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In Star Wars: Episode VI: Return of the Jedi, Ewoks separately encountered Leia, and Luke, Chewie, Han, and the droids. When Wicket came across Leia, he brought her back to the camp for safety. When a group of Ewoks came across Luke, Chewie, Han, and the droids, they worshipped C-3P0 and decided to kill and eat Luke, Chewie, and Han. Why the hugely different treatment?

Why didn't the Ewoks plan on killing and eating Leia?

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    Because she had long hair, and braiding hair is like crack to Ewoks. – Wad Cheber Dec 6 '15 at 3:06
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Because Leia saved an ewok who found her (Wicket) from the imperial scout (and was friendly to him just prior to that).

From the script:

LEIA: Look, it's a hat. It's not gonna hurt you. Look. You're a jittery little thing, aren't you?

Reassured, Wicket lowers his spear and climbs back on the log, coming to investigate the helmet. Suddenly his ears perk up and he begins to sniff the air. He looks around warily, whispering some Ewokese warning to Leia.

LEIA What is it?

Suddenly a laser bolt comes out of the foliage and explodes on the log next to Leia. Leia and Wicket both roll backwards off the log, hiding behind it. Leia holds her own laser gun ready, while Wicket disappears underneath the log. Another shot, and still no sight of anyone in the forest. Then Leia senses something and turns to find a large IMPERIAL SCOUT standing over her with his weapon pointed at her head. He reaches out his hand for her weapon.

SCOUT #l Freeze! Come on, get up!

She hands the weapon over, as a second scout emerges from the foliage in front of the log.

SCOUT #1 Go get your ride and take her back to base.

SCOUT #2 Yes, sir.

The second scout starts toward his bike, as Wicket, crouched under the log, extends his spear and hits the first scout on the leg. The scout jumps and lets out an exclamation, and looks down at Wicket, puzzled. Leia grabs a branch and knocks him out. She dives for his laser pistol, and the second scout, now on his bike, takes off. Leia fires away and hits the escaping bike, causing it to crash into the first scout's bike, which flies end over end and explodes. The forest is quiet once more. Wicket pokes his fuzzy head up from behind the log and regards Leia with new respect. He mumbles his awe. Leia hurries over, looking around all the time, and motions the chubby little creature into the dense foliage.

From the James Kahn novelization, based on screenplay:

Suddenly Wicket froze; his ears twitched, and he sniffed the air. He tilted his head in an attitude of keen attention.

'What is it?' Leia whispered. Something was obviously amiss. Then she heard it: a quiet snap in the bushes beyond, a tentative rustling.

All at once the Ewok let out a loud, terrified screech. Leia drew her pistol, jumping behind the log; Wicket scurried beside her and squeezed under it. A long silence followed. Tense, uncertain, Leia trained her senses on the near underbrush. Ready to fight.

For all her readiness, she hadn't expected the laser bolt to come from where it did - high, off to the right. It exploded in front of the log with a shower of light and pine needles. She returned the fire quickly - two short blasts - then just as quickly sensed something behind her. Slowly she swiveled, to find an Imperial scout standing over her, his weapon leveled at her head. He reached out his hand for the pistol she held.

'I'll take that,' he ordered.

Without warning, a furry hand came out from under the log and jabbed the scout in the leg with a knife. The man howled in pain, began jumping about on one foot.

Leia dove for his fallen laser pistol. She rolled, fired and hit the scout squarely in the chest, flash-burning his heart.

Wicket poked his fuzzy head up from under the log, and looked around. 'Eeep rrp scrp ooooh,' he mumbled in a tone of awe.

Clearly, any enemy of Stormtroopers was not Ewok's enemy, but a powerful ally.


As far as Luke, Han and company:

  • They were caught as prey by Ewoks
  • Han threatened their god (C-3PO)

    THREEPIO: It's against my programming to impersonate a deity.

    Han moves toward Threepio threateningly.

    HAN Why, you--

    Several Ewoks' spears are thrust in Han's face at the affront to their god.

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    Also - wouldn't YOU want to fry and eat anyone closely associated with anyone as annoying as C-3PO? – DVK-on-Ahch-To Dec 6 '15 at 3:05
  • You forgot the junior novel. Consider me disappointed. – Valorum Dec 6 '15 at 8:10
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    @richard there's only so much ewok I'm willing to suffer – DVK-on-Ahch-To Dec 6 '15 at 12:22
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    When someone asks you, if you're a god, you say YES. – Sean Boddy Dec 6 '15 at 21:00
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Possibly akin to the 'life debt' concept seen w/ Gungans and Wookiees. She and Wicket established a friendship and she helped save him (and he her) from the Stormtroopers.

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It didn't make sense at all. It was just convenient scripting to show Leia in that pathetic Ewok dress. Wicket and any other Ewok in the area should have treated Leia as prey and disarmed her. Why disarmed? Well if Ewoks had previous enmity with the empire then why would he trust the human female in the first place.

I still think that it would have been appropriate for Princess Leia to have been captured bound to the carrying pole and taken back to the Ewok village in the same manner as Han Solo, Luke, Chewbacca. A comedic dialog could have taken place along the lines of the compactor scene on the death star. It would have been a joyous reunion tempered with the fact that Leia, Han Solo and Luke were about to become a feast.

  • You're not necessarily answering the "why didn't they" part, you're merely adding more points in agreeance with the OP. – Möoz Mar 1 '17 at 4:34

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