Star Wars BLING

Ewok Hang Glider (Yub-Yub-R)
Set 7139
V-4 Propeller with Chrome Exhausts

There are those who can spend the money to have a fast vehicle. There are those with the technical expertise to install modifications and reap the benefits. These are the people who can afford, or create, the racing or "R-Type" of a vehicle.

There are those who can't quite manage the real thing. They can put new rims on a car. Or stickers.

And then, a few levels below that, there are Ewoks.

When confronted with designing an R-Type, these mindless furballs were at a severe disadvantage. Yet I had gotten word - somehow they had accomplished it.

I try and get a straight answer out of these cretins.

At first the interview process seemed doomed. Lacking a protocol droid all I got was a lot of "Yub Yubs" and offered piles of steaming red meat. Being a vegetarian, that limited options somewhat.

Eventually a LEGO® $100 brick changed hands and suddenly the Chief was speaking unbroken Standard. Sometimes you just have to grease the right paws.

Chirpa directed my attention overhead where the only vehicle the Ewoks possess was making a fly-by.

The Ewok glider is actually not a bad achievement for the Ewok race - how they managed to design a glider to weave in and out of the dense forest I'll never know. It's a testament to their tenacity - or maybe just not being smart enough to know when to quit.

After the Battle of Endor there was a lot of surplus Imperial technology littering the woods; when the shield generator blew, it scattered quality parts for miles. The Ewoks gathered them up, and attempted to market themselves cuter versions of the Jawas.

Their only problem: Since they were the only ones on the Forest Moon, there was no one to sell the scrap to.

With nothing better to do, a few of the more adventurous Ewoks began to play with the technology.

"It was a real mess," recalls Chirpa. "We thought racing around on stolen Speeder bikes was dangerous. That was nothing compared to when Chef Yubango decided that imperial pepper-spray was the right condiment to serve at Royal Feasts. We lost dozens to laser-tag battles after an ill-timed 'right to arm bears' amendment to our constitution. And then that idiot Wicket started strapping things to the gliders to 'make them go faster'."

"I have to admit, he was able to get them to go from the treetop to the ground in record time."

Eventually, though, through more error than trial, a working fan-and-motor combination was found. Due to the lightweight duraplast casing it could be mounted on a glider without shredding the vines-and-hide construction.

Chirpa grudgingly admits Wicket had hit on something. "Yeah, he went from having to spiral down from the trees in about five minutes to having to figure out how to land a glider doing 120kph."

Wicket himself had few facts to share - he was in a full body cast "recovering" from one of his famous landings.

When asked about the giant chrome exhausts, Wicket grunted something about "Roxorz! Wicked Kewl!" and wet himself.

We followed up with an ex-imperial engineer to see what the hardware used in the Yub-Yub-R might have come from. The answer was enlightening: "I dunno, man, but it looks a lot like the fan from the officer's bathroom."

All in all, I was just glad they hadn't tried to R-Type their catapult.

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