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RodianClone

I never got why people have a problem with Ewoks!

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!Warning, pointless rant! !Warning, pointless rant! !Warning, pointless rant! !Warning, pointless rant! !Warning, pointless rant! !Warning, pointless rant! !Warning, pointless rant! !Warning, pointless rant!

 

Is it the cute thing? It`s the cute thing right? Jawas could be said to be cute too, but noone says anything about them?..

Sure, they are kind of cute, but not in a way that takes you out of the story or just feels silly! At least, I don`t think so(just my opinion, I know).

I think they actually are really badass in a way, more so than hobbits at least, and no one complained when they saved Middle-Earth...

They have a cool language, skulls on their heads, a scary sacraficial native culture and a few of them actually look intimidating, even if a little short.

And so what if a few of them look a little cute? They sure used that to fool the Empire!

 

 

Ewoks are badass!

 

Wv8hMd1.png

 

Ewoks_SWSB.pngTeebo.jpgLogray3.jpg

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It's several things.

One is the very thing you point out; the cuteness. And no, it's not that people are against cute species (like you said, jawas are cute too), but the fact that this cute and cuddly species is also able to fight the high-tech and well armed and armored Empire army.
I could maby buy it if the Ewoks were the size of Wookies (which they were supposed to be from the start), with that kind of strength and power.
But tiny little creatures with stone-age weapons? No. 
Just no.
It's the completely unfeasable scenario of a stone-age race beating the empire that's the main issue here. The fact that they are also tiny and cute is just the thing that brings it over the top.
A neanderthal-like human would have trouble damaging stormtroopers with wooden sticks and stones, let alone a tiny and (from what we can see in the movies) not very strong species of cuddly teddybears.
The fact that it's very obvious that Lucas made them to be sellable to kids is a thorn in the eye for many.

So it's not just the fact that they're cute.
It's the fact that they are a stone-age culture with stone-age tools beating the imperial army using rocks and sticks.
If the imperial army really couldn't beat a culture like that, they'd have serious trouble beating anything with more technology.
And then the fact that they are obvious marketing ploys is just the icing on the cake of annoyance, so to speak.

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I was 9 in May of 1983. I was the target audience of ROTJ. I have always liked the Ewoks. The idea of them being able to beat the Empire is laughable, but I like it.

 

We can look at the movies from two distinct perspectives.

 

From the story perspective it makes sense. It represents the idea of old traditions, simpler times beating out the fast paced high tech world. Story themes that GL and many of that era shared. Look at American Graffiti, THX 1138 for example. It is about the young boy beating the the older jockey, or the man that wants to get out of the crazy robot,drug filled sterile world. These are all stories that are being told for the sense of story telling. A story against the big institutions of American/World power. For that is all these are, just stories. GL didn't have to think of how/why. Lawrence Kasdan didn't sit down and try to make these stories as real as possible. Star Wars is about the impossible, space fantasy. About good beating evil, and even though man eaters (NOT cannibals), the Ewoks represent good. 

It shows the arrogance of of Big Corporations/world views at the time. These movies in part are a satire on the 1970's. 

 

Now we can look at these movie with a sense of realism... How do we have sound in space? The "Force" and magic don't exist. Any aliens out there would be nothing like us in any way. The Empire would "murderate" the Ewoks, and the Rebels easily. 

 

But that would make for a quick story, and a sh*tty one at that. 

I also am in the camp that ewoks were not a marketing ploy. In all documentaries, and all the things I have read about GL, the making of the movies, and the people behind the production of them, I have never seen any evidence they were created to be a ploy to sell more toys. it is a made up "fact" that many people use to try to make them selves feel better about why they don't like them. it is not a "fact" that GL created them to sell them to kids. It is a fact that they were supposed to be Wookiees, but after Chewie, he couldn't do that, so made them shorter. 

 

And yes, this a completely unfeasible scenario, but what in Star Wars hasn't been? Episode IV? That is what Star Wars is about. In other words.

"Never tell me the odds."

Edited by R2builder

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It's several things.

One is the very thing you point out; the cuteness. And no, it's not that people are against cute species (like you said, jawas are cute too), but the fact that this cute and cuddly species is also able to fight the high-tech and well armed and armored Empire army.

I could maby buy it if the Ewoks were the size of Wookies (which they were supposed to be from the start), with that kind of strength and power.

But tiny little creatures with stone-age weapons? No. 

Just no.

 

So they are great guerilla soldiers and hunters with complete knowledge of the area and the nature, what does size matter?

They have the home turf and tactical advatantage, maybe even the fact that they are underestimated because of size and cuteness is an advantage too!

