The "Star Wars" saga hasn’t had the best of luck with the one-off specials -– obviously 1978's ludicrous "Star Wars Holiday Special" comes to mind. (I dare you to watch it all of the way through.) After that disaster, it’s fascinating that Lucasfilm ever tried to make something similar. Well, they did, only you’ve probably never heard of "Return of the Ewok."
In 1982, during the production of "Return of the Jedi," a short film was produced chronicling the (fictional) adventures of a then 12-year-old Warwick Davis who desperately wanted to be in the next "Star Wars" movie. (At one point Davis even auditions for the role of Boba Fett while “Take the Long Way Home” by Supertramp plays in the background.) Eventually, Davis is cast as Wicket the Ewok (who he played in "Return of the Jedi").
What’s notable about this film (other than that it’s cute) is that everyone from "Return of the Jedi" participates, including Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher (in her slave costume) and, yes, even the notoriously cranky Harrison Ford, who is in his full Han Solo outfit. (Those three come in at the 7:35 mark of the first video.)
So little is actively known about this video, I asked my friend at Lucasfilm if he knew anything about it. This was his reply: “Only that it’s awesome.” It’s remarkable that in a world where every piece of "Star Wars" media is in such wide demand –- especially from the original trilogy –- that this film continues to go on relatively unknown.
Anyway, if you want to see Hamill, Ford and Fisher together again; or you want to see what an Ewok looks like at Jabba the Hutt’s palace and, later, on the Death Star and, later, talking to Yoda … well, "Return of the Ewok" has you covered. It’s not high art, but it is an interesting and strangely unknown nugget of the "Star Wars" universe.
Mike Ryan is senior writer for Huffington Post Entertainment. You can contact him directly on Twitter.
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