Why are there no Ewoks in Star Wars The Force Awakens?
Where have all the Ewoks gone? It may have been suggested that they have been dropped along with Jar Jar Binks as they were seen to be too childish in the prequels to The Force Awakens the truth may be Scientifically based. The Obliteration of the Death Star would have killed all the Ewoks.
A white paper written by scientist David Minton of Purdue University suggests that the devastation of the Death Star in Return of The Jedi would have completely wiped out the race of the Ewoks. A very sad end to such cuddly little fellas!
Minton’s calculations, published by Tech Insider, detail how the explosion of such a large mass in such close proximity to the forest moon would see the fragmented Death Star remains hurtle directly downwards onto the furry rebels, annihilating them and leaving behind a 700-km-diameter crater.
“The aftermath of this impact would be to obliterate everything on the surface. No Ewok could withstand an impact of that magnitude,” Minton writes. “It is likely that the atmosphere would be so heated up by the re-entry of the ejecta thrown out by the excavation of this monstrous crater that every body of water on the entire world would be flash heated to steam, and every forest would ignite into a global firestorm.”
But why would the Death Star shrapnel land on Endor, and not just vaporise or float away in space? The answer, according to Minton, is to do with the size and mass of the Death Star, plus the nature of the explosion that destroys it.
Basing his calculations on the holographic representation of Endor and the Death Star in the film’s briefing scene (pictured here), along with supplemental Star Wars data from Wookiepedia, Minton puts Endor’s diameter at 4,900 km, the Death Star’s at 343 km, and the altitude of the latter at 460 km above the forest moon.
At such close range, things are looking a little dicey for the Ewoks, given they and the Rebel Alliance willingly conspire to explode this gigantic metal structure floating above their heads. Minton hypothesises the Death Star is actually below stationary orbit distance, with the satellite being artificially held in place by some kind of gravity field.
Assuming that the “remarkably gentle” explosion depicted in the film’s finale doesn’t end up vapourising the satellite, Minton suggests “more or less what happens after the destruction is that the entire mass of the Death Star simply falls onto the location of the shield generator”.
While it might sound unbelievable, this approximate version of events – called the “Endor Holocaust” – is actually a Star Wars fan theory that dates back to 1997.
Dave Mosher at Tech Insider actually asked a number of physicists if such a likelihood were plausible, and the prognosis for Ewok and Endor was almost resoundingly negative.
There are some other theories that Endor survives but let’s not get too carried away as it is only a film and anyway film franchises have a way of re-inventing themselves (and characters) as they move on.