(Warning Spoilers ahead). If you accept the Ewok movies for exactly what they are they are actually enjoyable. Having watched both of them again this week on Disney+ I have a better appreciation for them then I used to. I had forgotten more than I had remembered and really enjoyed the journey this time around.
Like the first Ewok film ( Caravan of Courage) Battle for Endor is more Fantasy film than Sci-Fi. If it wasn’t for the blasters and crashed Star Cruiser the movies are pure fantasy films. They are very much in the spirit of The Lord of the Rings stories with the Ewoks taking the place of The Hobbits and Sanyassan Marauders basically serving the role of Orcs.
The plot of the 2nd film finds Wicket’s village being hit by a surprise attack from a group of Marauders. The Ewoks are taken prisoner and the family from the first film is killed with the exception Cindel and Wicket. After they escape they are befriended a cute little creature called Teri who introduces them to a grumpy old hermit named Noah (played by a grumpy Wilford Brimley). My only complaint with the film is the decision to kill off the parents who we spent the first film trying to find and rescue. The film grinds to a crawl during the section where we meet Noah . Although the scenes are good I think the story could have worked just as well without the unfortunate death of Cindel’s family.
At one point a witch working with the Marauders tricks Cindel and takes her to their keep. Noah, Wicket and Teek have to infiltrate the keep and rescue Cindel and the Other Ewoks. This section of the film feels like it is straight out of Tolkien.
The final section of the film centers on a Return of the Jedi style fight between the Ewoks and Marauders in the forest as Noah tries to get his star cruiser working again now that he has the missing battery that was in the possession of the Marauders who were trying to unlock its powers.
It was a fun family fantasy adventure and looking back at it I’m certain that Lucas used this TV movies as a testing ground for the film Willow that would come out a couple years later. If Disney wasn’t already doing a Willow series for Disney+ ( which I can’t wait for). I could have seen a kid friendly Ewoks Series working on Disney+.