I have to tread carefully on this one because I'm about to explain how and why the beloved Ewoks from Star Wars: Return of the Jedi all died as a result of a fiery ball of death. According to this theory, the last planet destroyed by the Death Star was the Forest Moon of Endor — or it would have been if the Star Wars universe adhered to our laws of physics.
Damn you, physics!
Do you happen to recall the Forest Moon of Endor, inhabited by the tribal Ewoks?
Does this little guy look familiar? His name's Wicket, isn't he adorable? Well, I should say he was adorable.
Apparently this ragtag group of fluffy heroes met their untimely end shortly after the destruction of the Death Star. Yup, all gone!
So, here's how we know: According to Techinsider, who seem to have devoted an inordinate about of time to ensuring the destruction of Endor's furry little tribesmen, the laws of physics dictate that the Ewoks should be goners along with their home. But how and why?
Well, in an attempt to ruin our hopes and dreams, Techinsider summoned a group of masochistic physicists to their lair and plotted the destruction of Endor. Although the theory was founded by astrophysicist Curtis Saxton back in 1997, this new level of scrutiny was initiated by Dave Minton, a physicist and self-proclaimed Star Wars fan who submitted a paper to Techinsider.
Minton states that:
The Ewoks are dead. All of them.
I always appreciate a coherent argument. Let's continue:
I estimate that the bulk density of Endor is about 14,350 kg/m3. This is more than iron (8000 kg/m3) and less than uranium (19,100 kg/m3), so while the composition of Endor must be quite unusual, it is not impossible.
Minton continues by stating that the Death Star was positioned close enough to Endor so as to be caught by its gravity, meaning the Death Star must have been using some form of technology to defy the gravitational pull of the forest moon. This means that upon the destruction of the Death Star, a huge amount of debris would have plummeted to the surface of the moon.
You might think that the copious amount of debris wouldn't go so far as to wipe out the Ewoks entirely, but of course Minton disagrees.
A Death Star-mass ball of fragments will leave behind a 700 km diameter crater. This is almost 4 times larger than the Chicxulub crater in Mexico that is associated with the dinosaur extinction.
But come on, Minton, surely a few hardy Ewok's would survive the disaster, they're resilient! They took down an AT-ST pretty swiftly!
The aftermath of this impact would be to obliterate everything on the surface. No Ewok could withstand an impact of that magnitude.
It is likely that the atmosphere would be so heated up ... that every body of water on the entire world would be flash heated to steam, and every forest would ignite into a global firestorm.
On the bright side, it's not as though Techinsider found 11 physicists to agree with Minton! So I'm sure the Ewoks are fine!
Wait, I spoke too soon. It turns out Techinsider contacted 11 different physicists who disagree on much of the how and why of it all, but all seem to agree that an "Endor holocaust" would have been inevitable. Ultimately, this means that the classic scene at the end of Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, just wouldn't have happened.
I hope this has lifted your spirits!
Have a look at the classic scene from Return of the Jedi!