For the full debate on this important issue, head over to the Gollancz Blog…
Here’s my side of the argument:
At a recent Gollancz marketing meeting (yes, we plan this stuff) it was suggested that someone write a blog entry about the divisive and controversial subject of Ewoks. What followed was like a scene from a Western, where chairs are scraped across the floor, tables thrown to one side, as gunslingers reach for their sidearms.
Divisive doesn’t even begin to describe the hot passions on display.
The arguments against the Ewok peoples are slim, getting old, and, let’s be honest, racist.
1. They’re too cute
Naysayers will argue that they’re “too cute”, as if Lucas hadn’t done cute already…
But they’re far from cute. When they go into battle, they hit the Stormtroopers in their blind spot, smashing them on the back of the head with socking great lumps of wood. The vicious little buggers really lay into the Emperor’s most elite legion, using fight techniques surely honed in the nightclubs of Blackpool, “Glass him Teebo! Cut his face!” (there’s a reason the Ewoks don’t get subtitles – they’re uncouth, sweary, little mofos…)
And we can’t say that we didn’t see this coming. After all, their first reaction to finding armed outsiders was to try and spitroast Luke, Han and Chewie (I’ll let that image settle for a moment).
Cute?! Do me a favour…
2. They’re dumb
Dumb, eh? Well I would point m’learned friend to their keen sense of strategy. When it all kicks off, the Ewoks are smart enough to draw the Empire’s forces away from the safety of their bunker and into the woods, into the Ewoks’ own territory. This gives them the upper hand, using the forest itself against the invaders. Pity the poor crew of the AT-ST smashed between two logs. They didn’t stand a chance against these cunning little warriors.
Film fans will know that Lucas very nearly made Apocalypse Now. In the battle for Endor, Lucas finally gets that out of his system – this was his chance to do Vietnam, he just chose to do it with short, hairy football hooligans.
3. They’re only in the movie to sell toys!
There are those who suggest the Ewoks were a toy marketing ploy… because up till then Lucasfilm hadn’t even thought of releasing any toys from the film. Oh, waitasec…
Oh, and these are kids’ films, you big galoot! What kid wouldn’t love a movie featuring teddy bears beating the crap out the bad guys? The Ewoks tap into a huge childhood fantasy: if you’re small and repressed, you’re going to love these guys. Anyone who doesn’t, must be the Empire!
4. Self loathing.
There may be a scientific explanation for the irrational hatred of the Ewok nation: one’s age. As brilliantly explained in an episode of How I Met Your Mother, it could simply be down to when you were born:
You may have been young enough to enjoy Star Wars, but too much of a cynical teenager to fully appreciate the Ewoks. Yes, if you hate Ewoks, you had lost your innocence by 1983 and that’s heartbreaking.
So there you have it. The Ewoks are awesome, and anyone who says otherwise is a cynical, old racist. The defence rests…