- "My family, they're all dead. What happens to me now, Wicket? I'm all alone."
- ―Cindel Towani
Cindel Towani was a female Human journalist during the time of the New Republic. In 3 ABY, when she was five standard years of age, the Towani family's starcruiser crash-landed on the forest moon of Endor. Soon after, her parents, Jeremitt and Catarine were abducted by the native Gorax, leaving Cindel and her teenage brother Mace to fend for themselves. The two children were found by the Ewok Deej Warrick and taken to live with his family in their village. After learning that Jeremitt and Catarine were being held in the Gorax's lair in the Desert of Salma, the Towani children enlisted the help of the Ewoks and set off to rescue their parents. After a long journey, the group reached and defeated the Gorax and the Towani family were reunited.
The Towanis remained with the Ewoks while Jeremitt worked to repair their ship, and Cindel became friends with Deej Warrick's youngest son, Wicket. Later that year, however, the Ewok village was attacked by a group of Sanyassan Marauders led by King Terak and the Dathomiri Nightsister Charal. Jeremitt, Catarine, and Mace were all killed defending the Ewok village, but Cindel was able to escape with Wicket. Towani and Warrick were eventually taken in by another stranded Human, an old man named Noa Briqualon, and his companion Teek. Towani was subsequently kidnapped by the Sanyassans, who believed that she held the key to their escape from Endor, but Briqualon, Warrick and Teek rescued her from Terak's Keep. Pursued by Terak's forces, the group joined up with the other Ewoks and managed to defeat the Sanyassans and kill Terak.
Following the battle, Towani and Briqualon were able to leave the Endor moon using the power cell of the Towani family's starcruiser to repair Briqualon's starship. Towani traveled the galaxy with Briqualon for some time before he retired in the Mid Rim. Towani settled on Coruscant and became a journalist with The Life Monitor. During the Black Fleet Crisis in 16 ABY, a news story in which Towani leaked information about the Yevethan attack on Polneye helped garner public support for New Republic intervention.
- "I wish we had furry creatures like you where I came from."
- ―Cindel Towani, to Wicket W. Warrick
The Human female Cindel Towani was born in 2 BBY, the youngest child of Jeremitt and Catarine Towani. She had an older brother named Mace, who was nine at the time of her birth. She and her family came from a place which had, by her own admission, no "furry creatures," and she was therefore unfamiliar with such creatures.
Accident at Endor
- "Mommy and daddy… where did they go, Mace? Why did they leave us?"
- ―Cindel Towani
In 3 ABY, while traveling through the Moddell sector on their way home, Towani's family starcruiser crash-landed on the moon Endor. Though all members of the family survived the crash, they found themselves stranded on the forest moon. Jeremitt and Catarine were concerned for their children's well-being in the unfamiliar forest and forbade them from leaving the ship and the protection it provided. One day, when Jeremitt and Catarine left to search for a transmitter, the Towani siblings left the ship and went to explore the forest. They returned to find no sign of their parents, unaware that Jeremitt and Catarine had been captured by the giant Gorax creature.
The two children were forced to forage for their own food but, with their parents' life monitor signals indicating that they were still alive, they stayed with the crashed ship and waited for their parents to return. Some time later the local Ewok Deej Warrick and his sons Weechee and Willy came to investigate the crash site. The Ewoks found Towani hiding inside the ship but Mace, fearing that they may have been responsible for his parents' disappearance, attacked the Ewoks, threatening them with a blaster. He was soon overpowered by the Ewoks, and they led both children back to their village, where it became clear that they intended no harm.
Not long after arriving at the village, exposure to the strange environment started to take its toll, and Towani complained that she felt unwell. Mace assumed she was merely hungry, but it became clear that it was something more serious when she lost consciousness. Fortunately for her, the Ewoks were aware of a fluid secreted by a tree in the forest which they had used as medicine for generations. The small amount they had available was enough to revive Towani, but she was still in pain and suffering from a fever. The Ewoks, together with her brother, made a trip to the forest and retrieved more medicine, but the children would have to stay with the Ewoks while Towani rested and recovered her strength.
During their stay with the Ewoks, Towani became friends with Deej's youngest son, Wicket, and even taught the young Ewok some words in Basic. Towani found their stay with the Ewoks reassuring, providing her with some stability in the absence of her parents, whose disappearance she could not understand and whom she feared dead. However, Towani's brother was eager to return to the ship in the hopes of finding their parents. While the Ewoks slept, Towani was woken by her brother and the two children ran off into the forest.
