As part of the 40th Anniversary celebrations for 1983 Star Wars trilogy climax Return of the Jedi, Marvel are releasing a short series of one-off issues focusing on different characters and situations related to the third movie.

This first one – Jabba’s Palace – was a fun, if tragic tale of why the Hutt was so displeased with his previous protocol droid, necessitating the use of C-3PO as his new translator.

In the Ewoks One-Shot, the lovable little tribespeople gather around a campfire to tell each other stories. Three stories, as well as the framing tale, are featured.

Where you stand on Return of the Jedi’s divisive Ewoks very much depends – like many of the most divisive elements of Star Wars overall – on how old you were when you first encountered them.

So in my case, having been just six years old when I first saw Return of the Jedi, I’ve always been a fan.

Contrast that with my loathing for Jar-Jar Binks, having been 21 when I watched Episode I, and you kind of get my point.

Anyway, this issue is really cleverly done, mostly told via wordless panels, and is likely to go some way to redeeming the Ewoks in the eyes of their detractors.

Not that haters are likely to pick up an issue focusing solely on the Endor-based teddy bears, but there we are.

Most impressive was the central story, told in stark black and white aside from the red of an Ewok’s shroud.

Not only does that story feature genuinely impressive art, but the tale itself is one that has elements of horror too; it has a most unexpected, very dark tone but it’s very well done indeed.

Somewhat unbelievably, I think I enjoyed this issue more than the Jabba’s Palace One-Shot – who would have thought an Ewok-centric, 40th Anniversary special for Return of the Jedi would be so damn good?

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