If you’re a late Gen-X’er like myself, you were no doubt part of the target audience when it came to the huge Ewoks marketing push in the mid-’80s. From Return of the Jedi through to Caravan of Courage and the Ewoks animated TV series, Ewok-mania was pretty hard to escape for the under-10s at the time.
Artist, writer and fan Zack Giallongo surely remembers those days. His new digest comic Ewoks: Shadows of Endor captures the spirit of the Ewok media of the ’80s perfectly, forming a bridge that ties the TV series, the Ewok movies and Jedi together seamlessly. Believe me, that’s quite a feat.
What we have here is a fun Ewoks adventure in the vein of the animated series that sets up the events of Jedi. We see Wicket and Kneesaa, Duloks and Wisties, as well as Imperials and the infamous Death Star II shield generator. The Ewoks spinoff material always seemed to be very loosely connected to the Star Wars universe depicted in the saga, yet here we go from the carefree adventures of Wicket and company to the Imperial occupation of Endor with nary a moment of genre whiplash.
The art most certainly helps: it’s bright and colourful with a “homemade” look to the overall aesthetic. The expanded universe is often derided as “official fan fiction”, but Ewoks: Shadows of Endor takes that idea and runs with it, putting to paper the imagination of a fan truly versed in this little corner of the Star Wars universe. What’s more, it has the very definite feel of mid-to-late ’80s Lucasfilm projects such as Willow and Labyrinth, brimming with the strange and the fantastic.
What this book is not is a serious addition to the Star Wars canon. If you’re a kid at heart and will admit to a fondness for Ewoks (even if only to yourself) Ewoks: Shadows of Endor may just be what you’re looking for. If, on the other hand, you’re in the “darker and grittier” camp, leave this one alone.
Me? I like my Star Wars to be fun without being frivolous. Ewoks: Shadows of Endor suits me to a T.