The Endor Attack Hyperspace Trip
        Pt. II :  Continuation, Appendices, Et Cetera

Quick Links, Page One:
Endor Daylight Time, Scene Order, Analysis

Quick Links, Page Two:
Putting it All Together, Conclusion, Objections, Appendix A, Appendix B


The Scene Timeline, Revised

S0 - night.  Nighttime on Endor.  Han's party that had split up from the main Rebel strike team to search for Leia has found her, befriended the Ewoks, and gotten a promise from the Ewoks that their best scouts (two of them, Wicket and Paploo, as per the novel) will show them the shortest way to the shield generator.  (Luke gives himself up to Vader.)

S1 -  the next morning, fairly early.  Ridge scene.  

Han and the entire strike team are present, as are two Ewoks (Wicket (brown) and Paploo (grey)).  The difficulty of an assault on the front entrance, said to be beyond the landing platform, is discussed, at which point 3PO translates the scouts' report that there is a secret entrance on "the other side of the ridge."

S2 - early morning/before noon. The Rebel fleet enters hyperspace.  This is the scene depicted in the novelization quote at the start of the page.   (The novelization has the order of S1 and S2 reversed, which is naturally overruled by the film.)

S3 - noonish.   A few hours after S1, the Rebels and the two Ewoks arrive at the back entrance/secret entrance/bunker, and note the four scout troopers guarding it, with their speeder bikes nearby.  

Paploo rushes off and steals one of the bikes, leading three of the troops on a long merry chase, and he then abandons the bike by vine and escapes into the woods.   Han's comment before he saw the outcome was "there goes our surprise attack".   But, all's well, and a couple of hours later . . . 

S4 - early afternoon.  Han draws the remaining trooper into a trap, and the Rebels enter the bunker.  

As the novelization puts it, "Soon the entire team was huddled inside the otherwise empty steel corridor, leaving one lookout outside, dressed in the unconscious scout's uniform."

Night falls.  The Rebels meander stealthily through the "labyrinthine" corridors of the underground facility.

S5 - early morning, another day.  (Emperor-Luke meeting. Big reveal that the Emperor knows everything that's afoot.)

S6 - morning.  The Rebels break into the shield generator control room, and begin to plant charges that will destroy it.  Leia comments that the ""fleet will be here at any moment".

S7 - morning.  Outside the bunker and at a safe distance, 3PO sees Imperial officers rushing into the bunker, and exclaims "they'll be captured!"   

The remaining Ewok, Wicket, runs off into the forest.

S8 - ?, probably morning. "You Rebel scum!"  Different Imperials, along with Stormtroopers, capture the Rebels.

Night falls.

S9 - pre-dawn, another day.  The Rebel fleet exits hyperspace.

A while  later, they commence and then abort the attack on the Death Star when they realize the shield is still up.

Turning around, they discover that a small Imperial fleet has them sandwiched against the Death Star.   

"It's a trap!"   Chaos ensues.

S10 - morning, after above.  (Emperor-Luke-Vader stuff . . . Luke watching the fleet combat. Luke refuses to use lightsaber.)

S11 - morning, after above.  Some of the captured Rebels, including Han, are led outside the back door.   The place is swarming with Imperial officers, scout troopers, and stormtroopers.   Multiple walkers are in the area.  We see Han's perspective below:

Then, the Ewok-Imperial battle begins. The little Ewok that ran off, Wicket, is there again, as are all of the Ewok's heavy weapons and traps.  The shield is brought down that morning, and then the final destruction of the Death Star is seen in what the novel calls the evening sky.  (There's a sweet scene between Han and Leia, but no indication of when that scene occurs . . . they seem to be away from the bunker.  Could be afternoon, or the novel could just be wrong, period.)

There is one peculiarity in the above.  Leia comments that the "fleet will be here at any moment".  That, of course, is absurd . . . the fleet doesn't arrive until pre-dawn on another day.   Was she being very non-specific?  Was she confused by the Imperial panel?   Did she mistake the Imperial Fleet for the Rebel one?   Was the Rebel fleet late?    It had to be one or some combination of those . . . canonically, her statement is invalidated by the clear timeline of events, as confirmed by the special effects and the sun angle of the live-action shots.

