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I just finished watching Return of the Jedi, and I don't remember actually hearing any of the characters referring to the teddy-bear-like creatures as 'Ewoks'.

Where did that name actually come from?

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I definitely never thought about this before :p –  Sydenam Sep 26 '11 at 8:14
Do we really need an ewok tag? –  OghmaOsiris Mar 11 '13 at 14:44
@PaulD.Waite - Which beggars the question; How do we know it's not pronounced 'E-E-E-E-E-E-EWoks'? –  Richard Mar 5 '14 at 19:41
This is true with lots of things in Star Wars. There are lots of minor character names and species that are never spoken on screen. –  Ben Miller Sep 6 '14 at 11:55

5 Answers 5

up vote 37 down vote accepted

According to the Behind the Scenes section of the Wookieepedia article:

A little-known fact is that the Ewoks are never referred to by name in Return of the Jedi's dialogue; the name only appeared in the script directions, the novelization, the movie's credits, and other spin-off and promotional materials.

So, the name was set in the script already - just never mentioned.

Additionally, the origin of the name is such that it was intended to be related to the word 'Wookie' (the rainforest scenes on Endor were original going to be on the Wookie homeworld, and Ewoks were to be a related species to the Wookies), and it is reminiscent of the Miwok people of Northern California.

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If the name Ewoks is part of "the movie's credits", it's make that name G-canon. –  DavRob60 Sep 26 '11 at 12:00
What's g-canon? –  OghmaOsiris Sep 27 '11 at 17:11
@OghmaOsiris G-canon is essentially Word of George and movies. The various levels of Star Wars canonicity are covered at… –  HorusKol Sep 27 '11 at 22:58
Interesting fact - Boba Fett was never referred to by name in Empire either. Many of the names we "know" actually came from secondary sources - novels, toys, comics, tie-ins, the Holiday Special (and now I must have a shower), etc. –  user8719 Mar 11 '13 at 1:48
@user8719 Han Solo says Boba Fett's name in Return of the Jedi, though –  spex May 15 at 13:23

They're specifically referred to as Ewoks in the original script...

"A strange little furry face with huge black eyes comes slowly into view. The creature is an EWOK, by the name of WICKET." well as in the end-credits for Return of the Jedi.

enter image description here

Obviously they're also named in the novelisation of ROTJ, interviews with George Lucas as well as enjoying their own films (Star Wars: Ewok Adventures, Ewoks - Caravan of Courage) and animated adventures under the name Ewoks


As to the origin of the Ewoks, the interview with George Lucas (below) makes it clear that the intention was that the Ewok moon was originally planned to be the home planet of the Wookies but as the film series evolved, the Wookiees ended up being too tall and technologically advanced, leading to Lucas designing a new species.

The name 'Ewok' itself is a corruption of the word Miwok, a tribe who were originally indigenous to the woodland where the Endor scenes were shot.

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Are those end credits from the original film or the New Improved Super Pooper Extra Special Outstanding Gold Collectors Edition New Media? –  DVK May 11 '14 at 12:07
@dvk - the original theatrical ones, I'll thank you. –  Richard May 11 '14 at 12:16
And Richard does it again... amazing. –  Wikis Sep 30 '14 at 19:38
@Wikis - And yet my answer sleeps with the fishes. Perhaps I should make the red box bigger and hand-drawn. –  Richard Sep 30 '14 at 19:40
@Richard freehand circles are essential. –  hobbs Sep 30 '14 at 22:32

They were never referred to as Ewoks within the films (though their species name was mentioned in the credits), though they may have been specifically named in the novelizations.

The Ewok's names (like most minor characters) only became known in the Extended Universe and the books. The Ewoks had a leg up, though: marketing. They were almost custom-made to sell toys. LucasFilm cashed in with a cartoon series (I think), live action movies, an extensive toy line, etc.

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Instead of 'Lucasart', did you mean Lucasfilm? –  Keen Sep 26 '11 at 3:22
Probably. I'm fuzzy on the real difference, anyway. –  Jeff Sep 26 '11 at 5:17
Don't know where it's located, but you could probably find a mention of their species' name in the movie's script. –  Peter Cassetta Sep 26 '11 at 5:20
@Jeff I meant like, "Ewok #5: (lifts boulder)" :) –  Peter Cassetta Sep 26 '11 at 5:28
@Jeff LucasArts makes Star Wars video games. LucasFilm makes movies and TV shows. –  Keen Sep 26 '11 at 13:39

Empire was supposed to be based on the Wookie home world but throughout the series Lucas had the Wookies gain better technology. He wanted someone more primitive to beat the empire's troops so he created the Ewoks. The name comes from the Miwok native american tribe and their language is based on the Kalmyk language from Russia.

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This does not answer this question. Interesting trivia, sure, but not an answer. I'd suggest reading the Tour under the help menu. –  Meat Trademark Mar 5 '14 at 5:33
“throughout the series Lucas had the Wookies gain better technology” — did he? In the original trilogy the only Wookie we see is Chewbacca, and he just hangs out with Han. –  Paul D. Waite Mar 5 '14 at 9:12

No one mentioned or might not of heard of the spin off movie "Ewoks: The Battle for Endor" it was released in 1985, two years after ROTJ.

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I mentioned them –  Richard Sep 6 '14 at 9:23

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