Haiku 04.24.14

Why is there some hate? They defeat the Empire Small and adorable

Why is there some hate?
They defeat the Empire
Little and fuzzy

 

I’ve never really understood the hatred of Ewoks.  I’ve understood the hatred of Jar Jar, AOTC, Hayden Christensen…but not really the Ewoks.  Maybe I should rephrase this.  I understand why people hate the Ewoks, I just can’t relate.  I know that people think they are kind of lame and it’s “disappointing” that they are the ones to help bring down the Empire, but I kind of like it.  It shows that the small can do great things as well and that primitive doesn’t always mean less knowledgeable.

The Rebellion would not have been able to defeat the Empire without the Ewoks because the Ewoks understood the lay of planet unlike anyone else.  They had the resources to help defeat the Empire.  Whereas the Empire was prepared for guns and machinery, the Ewoks were able to surprise them with traps made out of logs and Chewie was able to get inside an AT-ST by swinging on a vine.  The way the Rebellion was able to defeat most of the Empire was by working with the planet and it’s resources, not against it.  Of course, in the end, they blew up the shield with the bomb, but they would not have gotten there without the Ewoks.

And that’s my shpeal on Ewoks.  If I have an Ewok hater followers, I’d love to hear about why you hate the Ewoks so much!

Life:

Creating a vision
Laying the puzzle pieces
Connecting feels great.

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19 thoughts on “Haiku 04.24.14

  1. Amen! This is exactly what I’ve been saying! People are always criticizing them for being “cute” and a lame and obvious attempt to sell toys, but I’ve never agreed with that. In fact, I don’t think they’re cute at all. But I like them.

    • I do think they are cute, but I’m glad you agree with me that they deserve more recognition and less hatred. I feel like Lucas made a very deliberate point by “casting” a small, primitive species to help take down the Empire. It was a conscious decision and I feel bad that, in some ways, it backfired.

  2. I agree with Megan, though I am somewhat guilty of falling into the group of people who think they are cute, I’m certain that “cute” was not what Mr. Lucas had in mind when he created Swoosh.

    I think George Lucas was trying to prove a point about how the little guy can even be victorious. It seems to be his theme throughout all six films. A small band of rebels blow up the planet sized Death Star, how there is hope in just a farmboy from tatooine, and a 14 year old queen conquers the trade Federation with the help of a Gungan army.

    To quote a famous yet small Jedi, “size matters not”.

    • Swoosh? Sorry – what’s Swoosh? I’m at a loss.

      But, yes, I do think they’re cute too! I completely agree with you about Lucas making a conscious decision regarding the Ewoks. You’re right, I never really thought about the parallel between Queen Amidala, the Gungan army, and the Droid army. It does play out throughout every movie in the saga (let’s hope JJ remembers that) in different ways. The Ewoks are perhaps the most obvious example of the underdog overtaking the Empire, but it’s still a valid and important message.

    • Well, I disagree. I think it would have been completely different had Wookiees been in the final battle. As you point out, they would not have been vertically challenged and would have had a keen advantage because of that. I don’t think Lucas could have made his point as well. As we saw in ROTS, the Wookiees were able to maneuver machinery quite well and I think Wookiees are less reclusive than Ewoks. Whereas the Empire did not even think about Ewoks being a threat and ignored them…it was their mistake and a main reason for the fall of the Empire (besides overconfidence being their weakness).

  3. I don’t mind the Ewoks as characters but I hate their portrayal as helping defeat Imperial stormtroopers — I find it totally unbelievable that they would stand any chance against stormtroopers, much less defeat them.

    It’s true that history is rife with defeats of technologically advanced military units at the hands of less advanced forces using guerrilla warfare. But in all these cases the less advanced forces had something significant going for them — the terrain was unsuitable for use of the more advanced opponent’s technology, they outnumbered their opponent, they knew the terrain better than the opponent, they were defending their position while already well dug in, etc. Moreover, while their weapons were less advanced they were at least armed with the same *kind* of weapons (e.g. older model firearms vs. newer model firearms…but still firearms). In some cases the more advanced military suffered from issues with performance of or assumptions about relatively untried technologies (e.g. early M-16s tended to jam during battle in the Vietnam War while the venerable AK-47 is famous for its ability to avoid jamming even in terrible conditions).

    But the Ewoks had none of these advantages. The stormtroopers were able to use their AT-STs so terrain wasn’t a problem for the Empire, the stormtroopers had the advantage of defense (which also negated any advantage the Ewoks’ knowledge of the terrain would give them since the stormtroopers also knew their own terrain), and the Ewoks did not appear to outnumber the stormtroopers. Worse, the Ewoks only had sticks and stones against Imperial blasters — violating the adage “don’t bring a knife to a gun fight” to a whole new level.

    It gets still worse if you think about the plot surrounding the battle itself. Not only did the Empire have the advantage of defense but the Emperor had anticipated the attack on the shield generator and had specifically deployed troops to the area in preparation for the battle. While the ineffectiveness of the stormtroopers’ armor against blasters made the armor’s usefulness questionable, the scene of stormtroopers getting knocked out with rocks makes you wonder what good it’s supposed to do *at all*. Finally, the prequels make the battle even more unbelievable: we are supposed to believe that the Imperial military declined so swiftly and severely that it went from being able to kill *Jedi* at its birth in 19 BBY to losing to a bunch of little bears with sticks and stones in 4 ABY (only 23 years!). Yeah, right.

