Sci-Fi Review: Return Of The Ewok (1982, dir. David Tomblin)


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Apparently, David Tomblin, who worked as an assistant director on Return Of The Jedi, thought it would be fun to shoot a little behind the scenes movie back when they were making the film. This short ~25 minute movie was first seen at conventions in 1999 according to IMDb. Now it’s still a little obscure, but I was able to find a copy. This is what the holiday special should have been like in my opinion.

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The movie opens up and we meet young Warwick Davis, barely a teenager, deciding it’s time for him to make a name for himself. This first takes him to see if he can be a training partner for Dave Prowse, the “Undefeated Weightlifting Champ”.

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As you can see, that doesn’t work out for him. Insert your own joke here about Warwick Davis, Dave Prowse, and this scene from A Clockwork Orange (1971).

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Next Davis spots a sign from the Chelsea Football Club for a “First Team Goalkeeper”. This is when Take The Long Way Home by Supertramp kicks in as we see Davis trying to play goalie.

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But Davis was destined for other things. Such as intersecting with stock footage from the Star Wars movies. I love that we have Luke fighting Vader.

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Then Luke gets pushed back by Vader into the street.

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Davis gives him some words of encouragement,

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then Luke goes back in the door…

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and flips right back into the stock footage to finish the fight.

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Now Davis is off to be an actor! But first he has to deal with those pesky elevators with their buttons that are too high to press. Davis is clever though. He calls someone on the floor he needs to go to and fakes a voice to get them to come down so he can go up. He makes it to an agent.

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The agent tells him the movie he’s currently working on is Revenge Of The Jedi. Says he’s got a box of costumes, so go try something on and let’s take a look.

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Warwick decides Boba Fett isn’t for him cause he wants to play a good guy. The agent suggests an Ewok. Neither knows what that is, but it pays, and the costume fits! So off he goes to try and find the studio.

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The cab driver asks for his fare, but Davis tells him Ewoks don’t have money. Next let’s prank Harrison Ford.

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Ford doesn’t know where he’s supposed to go so it’s time check in with Hamill.

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When Hamill doesn’t know, then it’s time for Carrie.

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Nice to know that Carrie just hung around in the bikini whenever she felt like it. She tells him to go Jabba’s palace so off he goes!

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Davis runs into C-3PO, R2-D2, and Chewbacca. He asks for directions, but they get scared and run away. He finally makes it to the palace.

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This is a great little scene where Davis interacts with the puppets, dances, and talks to the choreographer. Now Davis finds himself on the Death Star and narrowly escapes Boba Fett.

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Davis thinks he’s found Frank Oz’s office, but whoops!

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Now we see C-3PO being an annoying jackass. Luckily, Davis is here to show how to handle him. Just turn him off.

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And with C-3PO turned off, let’s turn him into a lamp.

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But Davis still doesn’t know where to go. That means it’s time to turn to Yoda.

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Yoda tells him he needs to go to Endor which is in a galaxy far far away. Davis asks him how to get there. Yoda says on the table is his passport and ticket. So Davis is off to the airport. He first tries to get aboard the plane as an Ewok, but it’s a no go, so he goes undercover as Warwick Davis instead.

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Finally Davis makes it to Endor. This part makes up the last 6 minutes or so of the movie. Davis basically wanders around Endor with a little interaction from the characters. The best part is when he runs inside the little fortress with a bomb and blows it up.

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His job done, Davis leaves to go into the forest of Endor to meet back up with his parents.

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They have a humorous little discussion about him wandering off, that sure he was just in a movie, and about how much it costs to take a rocket ship.

I was born the year The Return Of The Jedi came out so obviously I wasn’t there to see the holiday special when it aired, but I’d bet people were expecting something more like this movie. This was fun, it had it’s own original storyline that still interacted with the films, featured the actual actors, and more than anything, the actors actually look like they had fun making this. To my knowledge this still isn’t something that is out there widely available. That’s sad. If you can find it, watch it!