Warwick Davis and the Star Wars Universe

At 3’6” tall, Warwick Davis is one of the most famous little people that has appeared on the big screen. Warwick had auditioned for the role of an Ewok back in 1982 after his grandmother had heard on the radio that there was a casting call for people under 4’tall for a film. Warwick was only 11 years old and was 2’11” tall at the time. He made his first appearance in the Star Wars universe as Wicket, the inquisitive Ewok that was on-screen with Princess Leia. When Princess Leia crashes, she was supposed to be discovered by the Ewok known as Paploo. Kenny Baker was Paploo, along with R2-D2. On the day of filming, Kenny was sick, and George Lucas decided to put Wicket in the place of Paploo to befriend Leia.

Warwick was just an 11-year old boy with very little acting experience outside of the little time spent in drama classes at Laine Theater Arts in Epsom. He approached his character of Wicket with the idea of being someone who lived a sheltered life in a forest and was inquisitive about all new things around him. Like R2-D2, which would be his character’s first time to see technology. Warwick had a dog at his home that would tilt its head out of curiosity, which was a gesture that Warwick adopted for his character.

Warwick has played 14 characters in the Star Wars Universe in nine films and one animated series. Here is a list of his characters. The Ewok movies were once considered canon until Disney bought Lucasfilm and deemed them to not be canon.

His first character was Wicket W. Warrick from Star Wars: Episode IV – Return of the Jedi (1983).

Warwick in his costume with his head off.

Because of being an 11-year-old easy-going kid, Warwick wasn’t bothered by the hot costume. Whenever people were taking breaks, he would always ask what they were shooting next. It earned him the nickname “The Eveready Ewok.“

Warwick rehearsing his scene with Kenny Baker (Paploo and R2-D2) in the background.

While filming on set, Warwick said that the then 26-year-old Carrie Fisher would feed him cookies and chocolate milk with a straw through his Wicket mask between takes.

Warwick visiting the set of Jabba’s ship.

After filming had concluded, the cast and crew had a wrap party. Warwick said he missed most of the party by sleeping through the whole thing. There was a photo taken of Carrie Fisher holding her finger to her lips doing the “shhh” motion behind a sleeping Warwick.

David Tomblin, the Assistant Director of Return of the Jedi (1983), directed and produced a short mockumentary called Return of the Ewok (1982). It was a fictional account of how Warwick got the role of Wicket. It was filmed simultaneously with Return of the Jedi. All the actors from Jedi played themselves in Return of the Ewok. It followed Warwick around as he tried to find the place where he was supposed to be filming his scenes as Wicket. He meets Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, and Carrie Fisher along the way. David Prowse, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew, Jeremy Bulloch, and Frank Oz reprised their roles of Darth Vader, C-3PO, Chewbacca, Boba Fett, and Yoda. This is the only film where you can see an Ewok in Jabba’s palace and on the Death Star. There are several times in the film when Return of the Jedi is referred to as Revenge of the Jedi because that was the original title of the film. Warwick is the only person in possession of a copy of the film. The film was virtually unknown to fans until Warwick mentioned it in an interview in 1996. Until then, Warwick had only shown it to family and friends. The first public viewing of it was in 1999 at Star Wars Celebration and has been shown a few times since then. It has yet to be released on DVD although Warwick has stated that it will possibly happen someday.

Here is a fan-edited version of it from different cam recordings and officially released clips.

Warwick had sent George Lucas a letter reintroducing himself in case George had forgotten who he was. He had asked George to send him some of the latest Star Wars toys.

Here he is posing with his toys.

His second appearance was in the film Caravan of Courage: An Ewok Adventure (1984), also just known as The Ewok Adventure, was technically the first “A Star Wars Story” spin-off movie, not Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016).

From left to right; Tony Cox as Widdle (Wicket’s brother), Eric Walker as Mace, Guy Boyd as Jeremitt, Fionnula Flanagan as Catarine, Aubree Miller as Cindel, and Warwick Davis as Wicket in his second Star Wars movie.

Side Note: I met Eric Walker at the 2019 D23 Expo in Anaheim. He’s a pretty cool guy. He has the website AllForSciFi.com. The photo bomber in the background is Richard Wolosky from the Skywalking Through Neverland Podcast.

The second Ewok film was Ewoks: The Battle for Endor (1985) and was Warwick’s third Star Wars film.

Here is Wicket walking with Cindel.

