Because I’m a
masochist completist, I decided to watch everything Lucasfilm put out about Star Wars. Even if it sucks. I’ve got the atrocious yet fun Star Wars Holiday Special under my belt, plus The Battle for Endor (just bad bad bad), and now mockumentary Return of the Ewok (terrible production values, but enjoyable). RunPeep Rob recently sent me the link for Caravan Of Courage: An Ewok Adventure (the 1984 Ewok TV film taking place just before An Ewok Special 2: The Battle for Endor). So I have no excuse to skip this. Thanks a lot, Rob! 😉
Shall we see how this official George Lucas offal stands up to an adult’s first time viewing?
Comments on Lucasfilm’s Star Wars: Caravan of Courage while watching it live:
- Interesting. The narrator also did Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer. Burl Ives? Makes it sound like a Christmas special. Weird to hear him after all this time.
- Hangliding and Ewoks chatting…with no subtitles. So far it’s like the first 20 minutes of Wookiee grunts in the fairly maligned Holiday Special.
- I still have a problem with Burl Ives narrating this. Subtitles would be less weird.
- The Ewok eyes look bad. They really do. They look like Googly Eyes.
- Cool — the crashed ship is a vintage RV on the inside. Like a crappy ‘project’ Airstream, curved roof and all. But the Ewoks are impressed anyway. After all, they live in semi-enclosed spaces in trees.
- The Ewoks find the little girl, but they probably want to eat her.
- AHA! The young Luke/Anakin stand-in is now being trussed and carried like Luke and Han in Return of the Jedi…on a stick, ready to roast and eat. One assumes. Although this is a children’s show, so I doubt they will actually recall that nasty bit of business.
- The background music is the same as the Ewok scenes in Return of the Jedi. It’s meant to be light and happy. I guess humans are not on the menu after all. Not that the little girl cares. She follows Wicket (is that Wicket?) right inside the Ewok tent while her brother lies tied up on the ground.
- I think the Ewoks keep saying “Chug” about the food and medicine. Star Wars has a weird habit of having alien languages and Droid Binary sound vaguely like English at times.
- Enter the quest to fins a special medicine tree. Still no subtitles. Bored now. Small action scene.
- They return with the new medicine and it sounds like Mama Ewok says, “Eat some.”
- I suppose if you’re under 10 this is a worthwhile film. But it plays like a Star Wars Teletubbies show.
- This Ewok family doesn’t live in trees. I guess that was too much to deal with and keep the production values decent. Small nit to pick, really.
- Yowch. The ‘were-wolf’ monster looks incredibly fake. This whole scene is terrible. Can I fast-forward, please?
- Ewok treehouses! It’s a matte painting, but the same one from Return of the Jedi. I’ll take it.
- I understand this show is supposed to be for Younglings, but I think kids are smarter these days, what with Pixar and Dreamworks animated movies being so clever and all. This is not clever. I think this is really for the very very young. It’s too bad. I’ve seen a lot of kiddie movies that work for all ages. This doesn’t.
- In spite of that: cute infant Ewok! Not as cute as Baby Yoda, but still.
End of the first 45 minutes. Only an hour left to go. Why do I review these things?
- Wicket seems younger than he did in Return of the Jedi. It this supposed to be a set of prequels? (Okay, no, according to the Wookiepedia.)
- I think the plot just started. They started a caravan of Ewok heroes to save the kids’ parents. They should have led with this.
- The soundtrack is the best part so far.
- Hey, it looks like Sedona, Arizona! Right after Burl Ives says, “The caravan is now complete.”
- I feel bad for the older boy child. He’s not a bad actor, but the role is awful. In all honesty, I think he’s still better than Anakin Skywalker in The Phantom Menace.
- I kind of like the random scene with the fireflies. The Maker knows why.
- Oh, Tinkerbell?
- More Tinkerbell.
- The dreaded forbidden fortress of the giant thorax! Wait: it’s a Gorax. OMG. Make it end.
- The kid has a phaser! Good thing, since he says he threw the magic rock away.
- Okay, this is neat: a ginormous spiders web. Is the giant
thoraxGorax a spider?
- YES giant spider ahead! Or, rather, behind. So now Star Wars can join Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter for showcasing huge, nasty arachnids. Although, really, what did the characters think made that web? That phaser would come in handy now. Too bad it’s jammed. Of course.
- The repeated spider scene might be too scary for the little kids. Warning.
- Now that the web is down, how does the caravan plan to get back out?
- The final action sequence is decent. I’ll say that. And Tinkerbell is back!
- Awww, poor Thor. Ewok Thor. But what’s Star Wars if someone doesn’t die?
- Now we understand the giant stairs.
- Oops. That crevice is getting mighty full of bad guys. But Star Wars is also known for bottomless chasms. Seriously. I think…six big chasm deaths/death-fake-outs? Not including all the Stormtroopers tossed off railings, doing the Wilhelm Scream all the way down.
- Is it time for Princess Leia to sing now? Oh…wait. That was the Star Wars Holiday Special.
Only 15 minutes left! I can do this!
- I’d be impressed with the giant staircase if there wasn’t another spider to deal with. It’s a lot like the Tower of Cirith Ungol from LotR’s The Two Towers, actually. (Which means “spider tower,” BTW.
- Ewww. The next big monster looks like a Wookiee mated with a troll. I think he’s the Final Boss, since he’s got the parental units hanging in a cage. He must be the Gorax.
- As usual in a kid movie, the adults are totally incompetent.
- The final battle is pretty decent. And more Tinkerbell!
- I get the giant staircase now.
- Ewoks win! (Because George Lucas has a thing for them and he figured we would too. Keep in mind this is pre-Jar Jar Binks.)
- YAY, an Ewok party! Will they sing Yub Nub? Damn, nope. I’ll give you the Yub Nub link anyway. Give it a listen now, before Lucasfilm finds this song and tears it off YouTube. Too bad he removed said song from the Return Of the Jedi Special Edition. I still hear the ending playing Yub Nub in my head. And so should you. Lucas — stop ruining my childhood! (Too late, too late.)
- The Ewoks in the background sound like Minions. Is this where Pixar got the idea from?
- Oops, Burl Ives is back to wrap up the narration. I forgot about him. I think Caravan of Courage would get a higher solid grade without him. But maybe subtitles would be too difficult for early readers and this was necessary. Whatever.
I ‘m really glad that’s over. I had to “Force” myself (get it?) to watch this because The Battle for Endor was so bad. This was slightly better.
So: the Ewok’s 1 & 2 watch is done now and I’m ready to move on to the animated Star Wars: Rebels (2008) and The Clone Wars (2014)… If I can find some cheap/free copies without subscribing to Disney+. Those SW series are supposed to be pretty good (great scores on Rotten Tomatoes), considering how dumb the Ewok 1 and 2 live action movies were and how truly cracked the SW Holiday Special is.
Star Wars: Caravan of Courage is suitable for really young kids who looooove Ewoks. Adults can safely skip both Ewok movies, or otherwise play them in the background while you clean the livingroom. The Holiday Special is lots more fun if you want to expand your Star Wars world-building and can tolerate just how bizarre it is.
Movie Grade: D+
Co-Creator of RunPee, Chief of Operations, Content Director, and Managing Editor. RunPee Jilly likes galaxy-spanning sci fi, superhero sagas, fantasy films, YA dystopians, action thrillers, chick flicks, and zany comedies, in that order…and possesses an inspiringly small bladder. In fact, that little bladder sparked the creation of RunPee. (Good thing she’s learned to hold it.)