SUB-GENRES: Fantasy / Adventure
DIRECTED BY: Jim & Ken Wheat
WRITTEN BY: Jim & Ken Wheat (screenplay); George Lucas (story)
PEW PEW: The Battle for Endor is a very fun fantasy adventure with plenty of action to entertain children and adults alike.
CAT FOOD: This film is intended for children, but one can’t help but look at the humanity and vulnerability displayed by the initially surly and crusty Noa as a statement of its own. No man is an island. Teamwork is important, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls.
The follow-up to the made-for-TV Star Wars spin-off Caravan of Courage is a far better slice of entertainment, let me tell you.
Picking up where we left off with the last film, the newly reunited Towani family maintain a strong friendship with the ewok villagers while they attempt to get their ship functional enough to get them off the planet. What quickly transpires is about the most savage display of villainy ever employed by a sequel to a children’s film.
A horrifying army of Sanyassan marauders invade the village and fucking murder Cindel’s entire family.
So seriously, the first movie and its cute little adventure to rescue Cindel’s parents is rendered almost entirely pointless in the opening minutes of its sequel. On a good note, there ain’t gonna be any more Mace in this one!
While the ewoks are captured and taken away to the Sanyassan fortress, Cindel and her ewok friend Wicket escape and find themselves in the care of the hilariously crusty hermit Noa (played expertly by Wilford Brimely) and his insanely entertaining friend Teek.
Over the course of the movie, we learn that the Sanyassans crash-landed on the forest moon Endor a long friggin time ago and were unable to get power for their ship to leave. Obtained from the Towanis’ ship during their initial raid, the technology that the chief villain (the jarringly brutish Terak almost made me shit myself as a child) has in his possession is too advanced for his barbaric mind to grasp. Believing that this power is a sort of magic that needs to be unlocked by the last surviving member of the family he stole it from, Terak’s wrath turns to Cindel and all those helping her.
The result is a surprisingly entertaining fantasy adventure film with plenty of action and funny, slapstick antics. There is a terrifying gloom to it at times that is quite strange for a children’s film, but it is tons of fun and kids will absolutely love Teek and the ewoks.
Unlike Caravan of Courage, The Battle for Endor features and engaging story that is enjoyable for kids and adults alike. I actually liked it better than I did as a kid. For the Star Wars fan in me, there is plenty of aesthetic continuity, and the expanded universe outside the films has done a great job of anchoring this film. For instance, Terak’s Charal is a Nightsister — a breed of dark force-wielding witches from Dathomir who have pivotal roles in Star Wars novels, and also the second Clone Wars television series.
I highly recommend Ewoks: The Battle for Endor to any Star Wars fan, or even to someone who likes Henson-type films from the eighties.