Disney+ heard you like super-old Star Wars stuff that everyone forgot about, so they put some old Star Wars stuff on Disney+! Though they’ve stopped short of releasing the entire Star Wars Holiday Special, Disney has decided to give eighties kids a little bit of love. As of now, Disney+ has dropped a bunch of (old) Star Wars stuff, which is streaming (legally) for the first time, anywhere. Called “Vintage Star Wars” on Disney+, this retro-drop included two made-for-TV movies about Ewoks, an Ewoks animated series you really don’t remember at all, the first Boba Fett cartoon ever, and a very slick 2003 animated Clone Wars that contains zero Ewoks.
It all sounds pretty wholesome, right? Well, if you’re a parent, you may want to think twice about firing up some of these nostalgic Star Wars treats. I mean, do you remember what happens in Ewoks: Battle for Endor? Here’s a parent’s quick guide to the good, the bad, and the confusing of that new retro Star Wars drop on Disney+. Mild (vintage) spoilers ahead.
Ewoks movies: Caravan of Courage and Battle for Endor
In 1984 and 1985, Lucasfilm released two Ewok movies. The first was just titled The Ewok Adventure, but in classic Star Wars revisionist tradition was later retitled “Caravan of Courage.” This is Ewok movie number 1, and it’s pretty much fine to watch with the kids, even the very little ones. (Though there are some scary monsters, so watch out.)
However, after that, you have 1985’s Ewoks: The Battle for Endor which hits some Return to Oz-level of disturbing shit. Spoiler alert: Adorable little girl Cindel (curly hair, headband) has her entire family murdered in the first act of Battle for Endor. She is orphaned and lives with the Ewoks for the rest of the movie while a witch tries to kill her. This movie is rowdy as fuck. It’s weird, creepy, and dark, even though it tries to have an upbeat vibe. It’s not a bad movie, to be clear. But, be warned, it’s like the Series of Unfortunate Events of Star Wars movies, but without any of the self-aware dark humor.
Nobody cares. This show was bad in the ’80s and it’s worse now. Imagine Strawberry Shortcake, but far less interesting and with Ewoks. I have at least one storybook based on this show and it’s a tough read. A true horror. In fairness, this show is harmless in a way that Battle for Endor is not. That said, the edgier Star Wars animated series from this era was called Droids. That one featured the adventures of R2-D2 and C-3PO and boasted a theme song called “In Trouble Again,” written by Stewart Copeland of the Police. Again, this show is not getting released on Disney+, but Ewoks is. Crimes against humanity! (And Droids!)
Watch on Disney+: Ewoks
Okay, this series slaps. Created in between Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith, this series was produced and drawn by legendary animator Genndy Tartakovsky. You probably remember his distinct animated style from PowerPuff Girls or Samurai Jack. Although this show was overshadowed by the more in-depth 2008 series that followed, the first Clone Wars is slightly more interesting thanks to its minimalist style and old-school action. Of all the Star Wars spinoffs, this Clone Wars felt closer to an art form. And for parents, the episodes are super short, meaning you don’t feel like you’re drowning in complicated canon and continuity just to get through one adventure. Clone Wars is the rare Star Wars thing for kids that feels like legit Star Wars, but also isn’t bogged down in details. An elegant cartoon, for a more civilized age.
Watch on Disney+: Clone Wars
Okay, so this is kind of huge. During the infamous Star Wars Holiday Special, a short animated story called “The Story of the Faithful Wookiee” aired. This in-universe Star Wars cartoon is rad. It’s also the first official introduction of Boba Fett. And, if you’re paying attention, that staff Boba Fett waves around in this cartoon, later showed up on The Mandalorian. Of all of the retro Star Wars stuff Disney+ is releasing, this animated short is the true gem. Why couldn’t we have had an entire Saturday Morning cartoon of this???
Watch on Disney+: “The Story of the Faithful Wookiee”
Retro Star Wars cartoons and movies are streaming on Disney+ right here.