Saturday, August 01, 2015
Summer of Star Wars: Caravan of Courage: An Ewok Adventure
Directed and shot by John Korty and teleplay by Bob Carrau from a story by George Lucas, Caravan of Courage: An Ewok Adventure is the story of two human children who find themselves lost in the moon of Endor as they are aided by Ewoks to find their parents. The film is a TV movie which revolve around the adventures of the little Ewoks creatures who would help a couple of kids find their parents in a journey that is narrated by Burl Ives. Starring Eric Walker, Warwick Davis, Aubree Miller, Fionnula Flanagan, and Guy Boyd. Caravan of Courage: An Ewoks Adventure is a decent but messy TV film from John Korty.
Set between the events of The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, the film revolves around a family whose star-cruiser has crashed on the moon of Endor as the children go on an adventure with the Ewoks to find their parents who had been captured by a monster. While it’s a simple story of teamwork and family, it’s a film that plays into two children dealing with their new surroundings as well as the fact they’re trying to find their parents. Bob Carrau’s script is quite formulaic in terms of scenario but it does have some development as it relates to the character of Mace (Eric Walker) who goes from this whiny young teen into someone who would embrace the Ewoks. Yet, the script doesn’t really have a lot of surprises and at times would meander into elements of Ewoks mysticism and other strange things that makes the story less engaging.
John Korty’s direction is quite simple in terms of compositions yet does manage to have some amazing shots as it relates to not just the locations in the Redwood Forests in California but also in some of the sets that is created. There are moments that are quite exciting but some of it does drag where Burl Ives’ narration doesn’t help matters as it’s largely just exposition to help flesh out the story as well as say what the Ewoks are saying. Also serving as the cinematographer, the film does have a nice look in terms of its visuals in day and night though as Korty also create things that are adventurous but there’s also moments where some of creature effects and such look very cheesy as is the big monster that captured the parents of Mace and Cindel (Aubree Miller). The climax does have some unique moments but it never ends up being engaging despite its payoff. Overall, Korty creates an OK but somewhat dull film about Ewoks helping a couple of kids save their parents from a monster.
Editor John Nutt does nice work with the editing in terms of using rhythmic cuts for its action scenes and moments of humor along with transition wipes. Production designer Joe Johnston and art director Harley Jessup do amazing work with the set design from the look of the cave where the monster lived in as well as some of the creature designs. Costume designers Michael Becker and Cathleen Edwards do terrific work with the costumes from the clothes the humans wear to the design of the Ewoks. Sound editor Sue Fox and sound designer Randy Thom do superb work with the sound in some of the sound effects that were created for the film. The film’s music by Peter Bernstein is pretty good as it’s mostly an orchestral-based music that plays into a lot of the action and sense of adventure that occurs.
The film’s cast includes appearances from Tony Cox, Debbie Lee Carrington, Kevin Thompson, Bobby Bell, and Daniel Frishmann as Ewoks while Warwick Davis is superb as the Ewok Wicket who befriends Cindel. Fionnula Flanagan and Guy Boyd are alright as Mace and Cindel’s parents who are captured by the monsters as they aren’t seen much. Eric Walker is OK as Mace as a teenage kid who just wants his parents back as he spends half of the film being very whiny and such. Finally, there’s Aubree Miller as Cindel as it’s a decent performance for a child but one that doesn’t really do much but pout and play with Wicket.
Caravan of Courage: An Ewok Adventure is a worthwhile but cheesy TV movie from John Korty. While it is a fine film for families and kids who like Ewoks, it is something that Star Wars fans might have mixed feelings about as the Ewoks are very polarizing creatures. In the end, Caravan of Courage: An Ewok Adventure is just an OK TV movie from John Korty.
Star Wars Films: Star Wars - The Empire Strikes Back - Return of the Jedi - The Phantom Menace - Attack of the Clones - Revenge of the Sith - The Force Awakens - The Last Jedi - (Episode IX)
Related: The Star Wars Holiday Special - The Battle for Endor - The Clone Wars - Fanboys - The People vs. George Lucas
Star Wars Anthology Films: Rogue One - Solo - (Untitled Star Wars Anthology Film)
George Lucas Films: THX 1138 - (American Graffiti)
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