Frodo and Sam defeated Mordor, 300 spartans fought off the a huge part of persian invasion... Hell, Vietcong won over the americans and Finnland beat Russia!

There are lots of historical(and fictional) battles where odds were ridiculous, but the underdog won! So why do we have such a big problem with Ewoks helping the Rebels win the part of a battle on their home world?

Just a few historical examples where the underdog won against all odds: British invasion of Tanzania during WW1, Battle of Longewala 1971,Battle of Okehanzava 1560, Siege of Vienna 1529,  Battle Of Galveston 1863, Battle Of Tolvajärvi 1939, Second Battle Of Lacolle Mill 1814,Battle Of Gate Pa 1864, Second Battle Of Sabine Pass 1863, Battle Of Vitkov Hill 1420, Battle Of Cerami 1063

Edited by RodianClone

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Also, it wasn't just stone-aged teddy bears defeating the Empire - it was a legion of their best troops.

 

I was young when RotJ came out and I saw it in theaters.

 

I didn't bother me then.

 

I wouldn't say it bothers me now as an adult but when I rewatch RotJ it's something that sticks out - like the scene where the Ewoks are are hitting a Stormtrooper over the head with sticks and stones.  Does that armor protect against anything!?!

Did those Ewoks build all these elaborate traps in the matter of minutes or were they already there for some reason?

 

Maybe there was some vicious and large predator species on Endor that the Ewoks wiped out and so they have long fighting experience....

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They were in the background, so you couldn't see them but they actually had MacGyver and B.A. Baracus there with them. Que 80's montage music!

Yub Yub actually translates into "I pity the fool!"

Now you know, and knowing is half the battle...And Fighting is the other half.

Edited by R2builder

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I was 9 in May of 1983. I was the target audience of ROTJ. I have always liked the Ewoks. The idea of them being able to beat the Empire is laughable, but I like it.

 

We can look at the movies from two distinct perspectives.

 

From the story perspective it makes sense. It represents the idea of old traditions, simpler times beating out the fast paced high tech world. Story themes that GL and many of that era shared. Look at American Graffiti, THX 1138 for example. It is about the young boy beating the the older jockey, or the man that wants to get out of the crazy robot,drug filled sterile world. These are all stories that are being told for the sense of story telling. A story against the big institutions of American/World power. For that is all these are, just stories. GL didn't have to think of how/why. Lawrence Kasdan didn't sit down and try to make these stories as real as possible. Star Wars is about the impossible, space fantasy. About good beating evil, and even though man eaters (NOT cannibals), the Ewoks represent good. 

It shows the arrogance of of Big Corporations/world views at the time. These movies in part are a satire on the 1970's. 

 

Now we can look at these movie with a sense of realism... How do we have sound in space? The "Force" and magic don't exist. Any aliens out there would be nothing like us in any way. The Empire would "murderate" the Ewoks, and the Rebels easily. 

 

But that would make for a quick story, and a sh*tty one at that. 

I also am in the camp that ewoks were not a marketing ploy. In all documentaries, and all the things I have read about GL, the making of the movies, and the people behind the production of them, I have never seen any evidence they were created to be a ploy to sell more toys. it is a made up "fact" that many people use to try to make them selves feel better about why they don't like them. it is not a "fact" that GL created them to sell them to kids. It is a fact that they were supposed to be Wookiees, but after Chewie, he couldn't do that, so made them shorter. 

 

And yes, this a completely unfeasible scenario, but what in Star Wars hasn't been? Episode IV? That is what Star Wars is about. In other words.

"Never tell me the odds."

 

I agree with your general assessment that Lucas was focused on themes - like the simpler and more primitive overcoming the more advanced and complicated - and not so much on realism and that it's part of what makes Star Wars so compelling.  It's a myth and deals with things on a mythical level.

 

But Lucas making some decisions because of the toy market is not a myth:

 

http://articles.latimes.com/2010/aug/12/entertainment/la-et-gary-kurtz-20100812

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Ewoks are symbolic of everything wrong with E6.  The first time the stormtrooper goes down to a slow rock, all disbelief is suspended.  You're not watching a movie with a story, it's just a series of bad slapstick comedies and the outcome is already assured.

 

The rolling log trap was the only reasonable idea for these little folks...and then the walker succumbs to a "don't touch me, I'm fragile" explosion.  Everything else is just silly.  Even the ones that are amusing, like clotheslining the speeders, suffers from the "how the heck did they have time to set *that* up in the perfect spot?" problem.

