The Ewoks return in this great digest-length comic that both masterfully tells a tale and links the Ewoks cartoons, Return of the Jedi, and the Ewok TV movies.

Zack Giallongo debuts with Dark Horse for both story and art with a great tale in Star Wars: Ewoks - Shadows of Endor ( profile). Whether you're new to the world of Ewoks, or remember the Ewoks cartoon series on Saturday mornings and the live-action Ewoks TV movies, this 80-page trade paperback will have you shouting, "Yub Yub!"

Summary: When the Empire arrives on the forest moon of Endor, they awaken a slumbering evil, who attacks the Duloks. One Dulok survivor goes to warn the Ewoks of Bright Tree Village, but is not believed by his traditional enemies. Only some young woklings, Wicket, Kneesaa, Teebo, Latara, and Paploo, believe him, and get him to show them proof of his words. But there's more dangers out in the wilds of the forest moon than a mythic monster: Dulok treachery, the witch Charal, and of course, the Empire. 

 This comic digest is an absolute treat for every Ewok fan, young and old!

Review: Return of the Jedi is my favorite Star Wars film. I grew up with the Ewoks cartoon, and loved the Ewoks TV movies as a kid (though watching them when I was older, i realized that the human boy, Mace Towani, was a real brat). So I was really excited when Dark Horse announced this project, an idea that was pitched by newcomer Zack Giallongo, who wrote the story and did the art. And Shadows of Endor lives up to my expectations! There's a fun story here for all ages, and Giallongo not only ties some elements from the various Ewok television and movie appearances, he weaves them into a solid transition from what we see in the cartoon (Lucasfilm: release the full series on DVD!) to what we see in Return of the Jedi and the Ewoks telemovies. 

Ewoks - Shadows of Endor

Besides using the main kid heroes of Ewoks, and the malnourished underachieving scheming Duloks, there's also the appearance of the Sunstone, and a Wistie to provide living light in the dark. From Battle for Endor, we have the witch Charal, who was later retconned to be a Dathomiri Nightsister, and we see some of her Nightsister magic in action, and Teebo and Logray facing off against her for the Sunstone. There's even an appearance by ponies. Connecting to Jedi, we see the Empire starting to build their base, but also get an explanation for the lack of Ewok magic use and also perhaps something related to some kind of deity.   

While some stories try to shoehorn the continuity spackle, this story is entertaining and enjoyable on its own. The Ewoks show their dedication, loyalty, integrity and a little luck in overcoming the dangers. Sure the woklings cause trouble and get yelled at by their parents (and bossy aunts!), but their hearts are in the right place. And so is Giallongo's - his love for the older material shows as he captures the fun and adventure of the cartoon in a new comic story. His artwork, with colors by Braden Lamb and lettering by Michael Heisler, also calls back to the cartoon, but starts to evolve them toward their movie incarnations as well. 

Before I keep riding my nostalgia train, let me sum up: I think this story stands well on its own, for those who only know the Ewoks from Return of the Jedi. We get some good basic introductions of the characters, and it's clear what is going on and who the Duloks are to the Ewoks. While the awakened monster is frightening, the Nightsister Charal is also pretty fearsome with her powers and her evil. This comic digest is an absolute treat for every Ewok fan, young and old!

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Tags: Dark Horse , Comics out today , Zack Giallongo , Ewoks , Star Wars Comics TPBs