The Ewoks are probably the most controversial part of the whole original trilogy. Many ask “How could the Empire lose to a bunch of teddy bears?” It is my understanding that they were originally supposed to be wookies. I would argue that Ewoks actually work better for the story. Just hear me out.
One of the things that makes Lord of the Rings such a great story is the fact that little people from an insignificant place called the Shire ultimately take out Sauron and save the world. I find the notion that small and humble people can make a big difference compelling.
In Return of the Jedi, the Ewoks make all the difference in the Rebellion’s victory at the battle of Endor. But how? Aren’t they little balls of fur? Yes. But they are also very resourceful. They can’t be underestimated. Which is exactly what the Empire did. They completely dismissed the ewoks as a non-threat. The great, wise and powerful Emperor Palpatine had a seemingly flawless master plan to trap the rebels and destroy them. Everything was going according to plan until the ewoks joined the battle and caught the imperial army off-guard. Just as Sauron overlooked a couple of hobbits, Palpatine overlooked a bunch of teddy bears. It is poetic justice.