I have a lot of Star Wars toys. Not everything, but a lot of stuff. Most of it was collected when the toys were originally released, back when I was a kid. Luckily, I’ve kept them all, and since the late nineties I’ve sporadically added to the collection.
The Ewok Village Playset was a toy I never owned as a kid. Released as part of the Return of the Jedi toy line, it’s a large and feature packed set that provides a perfect home for your cuddly-yet-vicious little Empire destroyers.
There’s a fire for roasting Han Solo; a net for capturing rebels; a throne for C-3PO; an elevator for lifting figures up – and a secret escape chute for them to escape down. All of these neat play features and more; plus it makes a cool diorama for displaying your ROTJ action figures.
When I got into collecting Star Wars toys again in the late 90s, the Ewok Village was on my list of “wants”. I tracked this example down to a toy shop in Manchester and picked it up for £60, if I remember correctly.
I don’t think that shop is still there now. Or at least, I’ve not found it on subsequent visits. It seems to have vanished mysteriously into thin air…
Although opened, this Ewok Village was complete in box, with all the bits packed inside in little baggies. It’s easy to assemble – before long you can start to recreate some moments from the film.
And that’s exactly what I wanted to do here, with this series of photos: showcase some of my figures from the original line, as they appear in the film. I decided against doing a further photo session with more modern figures due to time!
There are two scenes recreated here. Firstly, the Rebels held captive by the Ewoks, whilst 3PO sits on his wooden throne. Han is held above the fire, about to make a tasty celebratory meal. The others are gathered (not tethered to wooden poles as in the film, as nothing like that exists for these toys) as they attempt to persuade their way out of the situation.
Unfortunately, a figure of Leia in her Ewok robes was never made for the original line, so she’s not present. Maybe I will have to create this again with the later figures after all, as that the Princess in that outfit was made later on. But hey, I’m not aiming for 100% screen accuracy here, just the best I can with what I have available.
I love ensemble scenes using action figures, so another I wanted to recreate was the end of the film. The Empire has been destroyed, the Galaxy is free: the Rebels celebrate their victory with their short, furry allies and all looks good for the future.
The ghosts of Obi-Wan, Yoda and Anakin are represented by their vintage figures, plus the main heroes are joined in their rejoicing with numerous members of the Rebel Alliance on Endor.
Ensemble scenes like this are my favourites in the movie, because it’s fun to spot random characters and details that were dropped into the film. This is the sort of thing that creates the rich diversity of Star Wars, and what constantly intrigues me. So, it’s nice to try to create something with toys that aims for as wide a scope.
So here are the two scenes: reasonably screen accurate, but not shackled to that original image. I did the best I could, and it was great fun.
One big mistake? Yes, I forgot to take a photo of the box the Ewok Village came in. Never mind, you can Google that, should you need to.
May the Force be with you!