Hidden beneath their adorably huggable and child friendly exterior, Ewoks are one of the many hidden terrors of Star Wars.
Sure, they’re no Sith Lords or Krayt Dragon, but we all know those precious looking teddy bears have killed and will kill again.
They’re Highly Intelligent
Wookieepedia sites the Star Wars Ewoks as having “primitive technology” and not progressing much past the stone age when it comes to making their own tools. And from what we can see it’s true enough that their technology is pretty limited to simple machines and tools such as spears and slings. Curiously though, they’ve also mastered gliders for flight, which seems a little advanced for “stone level technology.” The Ewoks could have stolen it from a previous victim like they almost definitely did with the human woman sized dress the they happend to have for Leia, but I think it’s more likely that the Ewoks are secretly far more intelligent than their cold, dead Muppet eyes let on.
By the time Princess Leia and co. come to Endor, the Ewoks have been dealing with the Imperials for a little while already. They’re familiar enough with the intruders who have built a shield generator in a part of the forest they were already inhabiting. What’s frightening is how aptly they destroy huge and advanced pieces of technology like speeder and scout walkers, tasks that are difficult for their supposedly more advanced Rebel Alliance counterparts with what amounts sticks and basic traps. Ewoks are the Kevin McCallisters of Star Wars, and while 1990 Macaulay Culkin may have been adorable, Kevin was also a little terrifying. These little guys are so intelligent, in fact, that in novel Last Shot by Daniel José Older it’s noted that two years after the Battle of Endor at least one Ewoke, Peekpa, was working for the New Republic as a slicer. I don’t know many people who can go from hacking with simple weapons to hacking the internet in less than two years, but mark me down as scared and impressed.
They Have Absolutely Killed (And Eaten) Humans
From the first moment we meet the Ewoks we know they are fifteen pounds of don’t-five-a-crap in a five pound bag. Wicket’s first move upon seeing Leia is to poke her with a stick and then remained threatening until she bribed his friendship with food. This works, but he is right back at it with the spear again as soon as Inperial scouts are heard because Wicket is nothing if not always entirely ready to fight something twice his size. At this point Ewoks seem like food driven creatures with about as much ability to chill out as R2D2 but with the ability to be won over, reasoned with, and befriended. Luke, Han, and the droids met a very different group of Ewoks who were completely ready to cook and eat them right away. And then even with blasters, the force, and human intelligence they were still successfully captured by these sentient teddy bears.
There isn’t any question of the Ewok intentions for the guys with the rudimentary roasting station and open flame, but at first you may think they’re just opportunistic hunters. After all, the Imperial presence has probably scared off at least some of the natural wildlife in the area and surely Ewoks wouldn’t have encountered that many humans on this random forest moon? Perhaps, but let’s circle back to the perfectly human-woman sized dress the Ewoks happen to have found for Leia. It’s possible that some industrious Ewok make it, but to me that dress screams “Tarzan’s family before they were killed by jungle animals.” Except, y’know, the Ewoks are the jungle animals. I’m 98.5% sure the only reasons the Ewoks weren’t killing and eating Stormtroopers is because they didn’t realize there were cookable people under all of that plastoid.
They’re Not All Scary All The Time
Sure, they’re smarter than your average bear and have a taste for human flesh, but Star Wars Ewoks aren’t the scariest thing in the Galaxy, either. In fact, the existence of “Ewok Jerky’ during the Clone Wars makes it seem like eating people is less the depraved actions of a terrifying species of monster and more like fair turn around in difficult times. More notably though, Chuck Wendig’s Aftermath series describes Ewoks traveling the galaxy and acting as therapy animals for Rebel veterans with sustained trauma from the war.
Are Ewoks scary? Sure, of course they can be. But if you have food and haven’t destroyed a large portion of their forest home, you can probably win one over. For now.
Do you think Star Wars Ewoks are horrifying monsters or adorable space teddy bears? Do you like Ewoks, or did you think they were out of place and should have never been added to Star Wars in the first place? Would you be interested in a visit from an Therapy Ewok? Let us know in the comments!
May The Force Be With You, Adventurers!