One must also take into account the fact that the Rebels weren't exactly operating on a tight schedule. Luke was concerned about trying to go around the first two scouttroopers they encountered because "it'll take time". And yet, they then wasted hours thanks to the chase and the waiting for Luke, then lost more time thanks to the Ewoks capturing part of the party. The remainder of the party was supposed to meet back up with Han at the shield generator at "0300" . . . but instead of rushing to the meeting, Han's group hung out with the Ewoks and had story-time.   


Putting it All Together

The revised timeline above would seem to suggest a minimum value for the hyperspace trip of just under two days.  

However, that would require the Ewoks to have mobilized, planned, and performed a helluva lot of work in just two days.  It would also mean that they started that process right after the Rebels started heading for the ridge.  Does that make any sense?

No.  The impression we get from the film is that Wicket goes and brings the Ewoks at S7.

First, let's note that there's no evidence of the Ewok army until S11, when they attack the Imperials . . . nor is there any evidence that the Rebels expect such help, or think they have it available at any point prior to that moment.  Let us also note that everything seemed to be going according to plan until S7, the morning when Wicket sees the Imperials running into the bunker and 3PO exclaims "they'll be captured!".

It doesn't make sense to presume that the traps were all laid out for the four Imperial scouttroopers of S3. It also doesn't make sense to assume that the Ewok who stole the speeder was lucky enough to avoid giving away the fact that an entire army was present and hard at work making traps that point.  Further, scouttroopers have demonstrated the ability to hear a twig break behind them . . . all the trees being felled would've alerted them, especially if they were all done at once.

It doesn't make sense to assume that the Rebels would've left a dressed-up Rebel explicitly identified as a "lookout" when they entered the bunker in S4 if an entire army of little eyes were present in the area around the back door.  And, the dressed-up Rebel had to have been surprised by the Imperials who captured him (otherwise he could've communicated their presence), which would not expect with Ewoks everywhere nearby.

It also doesn't make sense to assume that this army was present at that point since it would've been dumb luck for the Imperials who had arrived at the secret entrance not to end up bumping into Ewoks along the way. The Imperials had been told that the Ewoks were "harmless non-combatants", but hundreds of armed Ewoks laying in wait (or building catapults and walker-sized pits) would've made them suspicious. 

Therefore, the most logical moment for the Ewok army to congregate and construct would therefore be after the Ewok runs for help at S7.  The only alternative would be that the Rebels doubled-back and picked up the army (or at least told them to follow) after S1. Since there's no evidence of such an army (or Rebel knowledge of it) until S11, that doesn't make sense.  It also doesn't make sense to presume that one of the Ewok scouts went back to collect them at that point, since both scouts were with the Rebels at S2.  

Another alternative would be that the Ewoks may have been en route after Paploo's speeder ride of S3 (though he may have been going the wrong way entirely in regards to getting to the village in a timely manner).  However, given how long it took the Rebels to arrive at the bunker from the landing platform, the Ewok army could hardly have arrived prior to S7 anyway, so the difference would be mere hours.   But of course, the Paploo concept would still be contrary to the other points above.

There can't be too terribly much time between S7 and S8, and S9 is when the space battle begins and everything starts moving quickly, meaning that the Ewok positioning and construction almost certainly had to have occurred between S8 ("Rebel scum") and S9 (the arrival of the fleet).

The S11 prisoner walk-out event, with walkers and troops all around, also requires there to be a lot of time between S8 and S9.  The walkers and troops would have had to have been relatively far away, and it would've taken the walkers a long time to get anywhere given their slow speed (which also, incidentally, demonstrates that the battle remained nearby, as indicated by the chronology and given Chewie's walker). 

That period of time would be S8-S10, the bulk of that being S8-S9. The troopers had either arrived by AT-AT, or else they arrived from within the "labyrinthine corridors" in the underground structure from another area. The Ewoks, now knowing what is going on, could've simply hidden if they were present . . . and, happily, hidden some of their construction sound in the noise of the AT-STs.

