Caravan of Courage: An Ewok Adventure
What is it ? : We begin with two humans looking for their children around the wreckage of a crashed starship on the Forest Moon of Endor when they encounter a massive creature known as a Gorax.
The next morning an Ewok is looking for his sons who are missing, as he prepares his glider for launch, when Wicket sees a goat chewing on the rope securing the glider. As he springs to stop the goat, the rope splits and the glider is launched into the air. The pilot spots a reflection of metal in the forest, before spotting his sons on a cliff face, so he drops them a rope to climb down, before landing and meeting them as that rope splits as well and they tumble to the ground.
As they head home, they explore the reflective metal and find the wreckage of the starship, inside of which they encounter a blonde human child, Cindel Towani. As they try to help her, her brother Mace charges in with a Blaster, warning them away from her, but they knock him to the ground and overpower him.
Cindel, the Ewoks and a restrained Mace travel back to the Ewok village, where Cindel becomes ill, the Ewoks communicate to Mace that they have a medicinal tree sap which should help and get him to accompany them, but he becomes distracted and is attacked by a beast while the harvest the sap.
Returning to the village, the sap is used on Cindel who recovers from her illness, and during the night Mace and Cindel slip out of the village since Mace still doesn't trust the Ewoks.
In the forest, Mace makes a fire which attracts a large rat like creature, and he and Cindel take refuge in a tree stump, only to be awakened the next morning by the Ewoks fighting the creature outside. On the body of the creature they discover the life monitor of their father woven into a harness, and they discover that the creature is a pet of the Gorax who likely has their parents.
They go to the shaman of the Ewok village who uses a magic spinning top to show them their captured parents, and Cindel and Mace convince the Ewoks to help them try to rescue them.
Logray calls the group to participate in a ceremony, in which they are each given one of the Sacred Tokens of the Legendary Ewok Warriors. Deej (the leader of the group) is given the White Wings of Hope, Weechee (the eldest son) is given the Red Wings of Courage, Wicket is given a magic walking stick, Widdle is given the Blue Wings of Strength, Cindel is given the Candle of Pure Light, and Mace is given a rock. A crystal and an ivory tooth are brought along to give to other Ewoks who they must find to join them in their quest. Mace dismisses his rock and throws it aside, but Wicket picks it up behind him.
And they set off to travel to the mountains where the Gorax lives, but as they travel a tree falls almost hurting Cindel, and an Ewok woodcutter, Chukha-Trok, emerges, and is given the Ivory tooth which matches his necklace, and he joins them.
They then stop at Kaink the priestess and offer her the crystal to join them, but she makes them pass a test, handing the crystal to Mace, who drops it as it changes into a lizard. But Cindel picks up the lizard and it transforms into a mouse, and she asks the priestess to help them, to which she agrees.
They stop at a pool of water, but as Mace touches it he is transported under the water and begins to drown. Cindel and the Ewoks try to help, but everything they use to try to reach Mace is transported away, a rope, a tree branch, until Cindel asks Wicket to use his magic walking stick, which works and they pull Mace free.
While they look at a map, Wicket causes the horse on which Cindel is riding to bolt, and Chukha-Trok takes chase on another horse, catching and calming Cindel's and allowing them to return to the group.
As they camp for the night, Mace sees some small fairy like creatures in the camp, and Cindel uses her candle to entice them down into one, which lands on Maces hand, and he thinks it looks sad, and Cindel points out it is away from it's family just as they are away from theirs, and Mace offers the fairy some food to which it dances with joy to the delight of them all.
They cross a desert into the mountains until they arrive at the Gorax's fortress, and the Ewoks call on Mace to use his rock, but he reveals he threw it away, but Wicket returns it. Mace shakes the rock revealing it is hollow with something inside, and when he breaks it open a small arrowhead which points their way into the fortress is revealed. However the way is blocked by a rock, which Mace destroys with the last drops of energy in his blaster.
Inside they find a giant spiders web and as they cross it they are attacked by a giant spider, Kaink uses her magic wand to hypnotize the spider, and once they are all safely across, Chukha-Trok uses his ax to cut the spider web, which causes the spider to fall with the web into the pit.
They head up a staircase to the Gorax's lair, luring the creature out they see their parents in a cage suspended from the ceiling. Using the Gorax's axe as a level, two of the Ewoks jump on the blade and send Mace catapulting up to the cage, where they use a rope to climb down.
The Gorax returns and chases them out, and they lure it down the stairs and trip it over so it falls down a chasm, but Chukha-Trok is wounded and dies. As they prepare to leave, the Gorax climbs back out of the Chasm, but Mace hurls Chukha-Trok's axe into it's shoulder causing it to lose grip and plummet back into the chasm.
The survivors head back to the Ewok village and celebrate.
High Points : Okay so last year I watched the Battle for Endor, and found that while it wasn't good it wasn't an absolute disaster, well . . . . Welcome to the disaster.
Literally the only good thing I can say about this movie is that some, and just some of the visual effects are quite well done. The Ewoks are still in their tree top village (rather than relocating to a more conventional village in the Battle for Endor), and it looks quite pretty. And the rat creature is a rather decently performed puppet (even if the design is hideously bad).
But that's all the good I can say.
Low Points : Oh, god the acting. While child actors are notoriously bad, and Cindel is famed for being terrible, I must bring attention to Mace, who is equally awful. But beyond that the Ewok costumes seem to have been left in a closet since Return of the Jedi are rotted slightly. Out of all the Ewoks, only Lograys face moves at all, all of the rest don't move their mouths when they talk, and most of them have the most horrendous dead eyes which must have terrified the poor girl playing Cindel. I'm not surprised she didn't go into acting, they must still haunt her dreams.
Much of the movie consists of watching sleeping Ewoks, or watching dead eyed and still faced Ewoks muttering incomprehensibly.
I think they were trying for "charming" with this movie, but by heck they missed the mark.
It's slow, poorly acted, poorly scripted and doesn't look good, a failure on almost every level that a movie can fail at.
So what do you really think ? : The high point of this movie for me was when they capture Mace at the beginning, and take him tied to some wooden poles back to their village. All I could think of was the scenes from Return of the Jedi where they did the same to Luke, Chewie and Han.
But in Return of the Jedi the Ewoks planned on killing, cooking and eating the heroes, something I wished was even a possibility in this movie. As then there would actually be some kind of tension as to how Cindel would convince the Ewoks to not consume her brother. But unfortunately there was no such luck and the Ewoks just set Mace free, even though he'd just been threatening them with a blaster.
Final Words : This was terrible, and very, very dull.
Well at least that's the two Ewok movies done . . . but perhaps next year I'll have to start doing the Ewoks animated series, or maybe I'll just stab myself in the eyes instead.
Score : 3/10
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