A smallish, furry, sentient warrior race living on the forest moon of the planet Endor. Completely underestimated by the Empire, both on the basis they were non-human and the basis that they were teddy-bear-esque and harmless-seeming. However, they sided with the Alliance and were *the* key in aiding the Rebels with the destruction of the shield generator, which allowed the pilots to destroy the second Death Star.

The Ewoks are a hunter/gatherer culture with a very close-knit clan structure. Their spirituality is based around life-energy and especially trees. A tree is planted for each Ewok at his or her birth, and there is a special binding between Ewok and tree. The shaman or medicine man is one of the highest-up in the tribe, revered even above the war-leader (chief). The elders are also active in tribe government.

On a completely different note, George Lucas had origianally planned on populating the Forest Moon with Wookiees, but decided that after having depicted Chewbacca as he did in the previous two movies, there was no way the Empire could consider the Wookiee people harmless. So he chopped them in half, made them cuddlier and seemingly more harmless, chopped the *name* in half, switched sylables (Wook-iee, E-wok) and got the Ewok species. The Ewok language was actually created by a linguist, it is predominantly Swahilii spoken backwards. Additionally, Warwick Davis, Wicket the Ewok, was originally a supporting character only but was made lead Ewok when it was realized he had the easiest time pronouncing the language through the awkward configurations of the mask.

The word "Ewok" is one of the greatest ever tributes to the power of marketing. It is a universally (or near enough) recognized word, but it never once appears in the original Star Wars trilogy. That's right, the characters never refer to the creatures as Ewoks. The name was first introduced along with the Ewok action figures, and was immediately picked up by the fan base. Likewise, an entire culture and history has been created, along with at least one animated series, for a species who didn't have a name in the movie where they were created. Now that's good marketing.

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