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I don't have a problem with them at all. It's a very clear analogy, the US Military didn't think that primitive people in Vietnam would be able to fight so effectively either, but with knowledge of the terrain and their own kind of sophistication it can happen.

 

It also fits in with the very progressive themes that the Rebellion is open to communicating and collaborating with people different than they are, while the Empire dismisses and oppresses those who are different.

 

This leads to the Empire's downfall, because if the Rebels hadn't made friends with the Ewoks they would have lost.

 

Stories like this aren't mechanical simulations of whether Ewoks could defeat the Empire, they're stories constructed around themes with a purpose, and I think this is the purpose of the Ewoks' story.

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 "how the heck did they have time to set *that* up in the perfect spot?" problem.

It was there... They are hunters and trappers.

 

*However, the first point in your post is the first valid one I`ve heard on the subject of why it might weaken the story "from a certain point of view". Thank you for that:)

It doesn`t suspend my disbelief in the context of the story, but I can understand why it does for som people. Thank you.

Edited by RodianClone

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300 spartans fought off the persian invasion

 

I was with you up until this point.

 

A movie's poetic license taken from a graphic novel's poetic license, taken from a myth's poetic license distorting the truth does not mean 300 people did anything.

As a note, the "300" failed.

 

/end of off topic

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300 spartans fought off the persian invasion

 

I was with you up until this point.

 

A movie's poetic license taken from a graphic novel's poetic license, taken from a myth's poetic license distorting the truth does not mean 300 people did anything.

As a note, the "300" failed.

 

/end of off topic

 

I was making a point in that line. And I know the numbers were different and the spartans had hundreds of allies at the battle of Thermopylae, but they were still vastly outnumbered and at terrible odds!

But yea "fought off" was the wrong choice of words, you are right!

 

Look at the historical battles I listed under that loosly based point. And Finnland still did beat russia and America lost to the Vietcong in Vietnam.

 

British invasion of Tanzania during WW1, Battle of Longewala 1971,Battle of Okehanzava 1560, Siege of Vienna 1529,  Battle Of Galveston 1863, Battle Of Tolvajärvi 1939, Second Battle Of Lacolle Mill 1814,Battle Of Gate Pa 1864, Second Battle Of Sabine Pass 1863, Battle Of Vitkov Hill 1420, Battle Of Cerami 1063.

 

Edited by RodianClone

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Barney Stinson explains it quite soundly:

 

 

And the accompanying graph:

 

_1318338052.jpg

 

It's a humorous generalization, but there's some truth to it :) So you'll find that most people who don't like the Ewoks were "older" when they watched Return of the Jedi for the first time. Someone who watches RotJ for the first time in their adulthood is extremely unlikely to appreciate the Ewoks, while those of us who saw them first when we were younger children have a higher appreciation for them, owing possibly to nostalgia.

 

Again, it's a generalization, but is grounded in reality.

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Ewoks are symbolic of everything wrong with E6.  The first time the stormtrooper goes down to a slow rock, all disbelief is suspended.  You're not watching a movie with a story, it's just a series of bad slapstick comedies and the outcome is already assured.

 

The rolling log trap was the only reasonable idea for these little folks...and then the walker succumbs to a "don't touch me, I'm fragile" explosion.  Everything else is just silly.  Even the ones that are amusing, like clotheslining the speeders, suffers from the "how the heck did they have time to set *that* up in the perfect spot?" problem.

Quite clearly they had a lot of destiny points they were able to flip, quite quickly.  Then when the Heroes got to the structure, they got flipped right back.

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@ Jedi Ronin. I agree that LFL was influenced by the toy market. The article you post is great, and I have read it many times. But in the article, it does not state as a matter of fact that ewoks were created to sell toys. It says that GL was heavily influenced by the toys, but of course he would be, he was into from the start when he made sure that he retained the full licensing rights with Fox when making Star Wars. Did GL care about the toys and the merchandise, sure he did. Who wouldn't be? Perhaps he was lured into more and more as the sales kept increasing, but I feel that is part of the poison of money. But for anyone to make the statement: "Fact, Ewoks were created to sell them to kids" is incorrect. I will never say marketing never influenced anything that was done in the movies, but Ewoks were not created to sell toys. 

It almost seems that people forget that making movies, and RPGs for that matter is about one thing...money. While we can say we do it for the love of it or not, it remains they are being produced to make money. 

 

It is ironic, that the early stories that GL told are really about his old and future self. 

Edited by R2builder

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It's several things.

One is the very thing you point out; the cuteness. And no, it's not that people are against cute species (like you said, jawas are cute too), but the fact that this cute and cuddly species is also able to fight the high-tech and well armed and armored Empire army.

