For all of their marketable skills in construction, crafting primitive weaponry, musical composition, and hair braiding, the Ewoks were once the furry, shiftless goldbrickers of the Star Wars universe, content to live their agrarian lifestyle off the grid and never even consider getting a goddamned job. Fortunately, Disney has begun to establish a new canon that reimagines the events after Return Of The Jedi—and with it, a new purpose for the Ewoks, beyond dodging falling Death Star debris. Chuck Wendig’s just-released novel, Aftermath: Life Debt, reveals that the Ewoks have at last been made part of the galactic workforce, in a role that makes use of their other most exploitable asset: a willingness to be little more than sentient teddy bears.
As excerpted by io9, Wendig’s book fills in the gaps after the Battle of Endor by chronicling the New Republic’s skirmishes with remaining Imperial forces, one of which lands a Rebel soldier named Dade in the medical center with a blown-off leg and plenty of downtime to quibble about outpatient services. After Dade is fixed up with a prosthetic limb, he’s offered a “therapy droid” to help with his PTSD—something Dade balks at, likely due to it not being covered under his plan (thanks, Emperor Obama). He’s then offered an alternative by his doctor:
Arsad smirks. “I could put you in for a therapy Ewok, instead. Some of the native Endor creatures have agreed to travel offworld to help veterans like you recuperate. As a matter of recompense for saving their home.”
Yes, by way of saying, “Hey, thanks for bringing the Galactic Civil War to our peaceful forest”—whose housing of the Death Star’s shield generator would seem to have guaranteed its preservation indefinitely, and where they were being totally ignored by Imperial soldiers until the Rebels told them a really spooky campfire story—and for then exploding a moon-sized, radioactive battle station over its skies, ensuring untold environmental disaster for space-years to come, the Ewoks apparently offered themselves to their “liberators” as cuddly companions, to help soothe the jangled nerves that come from such capital liberating. And yet, Dade proves resistant to the idea, though not out of deep, abiding shame: “Oh, yeah, I don’t want one of those. They smell horrible,” he says.
So unfortunately, Aftermath stops short of elaborating on the Ewoks’ approach to combating stress—whether it involves smashing stress between a couple of logs, or simply roasting and eating you, then playing your newly serene, untroubled skull like a drum. Still, it’s heartening to know that, in Disney’s corporate restructuring of Star Wars, no creature will be allowed to just lie about on their ravaged planet, singing their dumb little songs and contributing nothing of value anymore. Everybody get to work!