While filming, Michael Jackson stopped by the set for a visit. George Lucas is in the background as Michael shakes hands with Warwick.

Because George Lucas had been interacting with Warwick Davis in this film and the following two Ewok films, he decided to cast him in the film Willow (1988). Warwick was 17 years old and 3’4” tall for the filming. It would be the first time Warwick played a character that wasn’t in a complete costume so that we couldn’t see him.

George Lucas brought Warwick back into the Star Wars series after 14 years of nothing with the release of Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace (1999). Warwick played four characters in this film.

He was Anakin’s Rodian friend Wald.

He appeared as Weazel, also known as Thorn Drumheller. Fans refer to him as Willow Ufgood because Warwick isn’t wearing makeup or a character costume, he looks like himself, just like he did in Willow (1988). He can be seen with the Hutts during the pod race scene. Weazel worked for the Hutt’s as a thief.

Warwick was completely ecstatic when George asked him to don the suit of Yoda. There is a scene at the end when Senator Palpatine walked off his ship to approach Queen Padme. Yoda can be seen walking down the ramp off the ship in the background. Warwick was used for that part. They had to film about six takes because Warwick couldn’t walk down the gangway fast enough in the costume to keep up with the others.

He was also a street trader in Mos Espa on Tatooine.

(I had a hard time finding a photo of Warwick as this character, I think this is him next to C-3PO)

After a 16-year Star Wars hiatus, Warwick came back after Disney bought Lucasfilm to play the character of Wollivan in Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens (2015).

Here he is getting into his costume.

In Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016), he was Weeteef Cyu-Bee.

When Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi (2017) was released, Warwick was three characters.

In the Canto Bight scene, he played the gambler Wodibin, or Wodi for short.

He voiced the character Thamm, a croupier that was visually portrayed by a puppet and CGI.

There was a character called Kedpin Shoklop. He was in the Zord’s Spa and Bathhouse on Canto Bight. His scenes were cut from the film. His scene can be seen in the deleted scenes on the Blu-Ray.

Warwick was invited to voice the character of Rukh for six episodes of the animated series Star Wars Rebels (2017-2018).

Besides his character of Wicket, Warwick’s character of Weazel made a second appearance in Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018). We first saw him in The Phantom Menace.

He also played two androids in Solo when they were in the spice mines on Kessel.

In the final film of the Skywalker storyline Warwick played Wizzich Mozzer in Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker (2019).

One of the final scenes in The Rise of Skywalker shows us an older Wicket with his son Pommet celebrating the defeat of the First Order. The actor playing Pommet was Harrison Davis, Warwick’s 16-year old son.

You will notice that the majority of Star Wars characters that Warwick plays start with the letter “W” because his name does.

To date, he has been in over 80 film/television shows. Some other roles you might know him from;

Reepicheep in the BBC’s version of Prince Caspian and the Voyage of the Dawn Treader (1989)

Glimfeather in the BBC’s sequel series to Prince Caspian, The Silver Chair (1990)

Leprechaun in 6 of the Leprechaun films (1993-2003)

Griphook, Professor Filius Flitwick, and a Gringotts Goblin in the Harry Potter film series (2001-2011)

Marvin in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to The Galaxy (2005)

Nikabrik in The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian (2008)

Lickspittle in Maleficent: Mistress of Evil (2019)

Warwick wrote the book Size Matters Not: The Extraordinary Life and Career of Warwick Davis that was published in 2011.

Peter Burroughs, the father-in-law of Warwick, started Willow Management in 1995 with Warwick being a co-founder. It was a talent agency that specialized in representing actors/actresses under 5’ tall. Many of Warwick’s fellow actors from Willow, Labyrinth, Star Wars, and the Harry Potter films are represented by Willow Management. They began representing actors that were over 7’ tall in 2004 because they could also be stuck in niche roles. In fact, there were around 40 members from the agency that was in the final Harry Potter film.

Warwick, along with his father-in-law actor Peter Burroughs, started the non-profit agency Little People, UK. It is a resource for the dwarfism community that began in 2012.

Here is Warwick’s family. His wife Samantha, son Harrison, and daughter Annabelle. Warwick met his wife on the set of Willow, along with her father Peter.

In conclusion, Warwick Davis is extremely awesome!

If you liked this article about Warwick Davis, you should check out my book that has over 3,700 fun facts in it about Disneyland, California Adventure, and Disney Movies.


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