Shortly before once upon a time, there were Wookiees and Ewoks. In the films according to Lucas, they were primitive creatures destined to help futuristic characters like Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia and Han Solo topple the evil empirical forces that caused such a fuss through three millenia of Star Wars movies.
On the first day, George Lucas and his production forces created the Wookiee. The tall, furry Chewbacca served as Solo's mechanic and co-pilot.
Late on the third day, just in time for a part in the final Star Wars movie, Lucas created the Ewok, with the help of production designer Joe Johnston. Like the Wookiees, Ewoks were furry. Unlike the Wookiees, they were very small. In anthropological terms, they were of the stone age -- and the rawhide, wood and vine age -- living in harmony with nature in thatched huts in the Endor forest, which looks very much like Northern California.
"Ewoks," explained Johnston, "are Wookiees spelled sideways."
On the fourth day, Lucasfilm Ltd. and Korty Films Production created "The Ewok Adventure," a movie made for both home television and, later on, theatrical release. In the movie, the Ewoks help two children, played by Aubree Miller and Eric Walker, find their parents, whose spacecraft has crashed in the Endor forest. The Ewoks, played by small adults, include such characters as Kaink, their spriritual leader; Chukka Trok and Deej.
They are led by a child. Warwick Davis, a 14-year-old British schoolboy, plays Wicket, the littlest Ewok.
"Warwick has a very distinctive way of moving, and you can spot him among all the other Ewoks," noted producer Thomas Smith. "When you see him on screen there's a certain magic. He's a marvelous actor -- three feet tall, but filled with energy and charm and a sense of humor and a marvelous talent for pantomime."
The Ewok book was set down by scribe Bob Carrau. The story of the Ewoks and the human castaways they befriend is aimed at basic human feelings, Carrau explained.
"I think George realized there's a really strong primal instinct in children when they're separated from their parents," noted Carrau. "I think it's almost coded in our genes that if you start telling a story, and you're conscientious and moral, that no matter what story you tell it will have these innate themes:
"It's going to be about goodness, friendship, brotherhood, about learning from people and getting along with them, about love, magic and being nice to your fellow Ewok."