Towani found the long journey tiring, but when the children stopped for a rest, they came under attack from a boar-wolf and were forced to take refuge in a hollow tree. Though the creature appeared to leave, Mace decided that they should rest in the tree for the night and resume their journey in the morning. They awoke to find the boar-wolf still in the area, fighting Deej and his sons, who had come in search of the children. The Ewoks were eventually able to kill the boar-wolf, but Mace discovered his father's life monitor on the creature. It became clear that the children would have to locate the boar-wolf's master if they were to be reunited with their parents.
- "Please help us. They're gonna die!"
- ―Cindel, asking the Ewoks for help
Back at the village, Mace attempted to find out from the Ewoks where the boar-wolf had come from. The Ewoks took the children to see the village shaman, Logray. Logray used a crystal image spinner to show them a vision of their parents being held by the Gorax in a forbidden land from which no Ewok had ever returned. Though the Ewoks were aware of the dangers that awaited them, Deej and his sons soon agreed to Towani's request to help her and Mace find their parents.
The next day, as the whole village got together to help them load supplies for the long journey ahead, the Towani siblings and the others were called to Logray for a ceremony in which he bestowed upon them the totems of legendary Ewok warriors. During the ceremony, Towani received the Candle of Pure Light.
The caravan soon set off with the older Ewoks traveling on horseback and Towani riding with Wicket in a large basket mounted on the back of a horse—Mace opted to walk rather than ride with the children. Not long into their journey they encountered the Ewok woodsman, Chukha-Trok, when a tree he cut down narrowly missed Towani as it fell to the ground. After some persuasion from the Ewoks and Mace, Chukha-Trok agreed to join the caravan.
They next encountered the Ewok priestess, Kaink, who agreed to join them only if they could pass a magical test. Mace stepped forward to take the test but, upon touching the crystal she presented to him, he failed the test when it turned into a lizard. Kaink was reluctant to help until Towani picked up the lizard, causing it to turn into a mouse, and passed the test. Kaink agreed to join the group and, the caravan complete, they resumed their long journey.
The group later stopped for a rest near a river. As Wicket and Towani played, Mace Towani walked down to the river bank but, upon touching the water, was pulled into it and was unable to get out. Towani alerted the Ewoks, but every attempt they made to throw something to Towani's brother resulted in it disappearing as soon as it touched the water. Eventually, Towani remembered a magic walking stick that Logray had given to Wicket, and the young Ewok used it to pull Mace to safety.
The group was just about to resume their journey after one stop when, after Mace loaded Towani into the basket, a sudden noise startled her horse, causing it to flee. Chukha-Trok was quick to act, mounting his horse and pursuing Towani into the forest. He eventually managed to catch up with her and, after bringing her horse under control, they returned to the group. Towani discovered the power of the Candle of Pure Light when, after stopping for the night, they encountered a swarm of Wisties. Wicket woke Towani, who brought the Candle of Pure Light outside and, drawn to the light, all but one of the Wisties used it to find their way home—Mace decided to take the last Wistie with him.
- "We thought you were dead."
- ―Towani is reunited with her mother
The long journey was starting to take its toll, and the group was running low on food when they finally reached the Desert of Salma, on the other side of which lay the Forbidden Fortress of the Gorax. After finding an entrance to a tunnel under the mountain fortress, the group headed inside, but Deej refused to let the youngest members of the group go any further, believing that it was too dangerous. Mace agreed and, as the others proceeded further into the fortress, Towani, Willy, and Wicket remained at the entrance to the tunnel. However, they were not as safe as Deej had hoped. Soon after the others had left, the children were attacked by a large spider. Wicket fought the spider and eventually managed to kill the creature with a knife.
Meanwhile, the others had located Jeremitt and Catarine, trapped in a cage suspended from the roof of a cave. No sooner had they freed them than the Gorax attacked. Mace released the Wistie he had captured earlier, which distracted the Gorax, enabling the others to flee. The Gorax pursued, but they managed to apparently kill it, causing the giant to fall down a deep chasm. However, Chukha-Trok was killed in the encounter.
Moments later, as Towani, Willy, and Wicket appeared at the entrance to the cave, the Gorax climbed back to the top of the chasm and attacked the children. Mace acted quickly to grab Chukha-Trok's axe and threw it at the Gorax, causing the giant to lose its grip and fall once more into the chasm.
