Are Ewoks pygmy relatives of Wookiees, or are they a completely different species? I've wondered about this for many years, but they never address it in the films. They look just like them, but tiny. They also are ferocious warriors just like Wookiees. I didn't see them use the crossbow laser gun, but they definitely used some interesting and distinctive weapons in the battle against the storm troopers and walkers. Anybody know anything about this?
The old SW Databank article on Wookiees describes them as being "native" to Kashyyyyk. The clear implication is that this is their ancestral homeworld and the place that they evolved.
Kashyyyk: Kashyyyk is a lush jungle planet where treetops serve as homes for the native Wookiees
By the same token, the SW Databank article on the Ewoks indicates that the Ewoks are "native" to the Forest Moon of Endor, again, strongly implying that this is their ancestral homeworld and the place where they evolved
EWOK: The Ewoks are sentient furred bipeds native to the moon of Endor.
There are no indications (in-canon) that the Wookiees and Ewoks are related in any way, other than looking moderately similar.
Out of universe,
George Lucas created the Ewoks because he wanted Return of the Jedi to feature a tribe of some primitive creatures that bring down the technological Empire. He had originally intended the scenes to be set on the Wookiee home planet, but as the film series evolved, the Wookiees became technologically skilled. Lucas designed a new species instead, ... — Wikipedia
Yes. According to a lesser-known and controversial canon, the Ewoks are the descendants of a Wookiee subpopulation who were banished from Kashyyyk for being slightly too short. Of course, once on Endor, the slightly short Wookiees interbred. As there was no genetic advantage to being Wookiee-sized on the moon of Endor, the population continued to shrink in size. By the time of Return of the Jedi, the Ewok had reached their contemporary height and devolved to a pre-technological state. Their language had similarly drifted far enough from Shyriiwook to be incomprehensible to all but a few Wookiee anthropologists.