    I get the message is that a smaller, less technologically advanced force can defeat a force as powerful as the Empire, but it needs to be *plausible*. We got that in the Battle of Yavin, but the ground battle in the Battle of Endor was not even close.

    What is especially annoying about the unbelievable battle with the Ewoks is that we see it right alongside Luke’s confrontation with Darth Vader and the Emperor, the latter of which is one of the best sequences in all the films.

    • Hmmm…I understand your point, and agree with some of it, but not all. I believe the terrain had a huge impact in the fact that, like I mentioned before, the Empire did not think of the Ewoks as a threat. So the Ewoks had a full night, maybe even a better portion of a day to create traps and a suitable plan to take on the Empire. You don’t think they had a bunch of logs just waiting there for some odd chance a huge machine walked by, do you? (Actually I have no idea since I know very little EU facts on the Ewoks) I feel like it was specifically planned after Threepio told the story of the Rebellion vs. the Empire. The Ewoks definitely scouted their opponents quite thoroughly, IMO.

      I agree with your point about the Ewoks taking on the stormtroopers with sticks and stones. That does seem a little far fetched, but at the same time, the Ewoks created a distraction for the Empire. It’s not the Ewoks that took down the Empire. It’s the Rebellion. The Ewoks were a partner in this. The distraction is exactly what the Rebellion needed in order to blow up the shield generator. Order 66 was a very well planned, meticulously thought out process perfectly manipulated by Palpatine (try saying that six times fast lol). This battle was considered of little importance to Palpatine because he knew the Rebels were going to try to attack, and thus prepared for it, and his main focus was to try to convert Luke to the dark side.

      I guess that’s the point I’m trying to make. The Empire put the Ewoks below their notice and decided to not even think about them within their plans. It was a flaw in their planning, and that flaw took down the Empire. So maybe the Ewoks should not have been able to take out stormtroopers with rocks, but they did create enough of a distraction for the Rebels to complete their mission.

      I swear, I’ve never thought this much about Ewoks before in my life.

  4. “Order 66 was a very well planned, meticulously thought out process perfectly manipulated by Palpatine (try saying that six times fast lol). This battle was considered of little importance to Palpatine because he knew the Rebels were going to try to attack, and thus prepared for it, and his main focus was to try to convert Luke to the dark side.

    I guess that’s the point I’m trying to make. The Empire put the Ewoks below their notice and decided to not even think about them within their plans. It was a flaw in their planning, and that flaw took down the Empire. So maybe the Ewoks should not have been able to take out stormtroopers with rocks, but they did create enough of a distraction for the Rebels to complete their mission.”

    I partially agree with this. I agree that Palpatine’s main focus was to convert Luke to the dark side, but the Battle of Endor as a whole was a close second. Palpatine’s plan to destroy the Rebellion was as meticulously thought out as all his other plans. To quote Palpatine (http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Star_Wars_Episode_VI:_Return_of_the_Jedi):

    “Everything that has transpired has done so, according to my design. Your friends, out there on the sanctuary moon, are walking into a trap, as is your Rebel fleet. It was I who allowed the Alliance to know the location of the shield generator. It is quite safe from your pitiful little band. An entire legion of my best troops awaits them. [mockingly] Oh, I’m afraid the deflector shield will be quite operational when your friends arrive.”

    And Palpatine left the Imperial Fleet hidden so that when the entire Rebel fleet arrived and found the deflector shield operational they would be pinned between a hammer and an anvil — the Death Star as the hammer and the Imperial Fleet as the anvil holding the Rebels in place. The Rebel fleet would have no escape, but that was only true as long as the Death Star was protected by the shield generator — which is why Palpatine put “an entire legion of [his] best troops” there! Palpatine may not have specifically called out the Ewoks as an issue, but a legion should have had no problems even with that eventuality.

    A single legion — the 501st — assisted Darth Vader in the destruction of the Jedi Temple 23 years before, yet a legion of stormtroopers could not defeat a Lambda-class shuttle’s worth of Rebels and a band of Ewoks? I don’t believe that.

    • Wam bam! I love your comments, Null, because they force me to think and rethink everything. Good call bringing up what Palpatine said to Luke and the fact that Palpatine kept the fleet hidden from view.

      You have definitely swayed me towards the argument that it does not seem completely plausible that the Ewoks could bring down the Empire. I don’t know how I feel now…which means you presented a very well thought out argument! I still believe the Empire did not believe the Ewoks to be a threat and thought they were not worth their notice/factoring them into their plans. But I also agree with you on the point that the Ewoks and a small band of Rebels would have a hard time taking down everything that was there.

      But, then again, when we look at the movie, the Rebels WERE completely caught and rounded up when Threepio and the Ewoks distracted everyone. Yes, throwing the stormtroopers completely off guard with sticks and stones might be stretching it. But once the troops were distracted enough, the Rebels took advantage of it.

      I’m a standstill. I agree more and more with what you say, but looking at what happened in the movie, it still seems entirely plausible that the Ewoks helped the Rebels significantly.

      • Whether you end up agreeing with me or not, you’ve remembered the brilliance of Palpatine’s plan to turn Luke to the dark side *and* destroy the Rebellion in a decisive battle all in one fell swoop. My work here is done. 🙂

  5. Pingback: April Haiku Month – Recap | Star Wars Anonymous

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