Love them or loathe them, ‘The Ewok movies’ are much maligned by many fans, but in an interesting turn of events, Pablo Hidalgo took to Twitter this week to explain how a character in Star Wars: Ewoks, was nearly introduced into The Clone Wars animated series.
SyFy Wire have picked up the story and analysed the Twitter conversation further;
Star Wars continuity is a complicated web of dates, characters, locations, creatures, vehicles, events, and a thousand other elements all strung together to create the magic fans love to call the Expanded Universe. In the Disney era, Lucasfilm’s had the chance to rebuild the EU in a new, more synergistic way, but back in the days before The Force Awakens the greater Star Wars world was sometimes a bit trickier to navigate, as Lucasfilm Story Group executive Pablo Hidalgo knows all too well.
On his Twitter feed Sunday night, Hidalgo took some time to respond to a question about Charal, the witch who first appeared in the TV movie Ewoks: The Battle for Endor in 1985, and whether or not she had any connection to the Nightsisters, the coven of Force-wielding witches from the planet Dathomir who are now perhaps best known for their appearances in The Clone Wars TV series. In a detailed and fascinating thread, Hidalgo explained how Charal — a character introduced with no real backstory or explanations for her powers, which included a shapeshifting ring — almost ended up a character on The Clone Wars, though the backstory that got her there is no longer canonical.
Earlier, someone had asked about what sort of connection exists between Charal & the Nightsisters, and whether or not she influenced them. Like all things of a certain Star Wars vintage, it’s a long story with twists and turns that defies a simple yes/no answer. Hence, a thread: https://t.co/hNB9GEy782
— Pablo Hidalgo (@pablohidalgo) August 19, 2019
As Hidalgo explained it, back the mid-1980s George Lucas was developing new stories set in the Star Wars universe and particularly focused on the forest moon of Endor, home of the Ewoks from Return of the Jedi. These stories were very fantasy-focused and relied less on the ideas of The Force put forth by the Jedi and more on the simple idea of magic, hence witches and sorcerers having adventures on Endor. Charal was one of the most prominent characters in this trend.
The Nightsisters first came along almost a decade later in an unrelated story: Dave Wolverton’s Expanded Universe novel The Courtship of Princess Leia, which tells the story of Han Solo and Leia Organa’s marriage and features Dathomir, the planet home to the Nightsisters. Subsequent Star Wars guides attempted to flesh out the Nightsisters, incuding Kevin J. Anderson’s The Illustrated Star Wars Universe, which explained Charal’s magical gifts by naming her as a Nightsister.
The Star Wars universe has always had a lot of moving parts, but those parts got even more complicated when the continuity had to be divided between what officially counted in the Disney era and what didn’t. Thankfully, we have the supremely nerdy members of the Lucasfilm Story Group around to parse these things, and the creative decisions behind them, for us.