-Eric Walker's official website

-lucasfan.com

-The Ewoks and Droids Collective

-The Ewok Adventure

-The Battle For Endor

-Ewok Adventure lobby card scans

-Download Wouter's Ewok mouse cursors

-Download Wouter's Ewok icon collection for your desktop




By Michael Streeter

Whether you know me just from this website or in person, it is no secret that I like Ewoks. I had the action figures and the original Ewok Village from Kenner, as well as an Ewoks/Return of the Jedi lunch box, Ewok comic books, all the episodes of the tv-show on videotape, blankets, sheets, pillow cases and loads more. In fact, I even enjoy the two Ewok television films as much as I enjoyed the other three (and now four) Star Wars films.
As you may or may not know, I lived in the Netherlands in Europe until I was fourteen years old (I moved to the United States in 1995 - do the math). A business-partner of my father would regularly bring us videotapes of American tv-programs and new movies that we could play on the Multi-system VCR that we had, throughout the early to mid-eighties. This was how I was introduced to the original Star Wars trilogy, as well as both of the Ewok films. All five of these movies I had spent many Saturday and Sunday mornings watching together with my brothers, and I liked the Ewok movies as much as I liked the Star Wars trilogy.
For several years now I have proudly maintained the unofficial Battle For Endor and Ewok Adventure (Caravan of Courage) websites. I had tried to track down Eric Walker, who played Mace, some years ago to ask him some questions about his experience making these films. I never was able to find him, but then a few weeks ago I found a message from Eric in my Inbox. He had visited my website and dropped me a line to tell me that he enjoyed it. I was thrilled, so I immediately replied and asked him if he wanted to answer some questions for the Ewok movie site. Eric is thirty years old now, but you'll find out that he remembers everything as if it all happened yesterday:




Eric Walker as Mace Towani in The Ewok Adventure



How did you get the part of Mace Towani?

By the time I got the call to audition for The Ewok Adventure I had already appeared on Webster and a couple other movies, including Having It All with Dyan Cannon. Then one day I got a call from my agent. She almost did not send me out for the audition because in the breakdowns it was listed as a 1 hour movie special for CBS. The call was for a rough type kid and they were only taking general interviews just to meet kids with no reading required.
Coming from a family that believes no part is too small, my father Gene Walker took the audition. The audition took place in a small building across the street from Universal Studios called The Egg Factory. During the general interview I met and talked to John Korty and Thomas G. Smith. They liked me so much that they asked me if I could read and they could videotape me. I said okay and asked them if I could do a prepared monologue that I had from a play called Acting Out.
They agreed that I could do the monologue after we videotaped a few generic scenes. I did the scenes and then my prepared monologue. They seemed impressed and thanked me for coming in to see them. About a week went by and I got another call from my agent. This time they wanted me to do a screen test in Northern California at Korty Films in Mill Valley. They agreed to provide Screen Actors Guild-scale wages for the day, and transportation. When I arrived in San Francisco I was greeted by a lady whom later became the set teacher named Ramsey.
When we arrived at Korty Films I again met with John Korty and Tom Smith. They introduced me to Aubree Miller, and told us that they wanted to do the screen test with both of us together. They gave us costumes similar to the ones that we wore in The Ewok Adventure, except the flight suit was white instead of orange like in the movie. After we got fitted and into costumes they took us in the back of Korty Films, where they introduced us to an Ewok. No not an actual Ewok, but a costume set up on a pole.
They gave us two scenes for the movie and about 30 minutes to work on the lines. We were allowed to hold the script and it was still like a cold reading. We did the audition outside on a hill with trees behind Korty Films. The screen test was video taped by Tom Smith and John Korty directed it. One of the scenes that I remember doing was in the movie. It was the scene where Mace and Cindel run away from the ewoks, and stop to rest because Cindel is tired. Mace lights a fire to keep Cindel warm and Cindel and Mace talk about missing their parents.
After we were done, they asked us to wait outside before leaving as they went into the office and viewed the video tapes. About ten minutes later, John Korty came out and shook my hand and told us both that we had the job. He said that the Executive Producer George had already made the decision that we were his choices, but he and Tom wanted to see how Aubree and I worked together first.
I never said anything to them, but once I saw the ewok I knew at that point that it had something to do with Star Wars and George Lucas. I was so excited because I had worked hard to become an actor for over 3 1/2 years at that point and had only done small parts before. This was my first Starring Role in a movie, and to this day it seems like a dream. A dream is the only way you can describe it, and for the first couple of weeks even before filming began I kept pinching my self to see if I would wake up.
I later found out that when I was video taped in Los Angeles, the producer forgot to turn on the record button, so the only tape they had from that day was the monologue. I later got a copy of the original audition and monologue from John Korty and still have a copy of it today.





