[All movie stills from Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, Lucasfilm]
This May the Fourth, invite the ones you love (who also love Star Wars) into your home with all the festivity and joy of a traditional Ewok gathering. The rules of receiving guests in an Ewok community are simple, straightforward, and have led to many seasons of happy living for the tree-dwelling culture. After some time living this way, you too may feel ready to dance like you’re celebrating the fall of an evil empire!
Greet your guests
Greeting your guests is a must, even if they seem a bit out of sorts at the time. If they’ve landed in your tribe’s territory, then it’s your duty to welcome them, be they friend or foe. Meeting with them face to face gives them the opportunity to make their intentions known. Perhaps they are cousins from another tribe, escaped prisoners of the Gorax, or merely lost off-worlders. Whatever the case, seeking an audience with them is the best way to find out more about them.
For human hosts, inviting guests to your gathering clearly is very important! Let them know what time they are welcome to join you, if you expect them to bring anything, and what behaviors will be appropriate. Even the friendliest of guests isn’t welcome to turn up 4 hours before the party is set to begin, so make sure you connect with your guests clearly before party time!
Accept the customary offering of food
Guests to your village will be bringing food for your table - normally something that could serve a family or more. This offering (called the choup-cha) can be requested if the guest seems confused or forgets to produce it on first meeting as General Leia Organa did on meeting Wicket Wystri Warrick. Stay on your guard until the food is offered - they might be an attacker!
At human gatherings, guests will often bring snacks or beverages for the other party guests when they arrive. Often guests will contact the host in advance to ask what they can bring, so as a host it’s a good idea to know what items you’ll be shopping for/making and what items your guests can provide. That way everyone is happy and hospitable!
If food is not offered, they are no true guest
Ewoks, small and unassuming as they are, have suffered a number of attacks and know that until proven friendly, every visitor is hostile. You can take the same approach in your home when entertaining. If someone arrives at your door with no offering, then that person isn’t welcome at your party! Now on the forest moon showing up aggressive and uninvited might land you hog tied and fit to be roasted over the fire for the evening meal (especially among the Ewoks of Bright Tree Village). At human parties, simply tell guests that the invitation list is limited.
*Deities, it should be noted, are exempt from offerings and must be enthroned at the earliest possible convenience.
Provide rest (and sometimes clothing) for your guest
Yub nub, sometimes called yub yub, refers to the celebration of receiving guests and celebrating with them with music, food, storytelling, and all manner of treats. It is customary to offer your guest the chance to rest before enjoying the celebration; often this rest includes some small amount of food and drink, the opportunity to bathe, and styling for their hair as befits the celebration. Guests are generally expected to arrive dressed appropriately, but if not, appropriate dress is also provided.
When guests arrive at a human party, you can take a page out of the Ewok book and offer them a moment of calm before they engage with all the others you’ve invited. Hang up their coat, let them know where the restroom is, offer them something to drink, and send them to a comfortable place in your home. That way they have time to ready themselves and adjust to the new situation after travelling all the way to your house.
Yub nub, and let the celebrations begin!
As with all cultures, parties amongst Ewoks are the more the merrier. Entertain your guests with food and music, but also encourage them to entertain one another! Invite guests to take part in dining, storytelling, dancing, and making music while they are gathered.
How do you choose to embrace the Ewok way when entertaining? Share your ideas in the comments below or on Twitter @quirkbooks!
*All interpretations of Ewok culture and customs are the observations of the author of this blog post, based on extensive study of their habits. As a child she lived among them for some months after her star cruiser crash-crashed on the forest moon of Endor, and she has been an ardent student of their rituals and customs ever since.