The Ewoks are simultaneously one of the most beloved and also hated races in the Star Wars universe. On the one hand, they played a huge part in Return of the Jedi. On the other, they’re basically Muppets that are a bit goofy. They’re great for kids though, and Marvel knew it back in 1985 when they began to publish the 14 issue kid-friendly series. Now that Marvel owns the rights to Star Wars once again they are re-releasing the first five issues of the run. The question is, however, does it hold up?
So what’s it about?
The official summary reads:
Journey to the forest world of Endor for adorable adventures with the Ewoks! Join Wicket Warrick, his friend Teebo, and Chief Chirpa’s daughter Princess Kneesaa in colorful capers filled with rainbow bridges and rites of power! Who dares brave the Valley of Evil? Where will the Ewoks land when a mission of honor turns into a flight to danger? And what is the incredible secret of the Terrible Machine? There are dangers, discoveries and deadly games in store for the Ewoks – but beware Captain Krag! Fear the perilous laughing spell! And, whatever you do, avoid the Ice Demon’s touch of doom! The cuddly stars of Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi take center stage in fun-fi lled stories guaranteed to make you sing Yub Nub!
Why does this matter?
Who knows if Ewoks will ever appear in another Star Wars movie, but that doesn’t mean we can’t still enjoy them now. This is a kid-friendly comic so it’s light and holds wholesome messaging. It also houses some interesting threats for the Ewoks to encounter.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
After reading this collection it is abundantly clear the Ewoks live on the wrong planet. They’re nearly constantly attacked, threatened, or otherwise put in harm’s way due to alien intruders, alien neighbors, or other threats the Ewoks encounter. The Ewoks are a peaceful race that only uses violence when threatened, but if writer Dave Manak has anything to say about it that happens often. The issue is filled with rather colorful villains for the three main characters Wicket, Teebo, and Princess Kneesaa to thwart making for an eclectic mix of confrontations to save the Ewok race from.
The main problem for the Ewoks seems to be the resources on the planet itself. From a magical crystal that can make rainbow bridges to a black Gemwood tree that grows on the planet that’s “worth more than anything in the universe.” Who is to say if any of this was in canon at some point (this falls under the Legends banner so it’s technically not in canon today), but talking rocks and half-naked Zorbian space pirates seem to suggest Manak took some liberties.
The art in this collection by penciler Warren Kremer is fantastic reminiscent of some of the great comic strips in history. Walt Kelly’s Pogo comes to mind when reading this collection since environments are detailed and the characters are generally drawn to the side or at a slight angle. It’s a cartoony look that mimics the cartoon that came out around the same time.
It can’t be perfect, can it?
I could see children 10 or under enjoying this comic series, but any older than that and the basic premise of each comic is too simplistic. The adventures are rather repetitive and the things they encounter so far fetched it’s almost bizarre this was presumed to actually work in the Star Wars universe. I know the designs of the Ewoks mimic the cartoon, but they look nothing like their counterparts in the movies, further alienating the property from the films.
The biggest issue I have with the collection is how simplistic the characters are. Again, this is for kids after all, but most of these characters could be swapped in for each other save for the adults vs. the kids. The fact is I’m not interested in the characters themselves since they’re all so similar and have no defining traits outside how they look.
Is it good?
A good collection for kids between 5 and 8 since it’s light, entertaining, and well drawn. Anyone older and the basic nature of the stories won’t be enough to sustain your attention.