Originally, George Lucas wanted to explore the Wookiee homeworld of Kashyyyk in “Return of the Jedi.” We didn’t actually see the dense forest planet in live-action until “Revenge of the Sith,” unless you count the horrid Wookiee sitcom setting in 1978’s “Star Wars Holiday Special.” Instead, a much cuter decision was made to create the incredibly huggable Ewoks, setting the stage for Warwick Davis to swoop in to rescue (or capture) Leia Organa on the moon planet of Endor. 

Davis was only 11 years old when his grandmother heard the radio ad casting call that would change his life. The high-profile production was one of the most anticipated projects of all time, and the announcement that the filmmakers were looking for short actors to play Ewoks must have received a phenomenal response when it first aired. “It’s like these ‘Sliding Doors’ moments,” Davis told the UK’s Independent while promoting the hilarious BBC sitcom “Life’s Too Short” back in 2011. “It’s amazing isn’t it, if she wasn’t in the room at that moment … all of it’s different … all of it’s different.”

According to EW, R2-D2 actor Kenny Baker was originally supposed to play the role of Wicket while Davis would have been an extra, but when Baker got sick, Davis suddenly found himself called into the larger role and living a fantasy any child of the ’80s would have absolutely cherished. After being asked to reprise the role of Wicket in the made-for-TV movie “Caravan of Courage: An Ewok Adventure” in 1984, Davis never seriously pursued acting and certainly didn’t expect to continue playing in the “Star Wars” sandbox for years to come. “I find myself here today and it’s what I do. The career discovered me rather than me going after it.”