Remember at the end of The Return of The Jedi when the good guys won and everyone got to have an Ewok dance party on Endor? Well, it turns out George Lucas might have made this overly utopian ending a bit unbelievable. A scientist at Purdue University recently wrote a paper on the subject, with the first lines being "The Ewoks are dead. All of them." His theory is as follows:
[M]ore 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… The aftermath of this impact would be to obliterate everything on the surface. No Ewok could withstand an impact of that magnitude....It is likely that the atmosphere would be so heated up ... that every body of water on the entire world would be flash heated to steam, and every forest would ignite into a global firestorm.
Holy crap. The rebels are monsters! Dave Minton, who wrote the paper on the effect of Death Star 2.0’s destruction, makes perfect sense. Afterall, it’s not as if the space station would be completely obliterated after Lando Calrissian and company used the Millennium Falcon to destroy the main reactor. More likely, the explosions which caused the destruction of the Death Star would also create a mass of debris which has nowhere to go but the forest moon of Endor.
While this theory does create a hilarious visual of the little Ewoks running for their lives through the woods, it also changes the final moments of the original trilogy. According to this theory, the rebels would have had to organize some sort of mass exodus in order to transport the Ewoks who helped them secure a victory over the Empire. With so few soldiers on on the mission to the forest moon, they wouldn’t be equipt to save the teddy bears. Maybe Leia could grab Widdle on the way out, but that’s about it.
Imagine what the last scene would have looked like in Return of The Jedi if this were the case. Rather than a dance party complete with Ewoks using helmets as percussion and the horrifying "Yub Nub" song, it would be the rebels thanking the Ewoks as they ran away and left them to die. I guess ghost Vader, Yoda, and Obi-Wan would have to make plans to float around a different gathering that night.
Everyone loves a happy ending, but Dave Minton’s theory makes perfect sense. After helping strange humans and risking their lives to secure their home, it’s tragic that the Ewoks would end up being wiped out shortly after their victory. Surely, they’d meet their makers thinking that the deity C-3PO posed as was punishing them. What a red arm monster.