The Ewoks get a lot of shit for being toy bait teddy bears that sold out Star Wars™ to the baser taste of children, but I never had a problem with them. Unblinking bastards that only served to disnify the original trilogy—but those guys are ok with me. Maybe that’s because I was just a child when Return of the Jedi came out, and I always wanted to be this guy when I grew up.
Anyway, Ewoks religiously chant a perfect fifth backwards, and their aboriginal music is the usual Fraggle Folk Rock—skin drums, bone flutes, and electric funk bass. Their victory song “Yub Nub”, meaning “freedom”, closes out Episode VI.
“Yub Nub” has a funky meandering bass, a chromatic hook from Sesame Street, and this awesome Aeolian cadence at the chorus.
The bVI bVII I chord progression is a popular musical device used to add some epicness at the end of a song. Beyoncé did it at her POTUS Banner. Phish do too. Focus as well. And composer John Williams also does it, because he’s an epic Hollywood kind of guy.
“Yub Nub” is in the key of G Major, but ends with a transitional Eb Major chord to segue back to the Main Theme. A fleet of minor sixes heralds the key change from G Major to Eb Major and the return of the trademark fanfare.
In the Special Edition, they replaced the classic muppet finale “Yub Nub” with a polished studio instrumental, but the Ewoks are a simple people without reverberated panflute and modern day percussion; they are supposed to sound like a ragtag bunch of Henson creature shop rejects. That’s why they have a makeshift xylophone made from the helmets of dead stormtroopers. The music is gritty and real, like ‘practical effects’, compared to the ‘CGI’ of the newer song (which I won’t bother linking to).
There are so many retconned versions of the original Star Wars floating around, it’s hard to find the scene in question, so here it is.
Best for the artist to let his work die in a bittersweet fire just as Luke Skywalker laid his father to rest. Allay loo ta nuv.