How long was the shoot for The Ewok Adventure?

The Ewok Adventure was filmed in 6 weeks. The re-shoot took 1 week. We did ADR (dubbing) for 2 weeks. The total time for everything was 9 weeks.

Trivia: We also shot a promotional for ABC that was never aired. It takes place in a diner in the 50s. Mace, Cindel, and Kaink walk into the diner and we ordered a soda. They recognize the ewok and then Mace turns around and looks into the camera reminding everyone to watch George Lucas' first film for television, The Ewok Adventure, November 25th on ABC. The reason it was never aired was that George Lucas did not approve of having his Ewoks and characters on Earth in the 1950s. Before ABC shot the commercial, he warned them to send a script to him for approval, but he would lend out all of us to them. They goofed by not checking with him first and getting script approval. The only one I know to have a copy of this commercial is Aubree Miller and her family. I was going to get a copy of it from them but did not.





To what degree was George Lucas involved in the filming of both movies?

George Lucas edited a portion of The Ewok Adventure. This fact is not well known, but Lucas directed the entire one week re-shoot. Director John Korty had another film to direct that was put on hold until after The Ewok Adventure principal photography was completed. I have a call sheet with George Lucas' name as director on it. It was later taken off, and was put on by mistake by one of the assistant directors. I also have a personal card from George thanking me for the work that I did on the re-shoot.
During the re-shoot George would often hand me a revision of the day's scenes in his own handwriting and not typed. He was a perfectionist and worked at a fast pace. John Korty is a great director and known as an actor's director. They both are great but totally different.


I found a quote from Starlog Magazine #101 in an interview with Warwick Davis: "When off the set of The Ewok Adventure, Davis worked behind the camera on a parallel project. The impetus for this other film came from Davis' friendship with co-star Eric Walker. "George Lucas hired a video camera for us - I took my own as well, just to make a film of the holiday - and we made a documentary of it," says Davis. The two worked under the name "W & W Productions" (for Warwick and Walker). "We were just filming around the set, what was happening. And we put that together with some music." Once again, the finished production didn't reach the public - it was intended strictly for private viewing." Can you tell a bit more about this? Do you still have it? It sounds pretty funny.

I don't think I read that article in Starlog but it is accurate. Warwick and I did a school project while filming The Ewok Adventure. Our teacher on the set, Ramsey, came up with the idea because Warwick and I were always talking about becoming directors. We used to make commercials with the food and soft drinks of the lunch truck with Warwick's camera. A couple of them were Welch's grape juice, where Warwick read from the can, "Welch's grape juice, no sugar added, so we'll added some." (He then poured a ton of sugar into the can). Also, A&W rootbeer, "it's full of roots." (Warwick then grabbed a bunch of straw from the ground and started stuffing the can with it).
Anyway, because of this odd-ball behavior and guerilla film making, she came up with the idea to have us make a behind-the-scenes film as a school project. So Warwick and I went around interviewing people and also went behind the scenes inside of ILM taking video. We got into trouble for going into ILM and video taping the miniatures of Indiana Jones and Star Wars ships, but all they did was ask us not to do it again. We did call ourselves W&W productions, which stands for Warwick and Walker.
We have two versions of the making of The Ewok Adventure. One of them has George Lucas with his daughter Amanda and Linda Rhonstandt. That version was only was given to George Lucas, Warwick and myself. The other versions were given out to the crew do not have them in it. Because of time, the final version is only edited to music, with no interviews. But with the original master a more complete piece can be done. The master was given to Warwick to copy and mail back to me in 1987 while he was in America reading for Ron Howard for Willow. He has never mailed it back to me, nor given me a copy of the master for some reason.
I do have a copy of the edited version and a copy of a work tape with about half of the unedited footage still today.



