Anomalies of Endor

In the mid-1980s, Endor became the centerpiece in many of the Star Wars stories that were still being told, primarily on television, during an era when the franchise was largely dormant. Two made-for-TV movies were released, Caravan of Courage and The Battle for Endor, as well as two full seasons of an Ewoks cartoon. Children’s books and a short run of Marvel comics were also released during this time to tie in with the general Ewok mania. With so much material focused on developing Endor between all of these stories, it’s not surprising that the world quickly became bursting to the brim with all varieties of species and eccentric travelers. From evil witches to giants to shapeshifters to travelling carnivals, each new inhabitant of Endor introduced in this era was more unique than the last.

Some of these odd inhabitants being marooned on Endor or otherwise nonnative inevitably became a common thread. The Battle for Endor involved numerous different ship crashes stranding its cast, including the Sanyassan marauders, over the years, with much of the plot being driven by the struggle to escape the moon. The cartoon episode “Night of the Stranger” is based around an alignment of Endor’s moons opening a crack in space that allows for travel to and from another world. A couple of the Ewoks comics featured aliens as antagonists, including one about Zorbian space pirates seeking to steal the Ewok gemwood tree. A crossover with the Droids comic showed R2 and 3PO falling through a “tear in space” that takes them a hundred years into the future, apparently to the time when Wicket was a kid I guess, because they end up on Endor.

In the following decade, Star Wars literature continued its uphill climb with the release of The Glove of Darth Vader, which was based around the hunt for Darth Vader’s indestructible right glove. In the book, the glove ends up found millions of miles away from Endor among debris from the Death Star on Calamari, which is explained as being due to the “intense gravity of black holes and other interstellar forces.” It’s also worth noting that West End Games’ 1987 The Star Wars Sourcebook included an Imperial report detailing the IX3244-B survey of the previously unexplored Endor system in the Moddell sector.

The first attempt to string these ideas together and define Endor’s region of space more thoroughly came in the ninth issue of Star Wars Gamer, with an article titled “Endor and the Moddell Sector.” The article established that the hyperspace eddies and sinkholes littering the Moddell sector make traversing the entirety of it all but impossible, without even mentioning the lack of safe hyperlanes through the Monsua Nebula or the Endor Gate blackhole rumored to be capable of transporting spacers from the other side of the galaxy. Navigation through the Endor system itself was said to be difficult as well due to an abundance of gravity wells and stellar debris, the cause of hundreds of crashes. All of this is why the area remained largely unexplored, and part of what made it a good construction site for a secret superweapon. The article also placed Sanyassa and Zorbia on either side of Endor, not too far away.

Another article on the topic, “Castaways of Endor,” was written for publication in Gamer prior to the end of the magazine and instead later published online. This article confirmed that many of the unique species shown on Endor in the old stories had indeed come to the moon through shipwrecks, some thousands of years in the past, due to the many eccentricities of the sector. One example given is the crash of an Eriaduan colony ship a century before the saga that stranded Jinda and Tulgah settlers, both species seen in the cartoon.

In The Rise of Skywalker, debris from the second Death Star is shown to have somehow ended up on Kef Bir, a different moon in the Endor system. It had been long established that Endor was only one of nine moons, but none of the them had really been defined before. The Rise of Skywalker: The Visual Guide ended up defining the other seven, giving them all IX3244 survey designations. The book also mentioned the Moddell sector’s hyperspace anomaly problems, and how it caused ships from as far away as Sanyassa and Zorbia to be dumped into the Endor system. It’s posited that these anomalies may have been what saved the moons from devastation by Death Star debris, instead transporting energies and debris far further than it would otherwise have been capable of travelling (an idea that sounds remarkably familiar). Apparently the destruction of the station’s reactor core upturned local physics and shunted the worst of it into hyperspace.

Capture
thank you, The Glove of Darth Vader

Some of the other odd aspects of the sector have continued to crop up in stories as well. The Monsua Nebula and its reputation for being impossible to navigate became a plot point in Jason Aaron’s run on the Star Wars comic in 2015, which revealed that Han once crashed on a planet in it and began using it as a smuggling hideout. The explanation given in “Castaways of Endor” was also referenced in The High Republic: The Rising Storm with a mention of an Eriaduan ship carrying Jindas. I always think it’s charming to see new stories embrace some of the sillier parts from the classic stuff. Star Wars has such a big pool to draw from, and you never know what’ll turn up next.

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Numidian Prime

I like Star Wars. And Marvel too, to a lesser degree.

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