As a kid, the TV show Ewoks was a pretty significant part of my Star Wars experience. After all, as of 1983 they were basically the new direction of the franchise with two spin-off films and 26 half-hours on the teevee. The characters saw some rather severe redeisgns along with some pretty creative villains drawing from existing concepts and fantastic newness. This week we look at Sunstar vs. Shadowstone, which stood out in my head for years as a massive mighty magic match-up between Logray, the Ewok Medicine Man, and Morag, the Tulgah Witch.
So you get to see Morag turn into some massive lava creature, the repurposed and redesigned Yuzzum as her stooges, and basically the biggest battle on the show. Or so is how I remember it, having not seen the show in its entirety since it aired. This one stands out because you get to see a lot of the major characters doing stuff, plus it was Morag's final appearance on the series. A shame, as villains go she was a good one and she was far less goofy than the Duloks, although comical villains aren't the worst thing in the world.
Through my many years of research (OK, stalking Steve Sansweet's writings) I found out that the Ewoks were actually kinda popular in Europe. I didn't understand why. Upon further investigation I also found out they were pretty fond of our Uncle Scrooge comics, which was the inspiration for DuckTales (ooh-ooh-oooh!). With this in mind it sort of makes sense, as Ewoks are basically another fuzzy anthropomorphized crew of critters in comical, sometimes magical adventures. Morag was not unlike Magica De Spell, an older magical character with slightly loftier ambitions than most witches. Why settle for eating children when you can commit some sort of genocide against Ewoks, much like most older fans dreamed of doing in 1985? Heck, it's surprising more of the old-school fans weren't Morag fans for that reason alone.
If you liked this episode, check out the other Morag episodes if you have some time. These include "The Cries of the Trees," "The Haunted Village," "Rampage of the Phlogs," and of course, "Sunstar vs. Shadowstone." (All of these were compiled on the "Haunted Village" made-for-DVD Ewoks film, too.) For a kid's show, it's unusual that you introduce a strong villain and actually follow her through several tales, ultimately leading to what seems to have been her rather creepy death. 1980s TV shows were pretty tied-down as to what they could or couldn't show, with things like guns and broken glass being strictly Verböten while using them as a 30-minute toy commercial was considered A-OK. But I digress. The show managed to do some pretty good stuff given the restrictions, but alas, it is still a 1980s kiddie show.
If you have a suggestion for a future installment of Galactic Hunter Video Theater, please leave a comment or feel free to email me! See you next mission!