At the end of Return of the Jedi, how do the Ewoks


the Stormtroopers? The Stormtroopers are genetically enginered killers. Plus they have head to toe body armour, laser weapons and Imperial Walkers.

The Ewoks are armed with bows and arrows and sticks and stones.

  • 2
    Don't forget, "Sticks and stones can break your bones."
    – Lazer
    Oct 2, 2014 at 12:22
  • 1
    @Lazer Not if I'm wearing full body armour!
    – Daft
    Oct 2, 2014 at 12:24
  • 2
    They were also employing guerrilla warfare tactics which can help level the playing field. It would seem to me that the body armor was not designed for those types of attacks. I do believe that the armor could withstand "Words".
    – Lazer
    Oct 2, 2014 at 12:28
  • 2
    By the time of Jedi, the Stormtroopers were not "genetically engineered killers". Hell, some of them couldn't even walk into a room without hitting their head.
    – phantom42
    Oct 2, 2014 at 12:34
  • Have you ever seen a stormtrooper shoot? My dead grandma could beat them all with a stick and they'd never hit her once.
    – BBlake
    Oct 2, 2014 at 12:35

3 Answers 3


Basically the cuteness of the ewoks allow them to befuddle the storm troopers. enter image description here

Without this cuteness they wouldn't have stood a chance. On top of that they were quite small and nimble, and clearly pulling a Swiss Family Robinson move, completely booby traped the forest, against overwhelming numbers, and firepower. I also believe that they had incredible strength as they were able to take sticks topped with rocks and beat the crap out of storm troopers. enter image description here

They also were far more advanced they we were led to believe by the fact they had catapult technology. This shows a level of mathematics skill and engineering equal to medieval European times. They also were able to make a catapult in about an hour or so which is another highly advanced skill. enter image description here


The stormtroopers were overconfident. Secure in their superior technology and contemptuous of their opponents, they did not take elementary precautions, and they paid the price for it.

An example is when

An Ewok steals one of the Imperial scouts' speeders, and all of them rush off in pursuit. Only one is left, namely the one whose speeder was stolen. So a very simple diversion is enough to leave the back entrance to the bunker almost unguarded.

This is amazingly irresponsible, given that the fate of the Empire rests on keeping that bunker secure.

There are many, many historical cases of technologically superior forces being defeated by clever, determined opponents with better morale and knowledge of the terrain. A good example is the Battle of Dien Bien Phu in 1954, which ended French control of Vietnam.


As indicated by Lazer in the comments, they wage guerilla war. Compare it to how the Vietcong managed to hold out against the United States army, a force which was better-trained and better equipped, but operating in an unfamiliar territory with unfamiliar enemies.

Also, consider the analysis at https://scifi.stackexchange.com/a/4059/23243:

  1. They aren't issued proper equipment for their surroundings. They have shining white armor in a jungle.
  2. They do not properly prepare their defenses - there are no 'kill zones' around the base itself, which any military would prepare in an area of dense foliage.
  3. They are forced to allow the covert group to initially succeed, while the Emperor works on Luke.

Now let's consider their opposition: the Ewoks. Yes, they seem silly. They're tiny little teddy bears, they were created for marketing purposes, and not nearly enough of them were shown dying. But from an in-universe perspective, really think about what we see. These little, curious, cute fuzzballs are completely psychotic. They volunteer in HUGE numbers to assault beings who have godlike powers (comparatively), they know the area well, they've been observing their enemies for a long time. And they're strong as hell. Ewoks are seen effortlessly lifting boulders the size of their torsos and throwing them. While it's obvious that the 'boulders' were props made of styrofoam, from an in-universe point of view, we must assume they were rock.

I don't care HOW good your armor is, the kinetic force of that much rock, at that velocity, will knock you silly. And what happens when you find yourself on your ass, concussed, surrounded by primitive creatures with the strength to rend you limb-from-limb? We should be glad for the artful cuts the movie makes.

Lastly, the Ewoks are putting up a good fight, but when the Empire can concentrate firepower on them, they die easily. Presumably, if the Stormtroopers had been allowed to use the equivalent of Agent Orange to wipe out the forests hideouts, the Ewoks would have been completely crushed.

  • The Star Wars: Tales comic where the old stormtrooper is recounting the horrors of the Ewoks is hilarious. He frequently mentions how vicious & evil the little teddy bears really are once you get past the cuteness.
    – Omegacron
    Oct 2, 2014 at 15:52
  • Always nice to be cited as a source :-) And yes, the Ewoks are frankly terrifying if you're on the ground in their woods...or in a TIE Fighter flying against Lieutenant Kettch
    – Jeff
    Oct 16, 2014 at 13:59

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