From: Ewoks: Caravan of Courage (1984)
Classification: A marauding giant that lives on the forest moon of Endor.
Living high atop the mountains on the forest moon of Endor lived a giant-sized race of creatures named the Gorax.
Remember those sweet traps that the Ewoks used on the AT-STs during the Battle on Endor?
The Ewoks didn’t just whip those up to combat the new threat of Stormtroopers and the Empire’s vehicles on their home world. No, those were created to stop the Gorax. The Gorax (singular and plural) would come down from their mountain hideaways and attack nearby Ewok villages. They would destroy homes, kill livestock, and capture as many Ewoks as they could. Accounts vary as to what would happen next to the Ewoks that were captured. Some of the Ewoks were kept in cages and made to do tricks or sing for the amusement of the Gorax, while others were eaten.
Gorax make their homes inside the highest peaks of Endor, and hidden inside vast networks of caves. These caves are also home to other large creatures such as Giant Spiders and a common pet of the Gorax, the Boar Wolf. The Gorax that we’re introduced to in the movie, Ewoks: Caravan of Courage has made his home inside the caves under a long forgotten fortress. It is unknown who built this fortress and if it was abandoned when the Gorax moved in, he built it, or if he ate the inhabitants and took over as the sole resistant.
The Gorax are a race of creatures with a very primal and basic intelligence. They can craft simple objects such as stone axes, wooden cudgels, and leather bags and belts. It is unknown if they have a language of their own, but they do communicate through grunts, growls, and guttural barks. The Gorax is a solitary creature and nothing is known about their mating habits or about their young. It is said that only 20 to 24 Gorax live on Endor.
It is even unknown if the Gorax is native to Endor or if they were marooned there by some space faring slave traders that could have possibly crash landed there. It is rumored that the slave caravel The Sickly Tremor was the ship that brought both the Gorax and another giant-sized race to Endor, the Phlogs (which appeared in the animated show and the STAR comics series by Marvel Comics.). It is because of these two creature’s giant stature that some scientists that began studying Endor, believe they are off-shoots of the same race that originated on the same unknown home world.
In the movie, Ewoks: Caravan of Courage, the Gorax kidnaps the human parents of the Towani children and travels a far distance to take them back to his home. At his home in the caves beneath a large mountain fortress, the Gorax put the two adult humans in a hanging cage. It is unknown what his plan for them is before their children Mace and Cindel rescued them with the help of a party of Ewok warriors, a sorceress, and the Warwick family.
The Gorax in Ewoks: Caravan of Courage met his grizzly fate at the hands of one of the smallest denizens of Endor, a Wistie. Wisties (also known as firefolk or Firesprites) are a diminutive, illuminated fairy-like race that live on Endor. These intelligent creatures call the Ewoks friends and yearly the Ewoks would celebrate the friendship with a Wistie Festival. During the final battle with the Gorax, a Wistie that befriended Mace Towani flew in the face of the Gorax. The Wistie’s bright light blinded and distracted the Gorax causing the giant creature to fall into a seemingly bottomless pit, to its death.
I’ve gone on record a few times confessing my love of the movie Ewok: Caravan of Courage and ALL THINGS EWOK. So yes, I have a soft spot for the ol’ Gorax. But lets be honest for a second…the Gorax looks like crap. The actors suit amounts to nothing more than a gorilla suit with a subpar face and ear sculpt. But I ain’t hate’n.
The backstory and fleshing out of the Ewok mythos the Gorax brings is far more substantial than what the creature brought to the movie, Ewoks: Caravan of Courage. Of course all of this is now deemed “LEGENDS” and only the Gorax itself has remained “CANON”. In the new Disney era of Star Wars the first picture of the Gorax appeared in the Star Wars: Galactic Atlas and a Gorax home can be found within the video game Star Wars: Battlefront. The look of the Gorax changed a little in the new era.
It’s sad that the culture and creativity of the Ewoks suffered under the “Canon Culling” that Disney instated with their purchase of Lucusfilms. In most cases it was needed to thin the craziness that Dark Horse comics created within the Star Wars universe. But damn, couldn’t they leave the Ewoks alone? These little dudes hardly get a fair shake nowadays but in the ’80s they were adored. Even though it was skewed towards children (which I was a child at the time) it added a bit of magic and mirth to the Star Wars universe. It was innocent and fun…and now missed.