In a real battle, the Empire would totally slaughter the Rebels and Ewoks.
It would seem that way on paper, but as the guys have already pointed out (expertly, I might add), what should
happen isn't always the case in war.
The Battle of Endor and
the Assault on the Second Death Star were both military upsets, as in both cases the Rebellion was outnumbered and outgunned. What blows me away is that the attack on the first Death Star was an even bigger upset, but I don‘t see many threads going after that
Personally, I think the battle above
Endor was more of an upset than the battle on Endor, but for some reason people seem to look at the Ewok's victorious surprise attack on the Bunker garrison as more unbelievable than the Rebel's victorious (but expected) attack on the operational Death Star (and accompanying Imperial Fleet - including the pride of the Imperial Navy, the Executor).
As far as Ewoks vs. Empire goes…
The Ewoks outnumbered the Imperials and had the home-team advantage matched with guerrilla tactics. This alone is the main reason why the Vietcong gave American forces so much trouble in Vietnam. Pay close enough attention (thank god for DVD), and you’ll see that more often than not, the Imperials were ambushed and surrounded.
The Ewoks are natural born hunters, like the American Natives, Ewoks are deadly accurate with the bow (for the most part - there are a few Woks that prove to be lovers and not killers - Wicket, for example) because naturally Ewoks have
to be efficient hunters (or trappers) in order to survive.
I mean, these trained men get killed by some primitive species.
Ironic… this is the exact attitude that Whites held towards the Natives… even after Little Big Horn. The Ewoks, like the Natives, may be primitive, but they’re skilled warriors, and they don’t fight fair.
[…]Ewoks show they have weaknesses too... They're uncoordinated somewhat, the blaster weapons show their damage tremendously... The Ewoks were maybe feigning the weakness somewhat to draw the walkers out to their traps[…]
I’ve always believed that the Ewoks’ apparent ‘un-coordination’ was mostly feigned - in several scenes you’ll see a pair of storm troopers chasing a group of fleeing Ewoks - only to be ambushed and hit from all sides.
I like this topic. Let’s get crazy and discuss exactly where the Imperials went wrong…
In my opinion, the Imperials’ should
have blown back the tree-line when they first constructed the backdoor… while the backdoor was supposed
to be secret, having the woods so close and leaving the main ridge intact (where the Ewok archers picked off the unarmored Officers) was a terrible mistake on the Empire‘s part. Take a look at the scene where Solo and his squad are reunited with the already captured Rebel foot soldiers - the Imperials in the back rows have their backs against the brush… even C3PO could sneak up on these guys!
The Ewoks are literally right on top of the Imperials when they spring their attack… Archers on the ridge facing the backdoor pick off a handful of the officers, a swarm of axe, spear, and club wielding Ewoks hit the Imperials from the sides, and probably most importantly, the Rebel soldiers (and a wookie!) begin to rip apart the unit from the inside with hand-to-hand combat.
The Imperial force is completely engulfed
at this point - the bulk of the storm troopers and biker scouts, mostly without any officers, end up scattering into the woods (perhaps moving in the general direction of the front door, in an attempt to link up with a nearby garrison), where they are met with brutal resistance… Along a trail (retreat or blind attack?) Imperials are bombarded with stones (sling-shot, tossed, dropped from gliders, and catapulted), and arrows rain down on them from all directions… Imagine all hell.
In the end, the Imperials are completely routed, presumably the entire garrison force is slaughtered, and the rest is history - Solo calls out the remaining Imperials in the bunker, and the regrouped Ewoks have won the day…