Star Wars fans have had a long and troubled relationship with the Ewoks. First introduced in Return of the Jedi, these cuddly tree-dwelling teddy bears brought a note of slapstick cuteness to the franchise that raised eyebrows, especially when they managed to bring down heavily armed Imperial soldiers. Worse, it emerged soon after Return of the Jedi‘s release that George Lucas’ original plan was for them to have been Wookiees and this scene to have taken place on the planet Kashyyyk.
However, time heals all wounds and in comparison to the Gungans the Ewoks suddenly didn’t seem so bad. Fans warming to them made it a nice surprise when Warwick Davis confirmed that he’d be returning to the role of Wicket in The Rise of Skywalker. As it turned out, though, this was a very brief shot of them reacting to a falling Star Destroyer, but it was still nice to see them.
Those good vibes have now been somewhat spoiled though by a photo released by Jake Lunt Davies on Instagram. Davies has worked on concept design and storyboards for the Sequel Trilogy (and Rogue One and Solo), and seems to have been responsible for recreating the Ewoks. His picture shows an in-progress version of Warwick’s costume that seems destined to haunt my dreams.
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Aside from The Rise of Skywalker, the Ewoks’ last major appearance was in the video game Star Wars Battlefront II. This featured a mode known as Ewok Hunt, in which teams of players faced off as either Ewoks or Imperial stormtroopers on the forest moon of Endor. In a nice twist on the Ewoks’ generally cuddly image, playing as the Stormtrooper was unexpectedly terrifying. The mode takes place at night, with the Ewok team having much better night vision and able to pick off the troopers one by one with hidden traps.
But as tense as that was, at least those Ewoks had fur…