I used to love Star Wars Animated Adventures: Ewoks as a child. As a young girl, how could I not have a special place in my heart for the Ewoks? They’re cuddly woodland bear people who play a significant role in the Rebels’ defeat of the Empire during Return of the Jedi. Using nothing more than sticks and rocks, the Ewoks manage to kill both a bunch of Stormtoopers that had superior technology and any viewer’s suspension of disbelief. By the war’s end, the Ewoks also become good friends with our Rebel heroes. Then, they all sit down together at a campfire to cannibalize the Stormtroopers who just died while happy music plays in the background. Of course I adored them.
So when I first encountered Ewoks back in the mid-90s, I fell in love almost immediately. Now, nearly twenty years later, I had forgotten that Ewoks existed. At least that was the case until I saw that Lady Geek Girl owned a copy of it on DVD. And well, much like Saika’s experience in revisiting A Troll in Central Park, I have discovered that some things from my childhood are really not as good as I remember them. There’s no nice way to put this: Ewoks is just bad.
In case you couldn’t tell from the title, Ewoks is about a bunch of Ewoks hanging out on the forest moon of Endor and doing things. Our incredibly bland story is divided into two parts—The Haunted Village and Tales From The Endor Woods—and though I only watched the former, I have no doubt that the latter is just as boring, generic, and tiresome. The Haunted Village has no clear beginning, middle, or ending. Things just happen whenever they happen. The story doesn’t even take the time to introduce us to the characters before jumping right into the main conflict.
Some evil witch-troll person hates the Ewoks—because she’s an evil witch-troll, and that’s what evil witch-troll people do—and sends a giant dragon to go destroy their berry trees, instead of, you know, just destroying the Ewoks directly. Without the berries, which have medicinal properties, many Ewoks might get sick and die. Thankfully, they have bars of magical soap that can turn their berry trees invisible so the dragon can’t find them. The Ewoks set out to hide their trees, but before they can succeed, the narrative decides to introduce another group of antagonists, because I guess a witch and a fucking dragon wasn’t enough.
Also living on the moon are the Duloks. And we can tell the Duloks are evil because they don’t bathe and are often surrounded by bugs.
The Duloks steal the soap because they want to be clean for once in their lives, and the Ewoks apparently keep all the soap on this Endor moon to themselves for some reason. However, when the Duloks realize this soap turns them invisible, they decide to go play some malicious pranks on the Ewoks to drive them from their home.
The Ewoks manage to get the soap back, besting the Duloks in the process, and finish hiding their berry trees just in time. Our evil witch-troll will not be foiled, though, and she sets out on another course of action to destroy the Ewoks. Seemingly unaware that she could probably just send the dragon to kill all the Ewoks—they only hid their berry trees, not their village—the witch sets out into the woods and captures a fire fairy queen, most likely with plans to burn the whole forest down. Again, because she’s seemingly unaware that she has a dragon that can do that for her. Or that she could just light a fire herself.
I’m also only assuming that she’s planning to burn the forest down, since the Ewoks tell us they’re in the middle of a drought moments beforehand and that things can easily catch on fire, but I don’t know for sure, since this is about the point I stopped watching. This was about twenty-five minutes into The Haunted Village, and I’m not sure how much more time was left on that part, but according to the back of the box, it and Tales From The Endor Woods are about three hours collectively. And that is three hours I’m not willing to give up.
Star Wars Animated Adventures: Ewoks is painful to watch. It has no redeeming qualities, and I would have been surprised that something this horrible was actually put to film if the Star Wars Holiday Special didn’t also exist.
Ewoks is made only worse by some pretty awful voice acting and the fact that it’s impossible to care about anything that’s happening. The characters are all unlikable cardboard cutouts, and one Ewok is no different from another. If I had to guess who the main character is, I would say it’s a young Ewok boy, but he has no wants, interests, or personal goals that you can relate to. And even though I just watched this series ten minutes before writing this, I can’t even remember his name. He could easily be replaced with any other Ewok and the story would lose nothing at all. Furthermore, I’m also not sure what the Star Wars universe at large even gains with Ewoks. Ewoks is about a bunch of characters completely removed from the rest of the universe at large, and so it’s that much harder to care about them. They impact nothing, and the story is simply more or less about a bunch of fuzzy bears doing things while magical fairies and dragons fly around in the background.
Looking back, I’m not even sure what I liked about Ewoks as a kid. When I first watched this, I was living in Italy, and my home in 90s’ Italy was not the best. I didn’t have access to a lot of the things I do now—cable, internet, running water in the middle of the damn day. Most of my entertainment I got from swimming on the beach, and that ocean was fucking frigid. So my draw to Ewoks was probably a mixture of it being part of the Star Wars universe and the fact that I had little else to do for two years. Needless to say, Ewoks is definitely one of those things all of you should skip. The series isn’t even “so bad it’s funny” bad; it’s just bad, and you will gain nothing from watching it.