Star Wars Caravan of Courage: An Ewok Adventure, is a wonderful made-for-television film, which was released in 1984 and became so popular for its time, that it was even released in cinemas, all across Europe.
As a spin-off to the original trilogy, Caravan of Courage: An Ewok Adventure is set sometime between The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi and just three years after the Battle of Yavin. The film focuses on the planet of Endor and all its inhabitants, particularly the absolutely adorable Ewoks, as they make friends with two human children whose family accidentally crash landed, right in the middle of their vast territory. The Ewoks bravely help the children rescue their parents from Gorax, the most feared monster on Endor!
Although being mildly scary, this is a perfect film for the whole family to enjoy. It was beautifully written by George Lucas (Star Wars Episode IV & Raiders of the Lost Ark) and Bob Carrau (Ewoks the animated series & Maniac Mansion), masterfully directed by none other than John Korty (The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman & Miracle in a Box: A Piano Reborn) and expertly narrated by the late, great Burl Ives (Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer & Fantastic Mr. Fox), with an incredible musical score, which was composed by Peter Bernstein (Ewoks: The Battle for Endor & Wild Wild West).
The film stars Eric Walker (And You Thought Your Parents Were Weird & Less Than Zero), as Mace, a pride-filled, hot-headed, tough guy kid, with a lot to learn ahead of him and the oldest of the Towani children, Aubree Miller (Ewoks: The Battle for Endor & The Message), in her debut role, as Mace's little sister Cindel. Cindel first befriends the Ewok named Wicket, played by Warwick Davis (The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy & Harry Potter & The Philosopher's Stone) and enlists his much needed help, in order to rescue the children's parents, played by Guy Boyd (The Young Pope & Foxcatcher) and Fionnula Flanagan (The Others & Yes Man) from certain doom.
An epic battle commences
It was mostly filmed, just five miles away from Skywalker Ranch, in a public park called Roy's Redwoods, which contains the oldest Sequoias in the area and is still open to the public and very popular with fans of the Star Wars Saga to this day. Caravan of Courage was also rather pioneering for its time, as it was the first time that Ewoks were portrayed as having eyelids, which were specifically created for this film, as they are depicted sleeping. The eyelids Ewoks are seen with in Return of the Jedi were digitally added in a more recent update of the film.
Both Caravan of Courage and it's much-anticipated sequel, Ewoks: The Battle for Endor, were some of the very last intensive stop-motion animations produced by Industrial Lights & Magic, who honed their expertise techniques from none other than 2001: A Space Odyssey.
In some ways this film plays out a little like The Lord of The Rings, when a wise old Ewok named Logray, played by Bobby Bell (Batman Returns & Star Wars Episode IV: Return on the Jedi), gives each of the chosen adventurers a sacred token of the legendary Ewok warriors. This token helps them in their quest and along the way, they each find out that these tokens contain incredible and unique powers, which they use to evade some of the deadliest dangers of Endor and even rescue a Wistie (fire fairy) along the way, before their final showdown with the evil Gorax.
The rare and mysterious Wistie
Good vs. Evil, who will win? The only way to find out is to seek out this incredible film!
Caravan of Courage: An Ewok Adventure is rated PG, as it may contain content which some children may find confusing or upsetting.