Mace is trapped under the surface of the water



Why did your character Mace die in the second film, The Battle for Endor?

I was personally taken aside by the brothers who wrote and directed the second movie with Lucasfilm. They told me that when they sat down with George they had a lot of ideas regarding my character Mace. Then George immediately told them that he was only doing the second Ewok film for his young daughter Amanda at the time. For Amanda, being a young girl around the same age as Aubree, Cindel was her hero. So the movie was to center around her character. The last comment they made was that if she was a teenager then it would have been a Mace movie. The orginal drafts didn't have any of the family involved except Cindel and the Ewoks. It was later decided that we would have to be involved even if we were killed off. The mother starts the movie already dead. The person who played the father in the first Ewok movie declined to work on it because his role was so small. So they hired Paul Gleason of The Breakfast Club-fame, to replace the orginial father, Guy Boyd.



Mace is about to meet his end in Ewoks: The Battle for Endor



Do you know of any scenes that were cut from the final version of the Ewok Adventure?

There were a few scenes that were cut from The Ewok Adventure. The international version of the film is said to be ten minutes longer than the American version. One scene that was cut out was the Man-eating Flower Scene. Because it was cut out, the biggest mistake in the movie was made. Remember my hand being eaten by the tree monster was my right one and then it was my left hand that was hurt later in the ewok hut. During the Flower scene the flower bites my left hand and begins pulling me underground and we see the core of the moon of Endor. It was decided that the effects would take to long. The scene was then re-written by George to be the tree scene and done during the re-shoot he directed. George also directed the scene where I throw the rock away. His daughter Amanda was on set and every time I threw the rock down and called it a stupid rock, she would ask me why it was stupid while we were filming.
The ending of the movie was completely cut and switched around. The ending scene where we are all eating around the table came first. Then Mace noticed Izrina outside. Mace then went outside and said good-bye to her thanking her for all her help. As she flew away, Mace turns around and it begins to snow. Wicket and Cindel then come outside and we all dance around in the snow.
Trivia: Did you know that my name is said in The Ewok Adventure? My mother says "wait, Eric" just before I swing across the bridge to save my sister.





Did you keep any of the props from the set?

Yes, I have Wicket's magic stick. I also have lots of toys that George Lucas sent me one Christmas.

Did you like the original Star Wars movies before The Ewok Adventure came along?

I only had seen Return of The Jedi before I did The Ewok Adventure. I loved it and saw it 5 times at the movie theater. I later saw the rest of them during a couple of trilogy screenings I was asked to go to. I enjoy all of them but Jedi was my favorite as a kid.

What did you think of The Phantom Menace?

I saw The Phantom Menace with some friends in Hollywood the day before it opened because I was invited to. I thought it was good, but believe the best is yet to come.



Mace is finally recovered out of the water



What have you been doing for the last few years? Do you still act?

