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  1. #1
    Custom Title jon-el87's Avatar
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    Ewoks: The Battle for Endor (1985)

    The second of the two Ewok TV movies... and, frankly, the better one. Thought it was pretty ambitious for a TV movie, but the camera work reminded me that I was watching a TV movie.

    Most of the family from the first one is killed off, at the start... kind of making the first movie pointless. George Lucas had just watched Heidi (1937) with his daughter and took some inspiration from that. Of course, this isn't simply "Heidi in Space", it's more creative than that (they took inspiration from many sources). I actually found this, in ways, more creative than the sequel trilogy (with The Force Awakens feeling and looking like a weak remake of A New Hope). That's not to say that this film had the strongest of plots. The Marauders have by all account spent decades looking for Noa's ship (which appears to be parked maybe a few hours (at best) away from their castle). Instead, they find the recently crashed ship (a greater distance away) of Cindel's family. They want "the power" of the power cell... for what purpose? What's their endgame? No indicator that they have a spaceship of their own, that requires it. The title identifies this film as "the battle for Endor", but the events are not indicated to be a battle for the fate of this moon. It's a battle over a power cell for a spaceship. No indication that the power cell could serve another function (ex. powering a weapon of mass destruction or something).

    Like that we didn't see Mace (Cindel's brother, not Samuel L. Jackson) get killed. Cindel's life monitor only indicated that he was killed. Maybe Mace's was damaged and Cindel's simply couldn't receive a signal anymore. Opening for the possiblity that Mace is still alive, and could return for a third movie (that was apparently considered, but never happened, as these two proved expensive).

    Found the Marauders a bit odd. They have blasters, but think that a piece of a spaceship is a magical device. Their background isn't delved into. I assume (having to make the story up myself to try and explain things) that the Marauders hail from some who crashed on the forest moon a long time ago (and become more primitive over time). Though, that doesn't explain the witch Charal (a human, rather than a member of their species). Through a retcon, she is a Nightsister (making this the first appearance of one). She's not fleshed out much either, which is unfortunate as she represents a new type of force user (neither Jedi or Sith). She has no impact on the final battle. The film also marked the first appearance of the Blurrgs.

    After a while, I found myself considering the character of Teek something of a Chewbacca analogue (in relation to Noa). I like that he is a different species (neither Wookiee or Ewok). He doesn't feel like a Chewbacca clone, like how Noa doesn't feel like a Han or Luke clone. But their own characters. Nor does Terak feel like a clone of Palpatine (*cough* Snoke *cough*). He is something new in a Star Wars villain. And while Charal is a villain force user... she ISN'T "Darth Vader with boobs".

    Wicket is now able to speak more English. Apparently, this is supposed to take place six months before RotJ. Bit of a continuity error (of course, this film is no longer canon). Though, I suppose you could make the argument that Wicket wasn't fluent enough, that he had forgotten most of it within a few months (having no daily exposure to it anymore, with the departure of Cindel). Or that Cindel (her family) and Noa aren't speaking Basic, but a different language (presented as English, for our benefit).

    Apparently, Wilford Brimley didn't like working with the two guys hired to direct the film. As a result, his scenes were directed by Joe Johnston. Making parts of this film his first effort as a director.

    A strange thing, when I sat down to watch it on Disney+. You're shown a poster of the characters (the poster is available on IMDB):
    https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0089110.../rm2193434880/

    It shows several of the characters. In the middle (between Teek and Wicket) is a young adult man with a blaster. This character does not appear in the film. Considered and rejected the idea that it's supposed to be Cindel's father (why would you put a minor character, who gets killed in like the first few minutes, in a position on the poster that it looks like he'll be the hero of the story?). As the inspiration for Noa was the grandfather in Heidi, I don't see it being an early version of him. Of course, this poster also contains four flying ships. So it's not the best/most accurate representation of the film.
    Last edited by jon-el87; 06-19-2021 at 07:13 AM.

  2. #2
    Custom Title jon-el87's Avatar
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    Looking at Wookieepedia, Noa ended up on the forest moon of Endor around 26 years BBY (Before Battle of Yavin, i.e. before A New Hope). That means that he missed the Clone Wars, the end of the Republic and everything but the last six months (as this is supposedly set six months before RotJ) of the Empire era. Man, I wish that we could've seen his reaction to hearing about the past 30 years.

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