By most accounts, Return Of The Jedi was supposed to be an incredibly bleak film: characters were supposed to die, romances were to be doomed, and innocence lost, and some of this still shows through, especially in the Tatooine sequence that begins the film. The move to lighter fare was apparently decided early in the scriptwriting process as darker, more intriguing ideas were dropped in favour of a "family-friendly" bent - allegedly, in order to sell more toys. You see, George Lucas gave up much of his salary from the first Star Wars to convince the studio to make the film, and in exchange, all he asked for was the merchandising rights. He then turned that around when the film was a success and started to produce a myriad of action figures, playsets, and PVC lightsabers, and ensured himself a giant, pretty much unprecedented pay day. The Ewoks were seen as the most egregious play for children's hearts and piggy banks: they hijack the story for the better part of an hour, get into all sorts of hijinks playing with our heroes' complicated technology, and unthinkably manage to defeat the Empire's best troops with goofy, Rube Goldberg-esque forest contraptions. And the less said about the spinoff the better, quite frankly. George Lucas has defended the Ewoks as an allegory for the relatively "primitive" Viet Cong defeating the advanced American troops, which is not only problematic in the same way as Jar Jar Binks, but also reflects an enduring problem with the Prequel trilogy.