So, Wicket goes to get the Ewoks on the morning of S7 . . . it probably takes him until afternoon to reach them and call them in.   Assuming immediate mobilization of the Ewok army, they would've arrived that night or in the pre-dawn hours of the next morning, at which point they began working.

And so, given that the Ewoks could realistically have required no less than three days to prepare for the attack upon the Imperials, we come to the following timeline:

The Scene Timeline, Final

S0 - night.  Nighttime on Endor.  Han's party that had split up from the main Rebel strike team to search for Leia has found her, befriended the Ewoks, and gotten a promise from the Ewoks that their best scouts (two of them, Wicket and Paploo, as per the novel) will show them the shortest way to the shield generator.  (Luke gives himself up to Vader.)

S1 -  Day One - the next morning, fairly early.  Ridge scene.  

Han and the entire strike team are present, as are two Ewoks (Wicket (brown) and Paploo (grey)).  The difficulty of an assault on the front entrance, said to be beyond the landing platform, is discussed, at which point 3PO translates the scouts' report that there is a secret entrance on "the other side of the ridge."

S2 - Day One - early morning/before noon. The Rebel fleet enters hyperspace.  This is the scene depicted in the novelization quote at the start of the page.   (The novelization has the order of S1 and S2 reversed, which is naturally overruled by the film.)

S3 - Day One - noonish.   A few hours after S1, the Rebels and the two Ewoks arrive at the back entrance/secret entrance/bunker, and note the four scout troopers guarding it, with their speeder bikes nearby.  

Paploo rushes off and steals one of the bikes, leading three of the troops on a long merry chase, and he then abandons the bike by vine and escapes into the woods.   Han's comment before he saw the outcome was "there goes our surprise attack".   But, all's well, and a couple of hours later . . . 

S4 - Day One - early afternoon.  Han draws the remaining trooper into a trap, and the Rebels enter the bunker.  

As the novelization puts it, "Soon the entire team was huddled inside the otherwise empty steel corridor, leaving one lookout outside, dressed in the unconscious scout's uniform."

Night falls.  The Rebels meander stealthily through the "labyrinthine" corridors of the underground facility.

S5 - Day Two - early morning, another day.  (Emperor-Luke meeting. Big reveal that the Emperor knows everything that's afoot.)

S6 - Day Two - morning.  The Rebels break into the shield generator control room, and begin to plant charges that will destroy it.  Leia comments that the ""fleet will be here at any moment".

S7 - Day Two - morning.  Outside the bunker and at a safe distance, 3PO sees Imperial officers rushing into the bunker, and exclaims "they'll be captured!"   

The remaining Ewok, Wicket, runs off into the forest.

S8 - ?, probably Day Two, morning. "You Rebel scum!"  Different Imperials, along with Stormtroopers, capture the Rebels.

--------   Day Three, pre-dawn.   The Ewoks move their army into position, possibly arriving in the afternoon or evening of Day Two, and begin three days of construction and set-up.

S9 - Day Six - pre-dawn.  The Rebel fleet exits hyperspace.

They commence and then abort the attack on the Death Star when they realize the shield is still up.

Turning around, they discover that a small Imperial fleet has them sandwiched against the Death Star.   

"It's a trap!"   Chaos ensues.

S10 - Day Six - morning, after above. (Emperor-Luke-Vader stuff . . . Luke watching the fleet combat. Luke refuses to use lightsaber.)

S11 - Day Six - morning, after above.  Some of the captured Rebels, including Han, are led outside the back door.   The place is swarming with Imperial officers, scout troopers, and stormtroopers.   Multiple walkers are in the area.  We see Han's perspective below:

Then, the Ewok-Imperial battle begins. The little Ewok that ran off, Wicket, is there again, as are all of the Ewok's heavy weapons and traps.  The shield is brought down that morning, and then the final destruction of the Death Star is seen in what the novel calls the evening sky.  (There's a sweet scene between Han and Leia, but no indication of when that scene occurs . . . they seem to be away from the bunker.  Could be afternoon, or the novel could just be wrong, period.)

