Continuing in his TheForce.net interview, Warwick Davis said, “Even if the look did not make it through to the finished film, [director George Lucas’] concept of primitive creatures bringing down the technologically advanced Empire certainly did, and it works great.” In this statement alone, the actor touched on why the Ewoks are so important to “Star Wars” and the messaging behind it. Sure, they may look like teddy bears created to sell toys to kids, but at the end of the day, they’re a fighting force willing to risk it all if it means taking down the Empire.
Behind all of the lightsaber duels, alien creatures, and engaging space battles, “Star Wars” is largely a story about the oppressed working against their oppressors. The Rebels fight back against the Empire, the Resistance battles back against the First Order, and the Jedi combat the Sith. These tales are designed to inspire hope, reminding audiences that cruelty, abuse, and hate are no match for courage, bravery, and community. How better to exemplify that than through a faction of seemingly defenseless little bears fighting their hearts out to ensure the end of a high-tech fascist regime?
At the end of the day, there are valid reasons to dislike Ewoks and their presence in “Return of the Jedi.” However, to say they don’t fit in “Star Wars” couldn’t be further from accurate.