Ewoks, Wicket appears to learn Basic in The Battle for Endor as a result of his friendship with Cindel. Because Wicket is depicted in Return of the Jedi not understanding Leia Organa’s Basic, this would appear to be a continuity error. According to StarWars.com, Cindel and her family speak a language other than Basic, which was translated into Basic (English) for the sake of the viewing audience. 

Darth Caedus goes to check on his daughter Allana in a secret compartment of the Anakin Solo on page 155 of the novel Legacy of the Force: Fury, and finds her asleep while an “entertainment broadcast in which Ewoks spoke Basic and comforted stranded little girls” plays on a viewscreen. [29] Terak’s castle has an Abyssin ornament that was seen in Jabba’s Palace in Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi as an alarm bell holder.

Marketing

Random House published The Ring, the Witch, and the Crystal: An Ewok Adventure: An Ewok Adventure, a children’s book adaptation of the film, in 1986, and Buena Vista Records released Ewoks: The Battle for Endor, a book-and-record that fills in some of the story’s gaps and contains different dialogue than the film. Ewoks, the film’s soundtrack, was released in 1986. The Battle for Endor’s music was composed by Peter Bernstein, who had previously composed the music for Caravan of Courage. 

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