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FLASHBACK: The Adventures of Teebo

Posted By Scott on June 21, 2001

It's amazing what you can find on eBay. I thought I had a pretty good idea of most of the Star Wars books published out there, but one popped up and suprised me. It was "The Adventures of Teebo: A Tale of Magic and Suspense". It was written and illustrated by Joe Johnston. He was one of the primary designers for the Classic Trilogy. These days he's directing movies like The Rocketeer, Jumanji, October Sky, and Jurassic Park 3.

The Adventures of Teebo was published in 1984, a year before the Ewoks Animated series. It also appears to have been an important precursor to the series. The book starts out with Teebo as a young Ewok with an untapped talent for magic (or the Force?). One day a Dulok named Vulgarr wanders into town. The book explians that the Duloks are an offshoot of the Ewok species, except they are taller, dumber, and lazier. They are also not green like in the cartoon. The Duloks of this book are also a bit more menacing, though still somewhat incompetent. Vulgarr tells the Ewoks that a horrible creature has kidnapped a young Ewok and taken her to it's lair. The Wokling happens to be Teebo's younger sister Malani. All of the warriors of the village assemble to track the monster, unaware that the Dulok has sent them on a wild goose chase. Teebo trails behind the warriors in a glider to try and help.

With the Ewok village unprotected, the Duloks start a raid and kidnap all the Ewok children. They intend to eat them. Ewok medicine man Logray tries to stop them but is unsuccessful. He puts a magical curse on the Duloks.

Meanwhile, Teebo gets lost and night falls. After being chased out of the sky by a kind of dragon called a mantigrue, he lands his glider in the forest. He is again chased by the ruthless Yuzzum on their spider creatures. They aren't the cute and cuddly blues singers we see in Return of the Jedi Special Edition. Teebo is chased through the forest, then rescued by a giant creature called a Grudakk. This seems to be a creature similar to the Gorax seen in The Ewok Adventure movie. It is a massive creature, but more Wookiee-like. It helps Teebo out and we learn it is a magical protector of the forest.

Eventually the warriors return, discover what has happened, and chase down the Duloks. A huge battle erupts and Teebo and the Grudakk end up saving the day.

Despite being a children's book, this is a rather interesting story. It's a good footnote to Star Wars lore that literature fans should love. The story is suprisingly brutal and adult in places. After all, the Duloks want to eat children. One Dulok falls hundreds of feet to a grisly death. Then some of the dialogue may be over kid's heads. Here's a sample:

"Take them to the wagon!" shouted Vulgarr as the wind rose and the sky darkened. "And with haste...a storm is nigh!"

One positive thing about the book is that the Ewoks are portrayed well in this story. They aren't cute and cuddly teddy bears. They are warriors. There are numerous similarities to Native Americans and even Vikings. Johnston does an impressive job of making you forget how lovable and huggable they are.

If you find a copy of this book, I recommend you pick it up. It will make a great addition to your collection. Maybe someone will reprint it one day.

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