With the Gorax dead, Towani had an emotional reunion with her parents and they set off on the long journey back to Bright Tree Village. There, the two families celebrated together, and Logray presented Towani, along with Mace and the Ewoks, with white ear-wing headdresses to mark their heroism.
- "Cindel, I'll always be with you."
- ―Jeremitt Towani says goodbye to Towani
The Towani family remained at Bright Tree Village for several months while Jeremitt attempted to repair their ship. During that time, Towani became good friends with Wicket, spending their days having imaginary adventures in the forest and continuing Wicket's instruction in Basic. The repairs proceeded well and it eventually appeared that they would soon be able to return home. Though Towani was reluctant to leave Wicket, she was looking forward to going home and resuming a normal life.
One day the two youngsters returned to the village after playing nearby, to find the Ewoks under attack from Sanyassan Marauders. The Ewoks were fighting bravely but were being overpowered by the Sanyassans' more advanced technology. Telling Towani to take cover, Wicket went running off to help his people.
Moments later, Towani saw on her life monitor that her mother's life signal was weakening. Leaving her hiding place, Towani ran into the village to find her mother. When Towani located Catarine, she was lying motionless on the floor while Mace crouched beside her, engaged in a firefight with the Sanyassans. Upon seeing Towani, her brother told her to run back to the ship and find their father, who had been working on repairs there when the attack begun. As Towani fled into the forest, she saw her mother and brother's life signal indicators go out on her life monitor. Towani ran straight back to the shuttle but arrived to discover her father surrounded by Sanyassans, led by King Terak and the rogue Dathomiri Nightsister Charal.
The Sanyassans were tearing the ship apart in the hope of finding a power source for their own crashed vessel in order to flee Endor, ultimately finding what they sought when they discovered the ship's crystal oscillator. Seeing his daughter arriving, Jeremitt took advantage of the Sanyassans' momentary distraction to attempt to take a weapon and escape, grabbing Towani as he fled. However, he was shot and wounded in the attempt. Hiding in the forest, Jeremitt reminded Towani of a story he used to tell about a bird blown out of its nest in a storm which had to learn to fly to survive. With Catarine and Mace dead and him wounded, he told her that she would have to be like the bird and be brave until she could find her way back to Deej and the other Ewoks. As the Sanyassans discovered their position, Jeremitt told Towani to run and attempted to hold the Sanyassans off with his blaster. As Towani fled, her father's life signal faded out.
- "You are a pretty prize."
- ―Terak, to the captive Towani
Towani's attempt to escape soon failed as she was caught by Charal and taken back to Bright Tree Village, where she was locked in a wagon with the Ewok prisoners which soon set off for Terak's Keep. Once in the wagon, she discovered that Wicket had also been captured. Wicket, whose Basic was by now quite good, attempted to console her on the death of her family, telling her not to lose hope and promising that the Ewoks would take care of her. It wasn't long before the Ewoks formulated an escape plan, managing to pry up one of the wagon's floorboards. The hole wasn't big enough for a fully grown Ewok to fit through, but the Ewoks helped both Towani and Wicket through the hole and they dropped down to the ground below, almost getting trampled by a blurrg and having to move quickly to the undergrowth as the Sanyassan convoy continued on its journey.
However, their escape did not go unnoticed, and two Sanyassan guards pursued them into the trees. As they fled, they came across a large mountain and had to traverse a narrow ledge around it. The Sanyassans followed, firing their weapons and causing a rock slide. Towani and Wicket were able to escape into a small cave opening but their pursuers were killed. With the entrance to the cave blocked by the rock slide, Towani and Wicket had no choice other than to proceed further into the cave in search of another way out—they eventually found one, but the exit was high off the ground and the mountainside was far too steep for them to climb down. As Towani rested, Wicket began to search the cave, finding several large bones and some tattered fabric from which he constructed a hang glider. However, Wicket managed to wake a condor dragon which grabbed Towani in its talons and flew out of the cave with its prey. Grabbing some rocks, Wicket pursued in his hang glider. After maneuvering over the top of the dragon, Wicket dropped a rock on it, causing it to let go of Towani. As she plummeted to the ground, Wicket swooped down and managed to catch her, but the glider was damaged in the process and they crashed into the forest. Unharmed by the crash and seeing the dragon circling overhead, the two children ran through the trees until they lost the beast. Exhausted, they stopped to rest in the relative safety of a hollow tree overnight.
- "Thank you for building the fire. I'm so glad you're here."
"You know what? You're my best friend."
"Mm. Yes. Best friend."
