The best decision I ever made was allowing myself to love things unironically. When we love things unironically, we have no need for “guilty pleasures” or defending something as “so bad it’s good.” We can just say, “This is good. It feels good. I like it” and leave it.
There’s no need to be fanatical in order to love. Though being fanatical can be fun, allowing us to deride the uninitiated or diametrically opposed, it’s just as much fun to be deliriously free of minutiae and simply enjoy something. A great weight has been lifted off, and we can turn off our analyses and cynicism to embrace the warmth, letting our curiosity and confusion run amok.
I know next to nothing about Star Wars except that I love the uniqueness of the world that has depths too deep for me to explore. I suck at the trivia games. I can’t tell the difference between Boba Fett and Cad Bane. I don’t even know who Cad Bane is. I just added the first non-Boba name that came up when I Googled “Star Wars bounty hunter.”
But I played Star Wars: Battlefront religiously with my roommate in college, and these memories remain some of my favorites. And I’ve seen the first six movies and Rogue One, so there’s that, right?
I’ve also seen both Ewok movies and think they’re just dandy, and two of the bright points in 1980s sci-fi cinema. At the heart of both Caravan of Courage and The Battle for Endor lie no great lessons or dramatic plot points for the larger galaxy. The heart of the movies is just that — heart. It’s helping strangers because it’s the thing to do, no matter the Goraxes lurching in the way. Ewoks live up to their reputations as scrappy little wholesome underdogs prone to long-shot victories and build fast friendships with strange children and Wilford Brimley.
I don’t really care if Ewoks were merely a marketing ploy to sell ugly and terrifying teddy bears to unsuspecting children. I care that there exists not one but two movies where nothing really galactically important happens, just individually important. After all, truly immersive worlds, what sci-fi titans like Star Wars possess, necessarily encompass the collectively “unimportant,” which, though unable to define a galaxy, can provide something new in storytelling. Perhaps they can even remind us that everyday occurrences are just as fascinating. For every Luke Skywalker there is a Cindel Towani, just as for every West Wing there is an According to Jim.
So, I’m not going to try to shoehorn in a great and weighty interpretation of the Ewok movies. Bringing up colonialism or claymation or Arthurian legend or Hensonian fantasy kind of robs these movies for what they are at their roots — altruism.
When Gondor calls for aid, the Ewoks declare that Rohan will answer and don’t even bother to bring up when the Westfold fell. They do not look to be celebrated for this. And for those of us whom the scribes will easily forget, that’s something to be savored.