Sunday, December 23, 2012

Henry George Lucas: Ewoks- The Battle for Endor

Are you ready for something much, much darker?  Today's film is Ewoks: The Battle for Endor.  To say that there is a difference in the two films is like saying there's a difference between day and night.  The first clue is in the title difference.  While the DVD marks them both with the 'Ewoks Adventures' label, this film is actually lacking that.  You see, Ewoks Adventures was spun into a cartoon show (of the same name), which in turn got its own comic book.  This film just has 'Ewoks' in front of the title, which is a key difference.  This a real turn.  It's still got those cutesy (read: creepy) Ewoks in it, but the story is much darker.  That said, there's a weird swing back to cutesy in the middle by way of new characters.  It's...a bit confusing.  It's kind of like bringing your kids to visit Grandpa in the Hospital, only for him to die in front of you.  To try and comfort them, you bring them to see a Clown.  Sure, the Clown is funny...but Grandpa's eerie death still lingers over the whole day.  No pie to the face will bring back Grandpa!  Where was I?  Oh right, the movie.  So yeah, be ready for the tragedy, folks and read on...
The film pulls what I will now dub The Reverse New Moon.  It shows you happy people in a pristine field (Sindel and Wicket) and then...
...cuts to the gruesome death.  In the span of five minutes, the Mom (who gets it off-camera), the brother and the father die.  For children!

In a 'racist' twist, none of the Ewoks die.  Yes, murder the humans, but spare the Midgets in fur!
Remember the Evil Queen from Willow (also Produced by Lucas and starring Warwick Davis)?  Well, she has her start here as an evil Witch.  She can turn into a crow and...
...Sherri Moon Zombie.  You truly are evil, lady!  Evil!
After seeing her family die, nearly being killed a few times and being sad, our heroine gets over it amazingly well.

Seriously, it's not your house!
The bad guy is this weirdo.  He wants 'the power,' which is actually the ship's power core.  He's played by the same guy who played 'Lurch' in The Addams Family as well.  I'm just a font of useless information!
Teaming up with Wilford Brimley and a now-talking (sort of) Wicket, our heroine manages to free the other Ewoks.  When they escape, the number of raiders seems to quadruple.

Seriously, where were these people five minutes ago?
After blatantly-rehashing the Ewok vs. Stormtroopers battle from Jedi, our hero's kill the villain by way of a silly Chekov's Gun.  It's nice and disturbing too.  For children!
After fixing the ship, our lone heroine leaves with Wilford Brimley.  It's so sad and...the movie's over now.  Hurray!  The End.
So...who's idea is that?  Seriously, the tonal shift is amazingly-jarring.  Even aside from that, it makes the first movie pointless.  Quick- rescue the parents!  Next movie- parents die.  The brother goes on a journey to find courage and accept help?  Screw that- he dies too!  On a creepy note, our heroine has a bracelet that lights up green for each family member that's alive.  After the other three die in the beginning, she wears this thing the entire movie!  That's amazingly-creepy.  Couldn't you take that off?!?  If you can get past the overall issues, the plot is a weird mish-mash of stories.  Aside from copying the previous Star Wars films, this story includes a Witch, a Warlord from some vague alien race that lives in a Castle and people desperately trying to fix a space ship.  I like how lazy the plot is to, since the movie begins with our heroine ready to leave with her family and ends with her leaving with a man who's practically a stranger.  There's also a vague sense of time here.  Between movies, the brother visibly aged and Wicket learned to sort of talk.  How long were they there?  Did they just spend the whole time trying to fix the ship?  On top of that, you have to deal with some serious questions being raised.  Namely, who are these alien raiders, where were they in Jedi, where were they in the last film and why do they never show up again?  That was fun.  This movie is better than the last one, but amazingly-creepy in its own right.  Pop Quiz: which one of these two men is the son of Tarzan star Johnny Weismueller?
Next up, a week of films about Christmas and depravity.  First up, I bring a very disturbing and Japanese Christmas.  Stay tuned...

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