Therefore, it took the Rebellion no less than just under five days to make the trip from somewhere near Sullust to Endor . . . more if the Ewoks took longer.   Five days would be 120 hours . . . the latest the fleet could've departed would be noonish, with a pre-dawn arrival.  Let's call it 110 hours, lower-limit.   Another day of construction would thus involve an extra 24 hours for a total of 134, and another would be 158.  Of course, the Ewoks could've taken weeks to do all they were doing, but we'll stop there for the time being.


Conclusion

Since we have upper and lower limits for distance and different possibilities for time, I've created a table of the maximum, minimum, and middle values based on what we have so far:

  158 hours
134 hours
110 hours
200 light-years    11,088.6c 13,074.6c 15,927.3c
999 light-years    55,387.6c 65,307.7c 79,556.7c

The lowest value, 11,088.6c, is 6.33 times greater than the speed of the Tatooine-Geonosis run of 1,752c.  The highest value, obtained for nearly a thousand light years in 110 hours, is 45.4 times greater.   (And, incidentally, it is also 3.7 times faster than Tom Paris's statement that warp nine is about four billion miles per second, or 21,472c.)

Had the Rebel fleet made the trip with the speed of Amidala's ship, which is .2 ly/hr, then the lower-limit distance trip would've taken 1000 hours, or almost six weeks, which is far too long.   However, as I explain on the Tat-Geo page, it also doesn't make sense to conclude that in the technologically static civilization of Star Wars, the beat-up old ship of a smuggler (with its balky and temperamental hyperdrive) could be 50 times faster than a sleek, well-maintained official governmental starship of the rich and vibrant society of Naboo from 20 years earlier.   The situation is even worse when you consider that the entire rag-tag Rebel fleet has to be making the Sullust-Endor trip.

The most canonically-consistent viewpoint, therefore, would be that the lower-limit distance is probably the correct one, as is a higher time value than 110 hours.   One could easily push the time an extra day (to 182 hours) for consistency's sake, giving a speed of 9,626.4c (which would make the fleeet "only" 5.5 times faster than Amidala's ship), but that seems a little rude.

And so, the most reasonable hyperdrive speed estimate of this scene would be just over 11,000c.   (Incidentally, f we take Han's "she'll make .5 past lightspeed" to imply that his ship is half-again faster than any other ship in hyperspace, then the Millennium Falcon's maximum velocity would be on the order of 16,600c.)


Objections

1.  One objection brought up previously to the notion that the Rebel fleet's trip didn't take minutes or hours (which was the prevailing view, oddly enough) is that the Rebellion launched its fighters before going into hyperspace.  

That fact makes no sense under any theory, however.  The sublight portion of the trip to the Death Star that occurred within the Endor system was not instantaneous under any concept of the event, and fighter launch has never been seen to take a long time.  In the primitive surroundings of Yavin, for example, a primed and ready group of fighters was able to exit single-file, one right behind the other.  Simply preparing the fighters to be launched as soon as they exited hyperspace would've been the best idea.    

1a.  A subset of the idea above is that the Rebel fighter pilots would not have fought or would not have been able to fight due to the fatigue of being cooped up in a fighter for a trip of more than 6-8 hours.

The low opinion of Rebel pilots and Rebel fighting spirit is a subjective topic not worthy of further mention.  That having been said, though, the objective facts relating to fatigue must be considered.  B-2 bombers, for instance, carry a separate set of pilots, and the two crews rotate as needed.   The reasons are obvious.  Sitting anywhere for hours on end can be quite uncomfortable, and this would be especially true if the conditions were cramped, and the workload required from that seat was high.  

