George Lucas created the Ewoks because he wanted Return of the Jedi to feature a tribe of primitive creatures that bring down the technological Empire. Lucas reversed the syllables to designate a new species which rhymes with the Miwok, a Native American tribe indigenous to the Redwood forest in which the Endor scenes were filmed for Return of the Jedi. He also based the Ewoks' defeat of the Galactic Empire on the actions of the Viet Cong guerrillas who fought against American soldiers during the Vietnam War.
As Wookiees were tall, Lucas wanted the new species short. Using the image of the Griffon Bruxellois, a dog breed which Lucas owned, the Ewok was developed by renowned make-up artist Stuart Freeborn. As presented in the films, Ewoks appear as stocky, sapient bipeds which stand about one metre tall. They have flat faces, are completely covered in fur, and have large jewel-like eyes. Despite their small size, the critters are strong. Ewoks live high among the trees of their home moon's forests, in villages built on platforms between the closely spaced trees.
The Ewoks are involved in a large portion of the final installment in Lucasfilm's Star Wars trilogy. Ewoks are a carnivorous race that considers humanoid flesh a delicacy. In one of the films, they prepare fires in anticipation of eating Han, Luke and Chewbacca to absorb their power.