I could maby buy it if the Ewoks were the size of Wookies (which they were supposed to be from the start), with that kind of strength and power.

But tiny little creatures with stone-age weapons? No. 

Just no.

 

So they are great guerilla soldiers and hunters with complete knowledge of the area and the nature, what does size matter?

They have the home turf and tactical advatantage, maybe even the fact that they are underestimated because of size and cuteness is an advantage too!

Finnland beat Russia, 300 spartans* fought off the a huge part ofpersian invasion(kind of), Vietcong won over the americans! There are lots of historical battles where odds were ridiculous, but the underdog won!

Just a few of them: British invasion of Tanzania during WW1, Battle of Longewala 1971,Battle of Okehanzava 1560, Siege of Vienna 1529,  Battle Of Galveston 1863, Battle Of Tolvajärvi 1939, Second Battle Of Lacolle Mill 1814,Battle Of Gate Pa 1864, Second Battle Of Sabine Pass 1863, Battle Of Vitkov Hill 1420, Battle Of Cerami 1063.

 

*Yes the spartans** had allies and Greece lost the war in the end...

 

**And the Spartans were actually evil nazi bastards so who cares..

 

 

Finland didn't beat the russian tanks with flint-tipped spears.

The persians weren't wearing advanced high-tech armour and using blasters when defeated by the Spartans.

The Vietcong didn't beat the americans using stones thrown from slingshots.

See a pattern here?

I'd be kinda ok with the Ewoks beating the Empire if they were larger and stronger creatures that could concievably pierce stormtrooper armour with flint-tipped spears.

But even then it would be pretty incredulous.

You list a good number of instances where tactical advantage has let a somewhat inferior force beat a superior force, but the Ewoks beating the elite legion of Imperial troops is more like a small tribe in the amazons taking on a division of the US army equipped with tanks and attack helicopters, while only using spears and bows.

It is simply not going to happen.

I get the whole "underdog" thing that Lucas was going for, but he made it completely unrealistic (and yes, I am aware that we are talking about a fictional universe where people can move things with their minds and lightsabers are real) and thus unbelievable.

I was 7 when RotJ came out.

I didn't watch it until I was 9, but even then i was pretty unconvinced by the Ewoks beating the imperials.

And as I've grown older it has annoyed me more and more because of the fact that it is such an incredibly obvious attempt at marketing toys by Lucas. 

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I don't have a problem with them at all. It's a very clear analogy, the US Military didn't think that primitive people in Vietnam would be able to fight so effectively either, but with knowledge of the terrain and their own kind of sophistication it can happen.

 

It also fits in with the very progressive themes that the Rebellion is open to communicating and collaborating with people different than they are, while the Empire dismisses and oppresses those who are different.

 

This leads to the Empire's downfall, because if the Rebels hadn't made friends with the Ewoks they would have lost.

 

Stories like this aren't mechanical simulations of whether Ewoks could defeat the Empire, they're stories constructed around themes with a purpose, and I think this is the purpose of the Ewoks' story.

 

Sure, but the Vietcong didn't use bows and spears to fight off the US military.

They used AK's and all kinds of other military equipment.

It would be like the Ewoks fighting off the Empire using blasters... which I could totally get behind!

 

But that wasn't what they did.

Also, another point about the Ewoks beating the Empire with sticks and stones is that it vastly diminishes the efforts of the rebels.

I mean, if the Ewoks could beat an entire legion of the Empires best troops using only sticks and stones, simply because they had the advantage of surprise, then why in all that's holy, couldn't the rebels beat them with blasters and advanced equipment? Surely they've had the element of surprise on their side several times before as well?

If that's how bad the Empire's troops are in an ambush, the rebels chould have just worn them down by slaughtering legion after legion using ambush tactics.

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Suspension of Disbelief. Star Wars is actually very good at that, but for me the Ewoks were too big a pill to swallow. But I can tolerate it because of my general nostalgia when it comes to the OT. Gungans on the other hand ... ;)

 

It also takes the coolness out of defeating the Empire if teddy bears with sticks and stones can do it.

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Whenever someone talks about such and such being at just the right place in a big battle scene I like to remind them that we're watching a highlight reel. There were a hundred other ropes that didn't catch speeder riders.

^ This. 

 

Because they're obviously short people in teddy bear suits and looked stupid.

The same can be said for all the aliens in EP IV, the majority looked SO fake to me and takes me out of the movie.  So many bad alien hands and stiff and unnaturally moving alien heads.  Greedo's fingers being the worst offender, oof!

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