We all remember the fervor that happened when Disney essentially erased all of the Star Wars Expanded Universe from official canon. Regardless of your feelings about that decision, the powers that be are working to fill in the huge gap left when it made all of the EU stories non-canonical. Chuck Wendig's Aftermath series (the second book in the series, Life Debt, is out now) is playing a huge part in that.
Wendig's work is amazing, but he's done something with the Ewok race that is a bit of a head-scratcher, as noticed by the gang at io9. In the old EU, Ewoks kind of went back to hanging out in forests and singing "Yub Nub" after the events of Return of the Jedi. After all, they're sentient, free-thinking creatures, and it only seemed like a natural choice. In Wendig's novel, they choose a more unique route: becoming therapy Ewoks.
No, no, I don't mean Ewoks became therapists. Think more along the lines of a service dog. Just like we give vets battling PTSD a service dog when they come home from war, apparently in a galaxy far, far away, they offer therapy Ewoks. So what was Wendig's reasoning for giving Ewoks this strange role in the Star Wars galaxy? Apparently the Ewoks are acting out of gratitude. Here's a quote from the book when a soldier, Dade, is offered a therapy Ewok to help him heal from a serious injury while also battling with PTSD:
Some of the native Endor creatures have agreed to travel offworld to help veterans like you recuperate. As a matter of recompense for saving their home.
So there you have it. Apparently, after the Ewoks celebrated the salvation of their home planet, they decided the best way to repay their debt was by spending their lives with wounded soldiers helping them recuperate. Of course, I imagine Ewoks play more of the role of companion rather than pet like therapy animals do here on earth. We know they make great companions. After all, Leia finds the companionship of an Ewok to be pretty helpful in Jedi, and we already know they can throw a killer party. So it's weird, definitely--Dade himself turns the therapy Ewok offer down, citing the offensive odor of the little guys--but at the same time, its kind of perfect. Ewoks are cute and loyal. Smelly or not, I can totally see why they'd get in the therapy business. How can you not feel better with an Ewok around?
It's unclear if we'll see the furry creatures again in future books or future movies, but I think I need to get at least a quick scene of a therapy Ewok in action. I think we all deserve to see that, right?
What do you think of the Ewoks' new role? Do you think it's weird and fun or just stupid? Let's talk about it in the comments!