When the original Star Wars trilogy concluded in 1983 with the release of Return of the Jedi, audiences came away thrilled by what they’d witnessed but also enamored by a brand new cast of characters. Among those new characters were the Ewoks – the furry little bear-like creatures that aided the Rebel Alliance wage a rather vicious battle against the Empire in the forests of Endor.
Cute and cuddly but tough as nails when their help was needed, the Ewoks were portrayed by a host of actors, none of whom became quite the household name as did the then 13-year-old unknown actor Warwick Davis. Davis was originally cast as an extra and was only given the role of head Ewok Wicket once Kenny Baker became ill and couldn’t fulfill his obligations. From that point on, Davis played Wicket in two Ewok spin-off films for TV and began a lengthy acting career that to date has put him in some of the biggest films of all time.
In addition to a role in The Phantom Menace, Warwick Davis was also cast in last year’s Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens, not as an Ewok but instead as the scavenging merchant Wollivan. Now however, website Jedi News has offered an update on the actor’s involvement in the forthcoming Star Wars: Episode VIII and it looks as though Warwick Davis is confirmed to star in the film. Davis was rather tight lipped when asked about his involvement in the production, acknowledging only that he had a role and that he couldn’t say anything more.
A long time Star Wars fan, Davis had nothing but praise for Abram’s efforts with The Force Awakens and its role as a fundamental base for the ongoing trilogy. Davis also compared the upcoming Episode VIII to The Empire Strikes Back in its ability to produce “impactful story moments”. Said Davis:
“There were some wonderful moments, some moving moments and it was full of all the action that we expect, so for me it ticked all the boxes, I loved it. And I think it sets up the trilogy very well. Obviously we’re moving into the territory of Episode VIII very soon as well, and much like Empire Strikes Back I’m sure it’s going to deliver some quite impactful story moments, and it’ll leave us with some cliffhangers as well which resolve in Episode IX.”
It’s great to see that yet another cast member of the original Star Wars trilogy is once again a part of the future of the franchise. It’s hard to say exactly what role Davis will be taking on in Episode VIII, but the safe bet would likely be that it’s a return to the role of Wollivan. It would however, be wonderful to see Davis take on the role of Wicket once more, but at this point there’s no indication that this could even be a possibility. The lifespan of an Ewok is officially listed as anywhere from 60-70 years, so from a continuity perspective at least – and depending on Wicket’s age during Return of the Jedi – a return is plausible.
Aside from his return to the Star Wars trilogy, fans of Warwick Davis will also be happy to know that the actor is returning to star in this December’s standalone Star Wars film, Star Wars: Rogue One. At present there’s no confirmation of the character that Davis will play, but whatever it happens to be, audiences can rest assured that Davis will continue to bring his unique brand of charm to an iconic franchise he helped build.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story opens in U.S. theaters on December 16, 2016, followed by Star Wars: Episode VIII on December 15, 2017, the Han Solo Star Wars Anthology film on May 25, 2018, Star Wars: Episode IX in 2019, and the third Star Wars Anthology film in 2020.