However, those facts would not apply.   First, a simple solution to the discomfort of being in the cockpit seat would be the simplest . . . flip the switch that maintains cockpit gravity to the "off" position, and back "on" as needed.   Inertial dampening, if required in hyperspace, could probably still be maintained as needed (provided that the system operates like its Star Trek counterpart).    This simple maneuver would prevent the posterior discomfort that comes from sitting somewhere for too long, and would allow the pilot more options in regards to getting a decent stretch in . . . positions that would previously have required anti-gravity on his part now effectively have it.   It isn't like X-Wings offer no room for the pilot:


The A-Wing pilots would have the worst lot, but even they would have a bit of room:

Finally, we come to the issue of pilot workload during the hyperspace trip.  There's no indication that the pilot has a lot to do during a hyperspace flight . . . indeed, given that all the calculations are done in advance, the pilot shouldn't have anything to do at all.   Chewie played a game with R2 and Han watched Luke practice with his lightsabre during the trip to Alderaan in ANH, meaning the ship had to have been on automatic.  Of course, the Falcon is larger than a fighter and might have more options, but we know from TESB that the fighter's droid can pilot the vessel at sublight.   There's no reason to assume that the droid could not handle the duties of flight, if any, in hyperspace.

What does this have to do with pilot fatigue?  Beyond the fact that a pilot wouldn't become exhausted by overwork, there's the simple fact that the pilot can sleep.

1b.  Another related argument is the claim that people who cannot see a natural horizon lose efficiency and would thus be useless, which is taken to imply that the Rebels couldn't have been in space for too long.  

The problem with that view is obvious . . . in space, no one ever sees a natural horizon.  Thus, that argument would require that everyone in space is useless . . . that would be the case for the Rebel pilots, the Rebel ship crews, the Death Star crew, the Imperial fleet crew, the Imperial pilots, et cetera.  

So, even if this horizon thing would actually reduce everyone's efficiency by enormous amounts, the fact that it would be the same for everyone in the battle would hardly mean that the issue would be relevant.

1c.  Yet another subset of the fighter pilot argument is that they had no food or water or restroom capability.   

As for the last part, we've never seen a crapper anywhere on any vessel in either universe.   We've heard of the "poop question" on Enterprise, and the DS9 writers got a kick out of mentioning the Cardassian station's "waste extraction" systems (what sort of waste, fortunately, was never mentioned), and we can infer that people poop, but we've never seen where the crew might crap during those multi-day shuttlecraft missions or anything of the sort.   We can assume that the Rebel pilots could either have the low-tech solution of relieving themselves in their flight suits a la astronaut Alan Shepard, or we can assume that there is something more logical, like a flip-up pilot's seat.  With air freshener.

As for food and water, we know that Luke had food and other supplies with him on the shore at Dagobah in TESB, and he is seen to grab supplies out of the cockpit area of his pseudo-landed fighter.  There are no open exterior ports visible for these supplies to have emerged from.  Now, given the number and size of the various supply boxes that he'd acquired, I'd agree that it is likely that some came from some sort of exterior ports on the fighter.  (That's especially true in the case of R2's little power-feed unit.)   

However, I see no logical reason to conclude that the food was housed on the exterior.  That would be an utterly stupid design. 

A more general fact that is not generally considered is the quote from the novel regarding travel in hyperspace . . . "in hyperspace, all time was a moment".     While we know that hyperspace travel isn't instantaneous for the people on the ships (thanks to the various scenes which have occurred while the ships are in hyperspace), that quote would suggest that there is some sort of time dilation effect present.   A trip of days may have taken hours or minutes, from the perspective of the Rebel pilots. 

2.  As has occurred with the night scenes of Coruscant, the claim has been made that we are not in fact seeing darkness (at whatever particular moments the opposition would prefer not to be a night shot), but that it is merely an eclipse.    Once again, I'd like to recommend that you take a moment to consider the desperation inherent in the making of that claim.

Then, consider that when the strike team was approaching Endor, we had a brief glimpse of an object behind the shuttle.

 

That is the only space body other than the Endor moon itself . . . but that is not the planet.   We learn in the RoTJ novel that there is no planet associated with Endor . . . at least, not anymore:   "the Death Star floated in stationary orbit above the green moon Endor—a moon whose mother planet had long since died of unknown cataclysm and disappeared into unknown realms."   The other object we see is either a small moon-of-a-moon, or a distant sister moon.   (What strokes of luck allowed the moon to go into a stable solar orbit so life could survive on Endor moon after the planet's disappearance . . . and indeed, how the planet disappeared at all . . . are mysteries of the Star Wars canon.) 

