Ewoks: The Battle for Endor (1985)

Genres - Action, Adventure, Children's/Family, Science Fiction  |   Run Time - 100 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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After the success of 1984's made-for-television Star Wars spin-off film, The Ewok Adventure, a sequel was inevitable. The very next year saw the debut of the second and thankfully final Ewok film, Ewoks: The Battle for Endor. While the first film was a painful exercise in mindless sugar-coated sci-fi, this sequel takes a bizarre left turn into the realm of dark fantasy. As the film opens, we see our cherub-faced heroine from the first film, Cindel (Aubree Miller), helplessly watch as her entire family is brutally killed before her eyes and she is taken away and imprisoned by bad guys (who wear goofy rubber masks). Things don't get much better as the story goes on and she teams up with the predictably crabby yet lovable Noa, played with zero enthusiasm by Wilford Brimley. As the team sets forth to bring down this evil force, it becomes easy for a viewer to image that the true evil might involve being forced to watch this film. Perhaps inspired by Star Wars mastermind George Lucas' current project at the time, the fantasy epic Willow, the film features sword fights, dark castles, an evil witch, and several other elements that just seem out of place for a story set in the Star Wars galaxy. After a spiritless ending that simply recycles elements from Return of the Jedi and E.T., it becomes clear that if there was any movie that could actually make The Ewok Adventure look good, it's The Battle for Endor.