As an 18-year-old graduating high school, I remember hating Jar Jar Binks when Episode I came out.
The Phantom Menace was possibly the biggest cinematic moment of my life, and yet despite the fact the special edition reworks of the original Star Wars trilogy sat uneasily in my mind, I was still riding the high of getting to see the original films, even in that form, on the big screen.
You see, back in those days, it was rare for theaters, especially a small, crappy town in the middle of the desert, to just show a cool movie for the heck of it. There were no Alamos Drafthouses back in those dark, dark days.
And while I enjoyed Phantom Menace enough to watch it six or so times in the theater, I pretty much hated Jar Jar right off the bat. But, like everyone else, I noticed kids laughing at him and thinking he was great. George Lucas made this whole stupid movie for his kids, I thought to myself begrudgingly.
It was then that my oldest brother broke the news to me: That's exactly how he felt about Ewoks.
The same Ewoks that I loved?! The same ones who helped two kids, not unlike me (even with dorky '80s haircuts) in the beloved movie that my mom had recorded for me off TV and that I watched over, and over, and over, and over, and over ...?!?!
How could you hate that?
I guess this was also the moment where I realized my brother himself was fallible, because screw that, the Ewoks rule, and they especially rule thanks to the original standalone Star Wars movie — yeah, before Rogue One or Solo or whatever else they eventually throw at us:
The Ewok Adventure.
(AKA, Caravan of Courage: An Ewok Adventure. AKA The Ewok Movie, as I called it.)
I don't give a damn what anyone says about this movie, it checked all the boxes.
It was in the Star Wars universe (rudely removed from canon, smdh), and featured a family, not unlike my own, that crash-landed on the forest moon of Endor. When Mace, a teenager, and Cindel, Mace's 4-year-old sister find themselves without parents thanks to an overly zealous giant forest monster that apparently needs some new pets, they must befriend the Ewoks to save their family.
It was a TV movie, so the effects weren't ILM-level, but they were still cool. Check out these monsters:
Creepy wolf/rat type thing! (AKA a boarwolf.)
Giant spider!! (AKA, um, just spider I guess.)
Big huge monster dude! (AKA Gorax.)
There was also magic ...
And cool '80s haircuts, of course.
But most of all, there were ...
BTW, in case you were wondering, George Lucas never went back and ruined it either, giving it another vote.
There was also a less-awesome sequel in 1985's Ewoks: The Battle for Endor (but hey, still a live-action Star Wars movie).
So screw all of you that hate Ewoks. Ewoks kick ass.
But Jar Jar still sucks. Just don't ask my son what he thinks of that.