How ‘Andor’ staged the first rebellion in the ‘Star Wars’ universe
The Rebellion’s victory at Geonosis proved decisive. But the victory proved temporary.
“If I’d known it was going to be like this, the last thing I would have told [my son] is that we’ll be the last family to go to the dinner at the table for a while. A battle is a battle, and the thing about battles is that people die,” explained Ewok-1, the first Jawa who survived on Dagobah. As far as the Ewoks were concerned, the Geonosians were a new and exotic species of sapient life. They had never even heard of the Rebellion.
But in the time between their peaceful coexistence and their unexpected confrontation with the Empire that became known as the Battle of Geonosis, events had shifted dramatically. The Empire had begun to use the Ewoks in its wars. And the Ewoks had begun to use the Emperor’s war machine to fight in its wars.
By the mid-1960s, the Ewoks had been reduced to a footnote in the Star Wars mythos. Ewoks were not even portrayed onscreen in any Star Wars film.
But when George Lucas, who had little experience with the Ewoks before the release of The Empire Strikes Back, wrote the next Star Wars film, he did bring them into the fold. And this time they were central to the plot.
Though they were an important part of the story, Star Wars was not the first science fiction story that featured the Ewoks. Some time around the same time, William Gibson, who wrote The Difference Engine and The Miracle Machine, wrote a story called “The Ewok Adventure” in which a group of Ewoks band together to fight for the planet Naboo, the home planet of the Jedi.
As Lucas, who in interviews was loath to reveal too much about the Ewoks, told a reporter in 2013, “The Ewoks were the first real, live Han and Chewie of science fiction.”
The Ewoks were even more important in his film, which was not released in theaters until 1983. In fact, its only theatrical release was on VHS in the United States.