Endor (Star Wars)
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The forest moon of Endor (also known as the sanctuary moon or simply Endor), is a moon in the Star Wars universe. It is a forested world covered by giant trees. It first appears in Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi, in which it is the body in whose orbit the second Death Star is constructed, and is the home of a race of furry aliens called Ewoks. The moon later appears in the Ewok TV movies Caravan of Courage: An Ewok Adventure and Ewoks: The Battle for Endor, as well as the animated Marvel Comics series Star Wars: Ewoks and the original Star Tours theme park attraction at various Disney parks. It also inspired the exterior queue for Star Tours: The Adventures Continue at Disney's Hollywood Studios.
In Return of the Jedi, the body is sometimes referred to as the "forest moon of Endor" and other times referred to directly as Endor. Although it is referred to as a moon, no other body in the Endor system appears except for a small red planet or moon shown in the distance. Later works differ in their depiction of the planet around which the moon orbits. The novelization of Return of the Jedi asserts that the planet (also named Endor) was destroyed a long time ago, though later Star Wars media explain away the planet's destruction as a hoax. In the Ewok television movies, a large green gas giant is shown in the moon's skies. In the Ewoks cartoon, the moon is shown to orbit a binary star.
The moon and its inhabitants play a pivotal role in the Galactic Civil War in Return of the Jedi: the Rebel Alliance's destruction of the second Death Star occurs in the moon's orbit, and is facilitated by events on the moon's surface. The second Death Star's shield generator is located on the moon's surface. Rebels led by Han Solo (Harrison Ford) use stolen codes and an Imperial shuttle to land on the surface intent on destroying the generator. The Rebels form an alliance with the Ewok inhabitants, who mistakenly believe that C-3PO (Anthony Daniels) is "some sort of god." The Ewoks provide guidance and support the Rebels' attack on the Imperials. Once the Rebel Alliance takes down the Death Star's shield, the space station is open to attack; Rebel starfighters, led by Lando Calrissian (Billy Dee Williams) in the Millennium Falcon, annihilate it.
Along with the Ewoks, the moon is depicted in post-Jedi works as the home of deadly giant Goraxes, tall and timid Yuzzums, evil yet dim-witted Duloks, rodent-like Teeks, the vicious condor dragon and a settlement of off-planet reptilian marauders.
The Death Star's explosion in orbit prompted joking speculation about the consequences for Endor of impact damage. In one of the Star Wars Tales comics, "Apocalypse Endor", an Imperial veteran of Endor refers to the moon being devastated by the impact of falling debris; however, another character dismisses this as a myth, saying that most of the Death Star's mass was obliterated in the explosion, and that the Rebels "took care of the rest." The book Inside the Worlds of Star Wars Trilogy describes the Rebels using shields and tractor beams to protect their strike team on the moon of Endor. However, many fans simply believe that the majority of the second Death Star was obliterated and the rest simply burned up while falling through the atmosphere of Endor.
The Endor scenes in Return of the Jedi were filmed in multiple Northern California locations: the Redwood grove near the Skywalker Ranch in Marin County; Muir Woods National Monument; and privately owned Redwood groves along the Smith River in Del Norte County, which are now part of Redwood National and State Parks.
- Various (w). "Apocalypse Endor" Star Wars Tales 14 (December 11, 2004), Dark Horse Comics
- Endor at the Star Wars Databank (official site).
- Endor on Wookieepedia: a Star Wars wiki.
- Endor 'Holocaust' at Star Wars Technical Commentaries.
- In Focus: Movie Making at The Triplicate.