In any case, as the strike team approached, Endor moon looked like this:

Given the trajectory of the shuttle and the light angles on the two bodies, the situation is something not unlike the image below.   (As always, pardon my lack of artistry.   Also, the image is not at all to scale.)

Now, note the size of the sister moon as seen in the shuttle approach shot.   Either it is very small, or it is very distant.  A great distance is more likely, given that Endor is seen to rotate . . . rotating space bodies in close range tend to eventually fall into tidal lock, where rotation and orbit proceed at the same rate.    That's why we never see the backside of the moon, and why Earth will eventually have month-long days.

On the other hand, I noticed an oddity while calculating how far Endor would have to be from the sister to avoid tidal lock.  The Rebel screen shows the Death Star orbiting roughly around the moon's equator . . . in order for that to be true, the shuttle would have to be approaching from the south side of Endor, meaning that the sister of Endor is south of the moon, from the moon's perspective.   

Therefore, either Endor and its sister flip over and under one another along a solar-orbit trajectory  (which would render eclipses impossible), or the sister moon was an old companion around the disappeared world, and now just a passing stranger.

3.  It has been claimed that the assumption of a 24 hour day with similar light-dark periods on Endor is invalid.  Not that any counterevidence has been provided, mind you . . . the claim is simply that the assumption renders my values meaningless.  (Tell that to physicists.  Einstein's underlying assumptions upon which relativity was based have been borne out by observation, just like the assumption of a 24 hour day on Endor.)  

For example, if you take the morning Luke-Leia speeder bike chase scenes (the day before S0), multiply just the chase time shown on screen by the speed of the speeder bikes (30 m/s in the film, almost 90 claimed in the novel), then Luke and Leia ended up about four kilometers from the scout campsite, or twelve with novel speed.  Assuming a maximum foot speed over rough terrain of 2 m/s (half that is standard walking speed), then it took Luke at least half an hour to return to the camp, an hour and a half by the novel.   Then Han, Luke, Chewie, and the droids had to return to that area.   3PO can barely make 1 m/s on deck plating, and R2 is not built for rolling over anything much larger than a twig.  That leaves us with 1-3 hours bare minimum, assuming they made a straight beeline for the crash site and didn't have to bother searching for it.   Factor in R2's limited sensor range in the woods (he didn't note the approach of Luke until Luke was on top of the campsite, nor had he picked up the scouts), then the search could've taken multiple additional hours.   That carries us well into the afternoon, after which point the group was captured, tied to sticks, and carried by short-legged Ewoks that can barely make 2 m/s in a dead run to the Ewok village, where we finally see them at dusk.  Of course, at that point, the Ewoks had also hoisted or walked the group way up into the trees, where the Ewoks lived.  

Taking all that into account, a 24 hour day almost seems too short. 

4.  This is something of a self-objection regarding my use of the term "geostationary".  The Death Star's geostationary orbit is far too tight to be one.  The image below suggests that the DS2 was orbiting Endor at an altitude of perhaps 325-350 kilometers.   

Earth geostationary orbit is better than 42,000 kilometers distant from the center of the planet, or over 35,000 kilometers from the surface.  The orbit above is rather less than that.  Given an Endor diameter of 3,105 kilometers and assuming 90% Earth gravity gives us a certain mass value (albeit a peculiar one), obtained via Wong's planetary parameters calculator.  Plugging that in to the equation to determine geostationary orbit distance results in a value of about 16,000 kilometers, or ~14,500km altitude.  

The only ways to get a value akin to what we see in the Rebel hologram are to fiddle with the day length or the mass (since I assume we cannot fiddle with the gravitational constant, or pi).  For instance, we can get the hologram value by reducing the day length to two minutes.  However, that day length makes absolutely no sense . . . there are several scenes in the film which last a sufficiently long time that we would notice the sun literally zipping across the sky . . . it would only take a minute or so.  Alternately, we can drop Endor's mass down to around 1e21 kilograms, though this would have the unfortunate result of making the surface gravity about .003g, according to Wong's parameters calculator.  Neither one of those potential solutions, nor any combination of those, has any value.

