Star Wars may be the most popular film franchise on the planet, but there are elements in it that have proved hugely divisive amongst fans. The first that comes to mind is The Phantom Menace and Jar Jar Binks, whose arrival in the franchise was met with anger and horrified disgust. Since then, we’ve seen complaints about all sorts of things, most of which drew to an angry conclusion with the ludicrously OTT reaction to Rian Johnson’s The Last Jedi. But let’s go back to one of the original Star Wars controversies, because it’s making a comeback in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.
I’m talking Ewoks. Introduced in Return of the Jedi, they were an object of hatred amongst sections of the fan community for years. Most considered them annoyingly cute muppets whose victory over the Empire was exceedingly unlikely. Part of this annoyance sprung from longstanding rumors that the Ewoks would have originally been Wookies. These days people are much more nostalgic about them and now, judging by a behind-the-scenes video from the movie, they’re making a comeback.
The clip above shows, among other things, actor Warwick Davis in his Wicket costume, reaching for the mask. This is a strong hint that the character will pop up in the new movie, making this the first on-screen appearance of an Ewok since the 1985 TV film Ewoks: The Battle for Endor (though they did appear in the video game Star Wars Battlefront II).
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As a non-spacefaring primitive race, it’s understandable that they haven’t appeared more, so this could be a hint that the movie will be returning to the forest moon of Endor at some point. Whatever the case, if this is indeed Wicket, the fact that he hasn’t aged much since Return of the Jedi indicates that they’re unusually long-lived creatures.
We’ll find out for certain if the Ewoks are back when Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker hits cinemas on December 20th.