Take the 2-minute tour ×
Science Fiction & Fantasy Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for science fiction and fantasy enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

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?

share|improve this question
5  
I definitely never thought about this before :p –  Sydenam Sep 26 '11 at 8:14
    
1  
Do we really need an ewok tag? –  OghmaOsiris Mar 11 '13 at 14:44
    
@OghmaOsiris - The fact that you even need to ask this question suggests you may be on the wrong site... :-) –  Richard Mar 5 at 19:14
1  
@PaulD.Waite - Which beggars the question; How do we know it's not pronounced 'E-E-E-E-E-E-EWoks'? –  Richard Mar 5 at 19:41

4 Answers 4

up vote 25 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.

share|improve this answer
1  
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
2  
"Wookie" spelled backwards would be "Eikoow" (E-Koo?) - it's more like the syllables were reversed. ("Wook-E" -> "E-wook") –  Nate Sep 26 '11 at 16:23
1  
What's g-canon? –  OghmaOsiris Sep 27 '11 at 17:11
2  
@OghmaOsiris G-canon is essentially Word of George and movies. The various levels of Star Wars canonicity are covered at scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/1806/… –  HorusKol Sep 27 '11 at 22:58
4  
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. –  Jimmy Shelter Mar 11 '13 at 1:48

They were never referred to as Ewoks in the films, though they may have been 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.

share|improve this answer
1  
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
1  
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
3  
@Jeff I meant like, "Ewok #5: (lifts boulder)" :) –  Peter Cassetta Sep 26 '11 at 5:28
1  
@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.

share|improve this answer
1  
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 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 at 9:12

They're specifically referred to as Ewoks in the original script as well as in the end-credits for Return of the Jedi.

"A strange little furry face with huge black eyes comes slowly into view. The creature is an EWOK, by the name of WICKET."

ROTJ Credits

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

Ewoks!


As to the origin of the name "Ewok", 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.

share|improve this answer
    
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 at 12:07
    
@dvk - the original theatrical ones, I'll thank you. –  Richard May 11 at 12:16

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.