The only normal-physics hope I can think of that might not conflict with the canon would be that the Death Star's mass, which in scientific notation works out to "way the hell too damn heavy", allows it to maintain the low orbit naturally.  The problem there, even assuming that's right, would be that the Death Star's mass changes as it is being constructed.

In any case, the novelization does make it clear in the prologue that the Death Star was hanging in a "stationary orbit" over Endor, and the many references to the Death Star simply hanging, floating, and so on strongly suggest that it was not engaging in powered flight to maintain the position.   Either the orbit was far higher than the Rebel hologram lets on, or there was some sort of technobabble afoot, such as a tractor/repulsor "holding" beam of some sort being projected from the surface in addition to the shield (which, actually, might explain why the dish was always sitting at an angle; maybe it was "dragging" the Death Star along . . . but I still think it was probably just a higher orbit).


 

Appendix A:  The Ewok Trap Issue

 As you see, I mentioned Ewok "heavy weapons" and traps above.   The Ewoks had a large number of fixed positions near the Imperial shield generator bunker, positions which were used to excellent effect against Imperial troops and technology.    Some of the Ewok maneuvers were quite simple . . . in one example, an Ewok led pursuing Stormtroopers across a fallen log resting over a ditch, at which point two Ewoks swung down on vines knocking them over.  

Other examples were far more complicated, and would've required much more set-up time.   These maneuvers and devices were designed to attack a much bigger prey than stormtroopers  . . . the AT-ST.  The Ewoks had several primitive rock-flinging catapults in the area, as well as a swinging log trap and a highly successful rolling log trap.  In addition, the novelization tells us of several additional Ewok maneuvers.   At least one walker was "tumbled" by a vine-based tripwire.   Pits capable of holding at least most of an AT-ST were dug, covered by branches and underbrush, and were successfully used when lured walkers "toppled into the dugouts".  And, we're told that they " dammed a small, nearby stream, and then opened the floodgates, deluging a host of troops and two more walkers."

We learn with certainty in the novel that " hundreds" of Ewoks attacked the Imperial troops . . . the film suggests perhaps less than five hundred, and certainly less than a thousand.   Using the five hundred Ewok figure as a top-end, that means that about five hundred Ewoks had to have performed a great many impressive feats:

1. They had to have quickly and stealthily placed their army and equipment into position in the area of the back door at the distant ridge, once it was known that the back door was where they were needed.  Though the distance to the shield generator main entrance or back entrance is not known, this could not have been an instantaneous procedure.  Ewoks can apparently move fairly stealthily given how they snuck up on suspended Rebels, but there are limits given the substantial Imperial presence we observe in the woods.   Though the Imperials had been told that the Ewoks were "harmless non-combatants" according to the novelization, hundreds of armed Ewoks headed toward an Imperial outpost's secret entrance Zulu-style would make any Imperial suspicious.

2. The Ewoks had to have quickly and quietly constructed or transported large catapults, and collected or transported the almost head-size rocks to be fired from them.    I would imagine that the catapults were built on-site from felled trees.   ( No wheels or other sort of apparatus of mobility were observed on or near any of the catapults ( and come to think of it, I'm not sure they had the wheel yet).)   However, it's possible that they felled trees elsewhere, and then transported those to the site and assembled their catapults.   If that were so, even more personnel and time would be required to construct the catapult.   

3. The Ewoks chopped down at least one 1.5-meter-wide tree, and then suspended two huge carved trunks in mid-air, held at a high point of the swing by a single vine.   Considering the fact that either the huge tree had to be chopped down quietly (and thus ever so slowly), or that it had to have been transported to the site and then suspended by manpower alone, this is a huge expenditure of personnel resources and time. 

4. In addition to the other trees already cut down, they also felled a sufficient number of additional smaller trees to create the rolling log trap which toppled an AT-ST, a trap which featured several large logs.   Those presumably were felled and then moved onto the location of the stack, which would require a significant number of Ewoks for a significant amount of time.

