Nostalgia Critic: Hello, I'm the Nostalgia Critic. I remember it so you don't have to. And welcome to WTR, a.k.a... Was That Real?
(It cuts to the title card of WTR)
NC: This is a new segment where we look at nostalgic TV shows that, by all sense of taste, probably shouldn't have existed.
(Cuts to clips from shows like "Small Wonder", "Dumb and Dumber, "Count Duckula", "Dog City", and "Ace Ventura: Pet Detective")
NC (vo):There are strange, silly, oddball ideas that you would never believe could fill an entire season, let alone 24 minutes. But they did, and we're going look at whether or not they were worth our time then and worth our time now.
NC:With that said...I have a little bit of a confession to make. Um... How did you come across "Star Wars"?
NC (vo): And I knew it had Ewoks in it because I saw the spin-off movies. And I saw the spin-off movies because I played with the toys. And I played with the toys...
NC: ...because I watched "Ewoks: The Cartoon".
(the title of said series is shown, and then the clips)
NC (vo): Yep. Not even kidding, this was my introduction to "Star Wars". It's about as backwards as you could possibly get. I had no idea who Luke Skywalker, Han Solo or Darth Vader were but I can tell you with my proud five-year-old dignity who Wicket, Teebo and Latara were. A lot of Star Wars fans are familiar with the cartoon Droids, the spin-off show with C-3PO and R2-D2 but very few people talked about this one because, fuck it, it's Ewoks! Who the nerf-herder balls likes Ewoks? Well, kids did seeing how it actually ran longer than Droids by at least another season. So even though Droids has more of a following, Ewoks is the one that actually lasted longer. Running from 1985 to 1986, Ewoks chronicle the adventures of...
NC: Well I guess the term now is "Younglings".
NC (vo): In all the trouble and mayhem they get into coming across various monsters and creatures. Its main character is Wicket, as seen from Return of the Jedi. He dreams of becoming a warrior and shouting weird catchphrases like "Dengar".
Wicket: Dengar! (x3)
NC: Yeah, I'm sure that'll catch on as well as this.
NC (vo): He has a friend who's a girl, so naturally being an 80's cartoon, she must be a-- (Princess) Oh, the options back then.
Princess Kneesa: If you help others, they'll help you someday.
NC (vo): To be fair though, there is another girl character named Latara who has a pretty defined character of being self-centered but cynically enjoyable.
Latara: Ooh. Now this is valuable.
NC (vo): And of course, Teebo, a bumbling klutz who wants to be a great wizard.
Teebo: My mom will ground me for a week!
NC (vo): How you may ask? By using the all powerful Sunstar, an ancient device of...ancientness that does all sorts of great magical stuff if used right. And when I say "used right" I mean basically just pointing it.
NC: But pointing it really passionately! We're using Harry Potter logic here.
NC (vo): The conflict of the show mostly comes from various villains and...Grinch snot hair trying to capture the Sunstar and use it's power for their own evil ways.
Chief Chirpa: Thank the Light Spirit, Logray keeps the powerful Sunstar.
NC (vo): Now they say the series is supposed to take place before the Star Wars Trilogy. In fact, the last episode may be the only glimpse we have of anything traditionally Star Wars. The Empire is following the theories of a guy named Doctor Raegar who believes the Sunstar can be used as a weapon.
Doctor Raegar: The Emperor himself has approved my expedition.
NC (vo): The idea of the Empire actually dedicating a mission to hunt Ewoks just makes me laugh. But then again, it's no different from them taking the time to shut a cantina down.
Ackmena (Bea Arthur): The Empire has closed us down!
NC (vo): It's weird to think this is where the Empire discovered their location to build their second Death Star. They were probably just like "Sheesh, look at these annoying embarrassments! Nobody would ever want to come out here! Let's set up our camp for destruction"!
NC: With that said, there are a few things to take into account with this being in the Star Wars universe. First of all, magic exists here!
NC (vo): Yeah, not the Force, magic. They verbally clarify it as that.
Wicket: Use your magic to get us out of here!
NC (vo): Now you can technically make the argument that maybe what they call magic, the rest of the universe calls the Force. But if that's so, the Ewoks can fucking use the Force?!? I mean I guess it's open to anyone.
NC: (rubs his forehead with his middle finger) You know, given the Midi-chlorian count.
NC: But doesn't it still seem kind of strange? What took Luke so long to control and figure out is being fucking mastered by chewed up Care Bears? In fact with all the talk of the Sunstar being so powerful, why didn't the Ewoks just use that to destroy the Empire in the first place? (a scene is edited to have Kneesa use the Sunstar to destroy the Empire's satellite dish) There's other strange little additions one wouldn't usually connect to this universe. For example, you want to know Wicket's full name? Yeah, Wicket actually has a full name. The show reveals it as "Wicket Wystri Warrick." Okay, ignoring the fact that it's kinda cool that he's named after the actor who played him in the movies, Warwick Davis...
NC: Am I the only one who finds it bizarre that Ewoks have full names? Let alone middle names?
NC (vo): Were there really just too many Wickets or Teebos or... Block-blars--whatever name you wanna make up? We really needed last and middle names to make things easier?
NC: Until I find out this civilization has a postal service I'm not seeing the reason.
NC (vo): You'll also notice the show gets a little bit of re-tooling in between seasons. A lot of voice actors, storylines and even designs were changed. More color and creativity was given to both the Ewoks and the other characters that inhabited the universe. Making the series look less like it was shot on the side of a flaming shit bag. Most of the animation is pretty decent but every once in a while you get some of that 80's children show laziness. For example, look at this guy with the Empire. He's supposed to be human but he looks like Ron Perlman from Beauty and the Beast. There's another scene where the Ewoks are supposed to dress up like robots and... (chuckles at the sight of Teebo's disguise) oh my God! These fuckers knew exactly what they were doing. You could just change Teebo's name to Dildo after seeing that.
Wicket: How did I ever fall for this guy's scheme?
NC (vo): Look, they even got legendary Batman story teller, Paul Dini as one of the writers.
NC: Oh boy! What epic issue are we gonna tackle in this episode?
Wicket: Mom, I took the woklings to the Hut of Horrors instead of the Tumble Bunnies show.
NC (vo): Yeah, this kinda gets down to the essence of the show and why it existed and that is...it was obviously meant for little kids. As such, both the writing and style of the show pretty much reflect that.
NC: And as a show for little kids goes, it's...harmless.
NC (vo): I know a lot of people laugh that this show even exists, but honestly, for what is does, it does it fine. The animation is decent, it has a lot of imagination to it, it's a totally serviceable product. I don't know if I recommend it to adults or older children unless you just want to see it for curiosity's sake. But for younger audiences, it's not bad. A part of me almost wishes I could hate it more as they (picture of Jar Jar) used to be the weakest part of the Star Wars movies. But there's nothing wrong with it for what it is. It's a cute spin-off that probably didn't need to exist but doesn't do harm in being around either. If you want to see a Star Wars commercial tie-in that's actually kind of innocent in its approach, this isn't a bad one to check out.
Wicket, Kneesa and Latara: Teebo! (Teebo laughs, episode ends)
NC: And like I said before, it did introduce me to "Star Wars". I mean, how can I dislike a spin-off show for doing that?
(cut to fake title card of "The Jar-Jar Show", showing us crudely drawn Jar-Jar Binks giving a thumbs up)
NC: (through clenched teeth) Don't push your luck. (normal) I'm the Nostalgia Critic. I remember it so you don't have to. (leaves his chair)