I have only acted in one film in the last couple of years. It hasn't been released yet and I did it as a favor for a friend. I served as Executive Producer and starred in a 30 minutes Christmas special "Miracle Alley". Produced by Cory Patrick Brown, the film centers around a runaway boy who is taken in by 3 homeless men on Christmas eve. My character is a Scrooge type named George Peabody who owns the block of stores that they try to sleep on at night. The miracle centers around my character witnessing his dead mother as a ghost. The experience humbles my character and in the by the end of the movie I am inviting them into to share a christmas dinner. (kind of like Mace, mean at the beginning and then nice and soft at the end)
I also have been writing a lot. I have a project in the works called "2032: A Passage Through Time" A sci-fi adventure and cross between Back To The Future and Total Recall. It does include a good part with Warwick in mind. Another film I have been writing is a comedy with me in mind for the lead called "Uncle Mom". It centers around an uncle that helps take care of his sister's 7 kids while she works. Kind of like Mr. Mom but funnier with a lot of the jokes coming from the kids and how they talk to their uncle.
I nearly left the business and that is why I haven't done much in the last 10 years. This business is hard and judgmental. I have always had a weight problem even as a kid. I had to lose 35 pounds and was asked to by George before we did The Ewok Adventure. I continue to fight my battle with being overweight today, and have had a hard time since I have been an adult. Since being an adult I have been obese, and still have to try to take the weight off.
The last movie I did as an adult was a movie called "And You Thought Your Parents Were Weird". It was made by Trimark Pictures. I play Dwayne Kotswinkle, the son of the bad guy in the film played by John Quade. We steal the robot made by the lead characters in the film. It is still available for rental at your video stores. Even though the film was made 9 years ago, I still look the same as I did in that movie.
I have been asked to act a lot in the last couple of years since Lucas announced the new Star Wars movies. I am considering making a comeback now that I am older and not so angry at the business anymore. I would like to Direct and Produce more though.
Currently I own several computer companies and one internet company printing-supplies.net. It takes up a lot of my time right now, but in the near future I will be able to walk away from them and have them run themselves.





Are you still in touch with Warwick Davis or Aubree Miller or anyone else from the cast/crew?

I lost touch with Warwick sometime between the first and second Leprechaun movies and we have tried to call each other but we both seem too busy. I was in touch with Aubree Miller until she was 8 or 9 years old. We then never heard from her again, and I wouldn't mind getting back in touch. She must be almost 21 now. I have kept in touch with a few of the Ewoks and talk to them from time to time.

(ed. note: After this interview I gave him Warwick's e-mail address, and they both tell me they are back in touch)


I had actually been trying to find you for the last few years to see what you have been up to since The Ewok Adventure. Have you done any other interviews in the last few years?

I did a few interviews after The Phantom Menace was released. Mostly with overseas local newspapers. The Ewok Adventure was released in the theaters outside of the United States under the title "Caravan of Courage."


Do people ever recognize you for your role as Mace (either by your face or by your name)?

People do not recognize me on the street anymore like when I was a kid. Once they are told by someone like a friend or relative they often remember the movie and tell me stories of what it meant to them as a kid growing up. Often they will tell me that they taped it and watched it over and over again. The movie was seen by over 65 million people when it aired and sometimes I think all of them taped it. I have been asked to start a fan club about 100 times, instead of doing this I plan to start a web site in the next couple of months, under the name ericwalker.com.



Mace and Cindel continue their quest



I read in your filmography that you were also in an episode of Webster. Who was cooler to work with: Warwick Davis or Emmanuel Lewis?

They are both great people. But I was close to and still consider Warwick a good friend. We really had a lot of good times together. I traveled to his house one Christmas vacation in England and visited for two weeks. We made some good student films together. He took me to see Starlight Express in 1985 in London when nobody had heard of it here. It then encouraged me to name my company Starlight Entertainment in 1986.

Thanks so much, Eric! Eric said he will try and send some scans of the call sheet and some pictures and other stuff in the near future, so stay tuned for that.






Star Wars, Ewoks, The Ewok Adventure, Caravan of Courage, Battle For Endor and all related names and properties are © Lucasfilm Ltd. The images on this site were snapped by Mike Streeter and used for a non-commercial purpose.



Be sure to drop me a line if you have any questions for the webmaster about anything, especially if it's about Ewoks.

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