5. They dug pits of sufficient size and depth that AT-STs could topple into them.   "Topple" cannot logically mean "got one's foot stuck" . . . this implies that the AT-ST landed on her side or entirely legs-up, and that at least the majority of the AT-ST was thus trapped below the surface.   AT-STs are over 8 meters in height.    

(For example, let's say they dug a six meter deep hole, maybe six meters long and four meters wide.  That would be a somewhat tight squeeze for a toppling AT-ST, but we'll use it.  Then, let's say that an Ewok could move about two liters worth of dirt per shovel-full, or 2,000 cubic centimeters.  Let's say that they could do that at a maintainable rate of once every ten seconds.   

We thus have 144,000,000 cm³ as the total volume, which when divided by 2,000 cm³ shovel-fulls means that over 72,000 total shovellings would be required.  Assuming that one Ewok could work an area of one square meter, that would give us a digging crew of 24 Ewoks.   We would therefore require 3,000 shovellings per Ewok.  Assuming they could maintain the one shovelling per ten second rate with crew swapouts, and wouldn't be overly hampered by roots and such, the dirt alone would take over eight hours.   Of course, the idea as I've laid it out is unrealistic . . . logistical difficulties would present themselves.  The Ewoks would need a way to get the dirt (and themselves) out of the hole the deeper they got.  A bucket-brigade system would probably work for the dirt-moving, though anything which takes up too much room on the floor of the hole will hamper digging and/or reduce the number of diggers (because of the reduced area), while increasing the number of support personnel.   First they'd need one bucket-brigade member, then two in the chain, then perhaps a third and fourth as they reach the bottom.   Once these logistical difficulties are considered, the timeline involved balloons quickly.

Therefore, one small pit would constantly tie up perhaps 100 individuals for what would amount to a bare minimum of 16 hours.   At least two such pits were created, judging by the plural form used to describe the event, meaning that almost half of the Ewoks were engaged in this activity for an entire day.)

5a.  The Ewoks designed and built the required underbrush covering to hide the pits . . . not to mention having to have hidden all the dirt.   This would require a hefty bit of extra time.   On the good side, though, some of the dirt could be left as a "lip" around the hole (covered over with underbrush, of course), allowing artificial inflation of the hole's depth.

6.  The Ewoks dammed a nearby stream so that, on cue, the water would be released. The volume of water was sufficient to take out two additional AT-STs, so it was either a large stream, which means damming it would take a lot of time, or else it was a tiny stream that had time to collect into a helluva lot of water.

If the former, we're talking about an operation as large as the digging of the pits.  If the latter, then fewer Ewoks would be required, though more time would be needed.

7.  They planned all this.  That alone would take a good bit of time.

 

Appendix B:  Reflections

As soon as Han walks out of the bunker as prisoner of the Empire, we see this extremely-not-happy shot of him:

The light angle, especially with the sharp shadow on Harrison Ford's neck, seems to suggest a sun position up and to the left, which would be completely wrong and out of continuity for the scene. 

Later, though, we learn why.   In the shot below, the bunker is to the left . . . the prisoners are being led to the right, away from it:

Everyone looks in that general direction . . . note that the sun angle returns to being correct, coming from more or less behind the AT-ST (the legs of which are visible):

 . . . and we get a close-up of Carrie Fisher:

Don't see it yet?   Here, try another:

Pay careful attention to her arm in the center of the screen.  Note how it has a shadow cast on it from Harrison Ford's arm?   And yet, the direction of the sunlight is clearly behind her, just as it should be . . . you can see the AT-ST legs behind her.

Evidently, whatever was casting that shadow on Harrison Ford's face in the top shot of this appendix was not the sun, but whatever was producing the same reflection we see here.   What was it?  I haven't the slightest.  Perhaps there was another AT-ST . . . Leia did seem to shoot the captain of one which was parked on the other side of the bunker, away from the easily visible one (as judged by the sun direction on her when she fired).  Or, perhaps it was something else.  Either way, though, the sun angle continuity holds as a result of the reflected light.