- ―Towani and Wicket
The next morning they were woken by the arrival of a Teek named Teek. Wicket was suspicious of the creature, but Towani hoped that it could lead them to food. Teek, who seemed to understand her, motioned for them to follow and ran off, leading them to a cabin in a glade in the forest. Mistakenly believing that the cabin was abandoned, the two children decided to take refuge there but were soon interrupted when the cabin's owner, the adult Human Noa Briqualon, returned home. Briqualon was angry to find that his companion, Teek, had led strangers to his house and told them to leave. Cold and hungry, Towani and Wicket decided to spend the night near the cabin where they hoped it would be safe. When Wicket later lit a fire, Briqualon emerged and put it out. Having had a change of heart, he told them that they could stay in the cabin for the night but must leave in the morning. During the night, the traumatic events that Towani had experienced recently manifested themselves as she slept, causing her to dream that the Sanyassans were attacking the cabin. After Towani woke suddenly from her nightmare, Briqualon comforted her and, clearly warming somewhat to the newcomers, he allowed Towani and Wicket to take his bed for the night.
Despite Briqualon's original insistence that they leave the next morning, he allowed them to stay so long as they made themselves useful and participated in chores around the cabin. Wicket, however, was growing eager to find his family. Towani became curious where Briqualon went during the day and one day persuaded Wicket to help her follow him. Briqualon led them to a clearing in which lay a crashed starship. After discovering that he had been followed, Briqualon told Towani and Wicket his story. Decades earlier, Briqualon had crashed on Endor along with his friend Salak Weet. With their power system damaged, Weet had gone in search of a replacement and never returned, and Briqualon had been trapped there ever since.
Battle for Endor
- "Goodbye. Goodbye."
"Goodbye. Not good."
- ―Towani and Wicket say goodbye
Meanwhile, Charal had been unable to produce power from the stolen crystal oscillator. Terak was furious with the Nightsister, but she suggested that Towani might know how to make it work. Using a magic ring she transformed into a raven and set out to find Towani, a search which led her to Briqualon's cabin.
Early the next morning, Towani awoke to hear her name being called from the forest. Going to investigate, she found a woman singing a song that Catarine used to sing to Towani. Meanwhile, Wicket woke to discover Towani was missing and quickly roused Briqualon. The two began a search of the forest but, as they closed in on Towani's location, the woman transformed into Charal and kidnapped Towani, riding away on a horse before Briqualon and Wicket could intervene. Briqualon and Wicket returned to the cabin for supplies and, along with Teek, set off to rescue Towani.
Charal took Towani to Terak's Keep where she was taken before the Sanyassan leader, who demanded that she use her magic to make the crystal oscillator work. When Towani informed him that she couldn't do as he asked, he informed her that she would have until dawn to comply, otherwise he would kill her and the Ewok prisoners. Towani was taken to a dungeon where she was locked in a small cage. Charal was also imprisoned as punishment for her failure and her ring was confiscated. While there, Towani learned from Charal that years earlier, Salak Weet had come seeking a new source of power for his ship. When Terak mistook that for power that he could possess, he had killed Weet and now believed that the crystal oscillator was the power source he sought. During the conversation, Towani unwittingly revealed the existence of Briqualon's ship.
Briqualon, Wicket and Teek succeeded in gaining entry to Terak's Keep and, disguised in the robes of a Sanyassan, they made their way to the dungeon. After eliminating the guards, Wicket released Towani and the Ewoks—he was about to release Charal, but Towani stopped him and threw away the key. As the group attempted to escape, they were seen by a guard who raised the alarm. Trapped in a dead end, Briqualon produced a thermal detonator and blew a hole in the wall. After attaching a grappling hook to some rocks on the far side of the castle's moat, the Ewoks began to climb down a rope to safety. When Towani mentioned what she learned about Weet's fate and the Sanyassan possession of a crystal oscillator, Briqualon realized that he could use the device to power his ship, and quickly retrieved it before he and Towani followed the Ewoks out of the castle. The escapees returned to the forest and Briqualon's ship, but they were followed by Charal—the Nightsister had told Terak about Briqualon's ship in exchange for sparing her life and had been allowed to transform into a raven to locate it. Knowing that it was only a matter of time before the Sanyassans arrived, Briqualon told the Ewoks to hold them off while he and Towani attempted to install the crystal oscillator and restore power to his ship.
With Charal leading the way, it was not long before Terak led his forces to Briqualon's ship. Their approach was slowed by the hastily mounted Ewok defense, but the Sanyassans slowly pushed the Ewoks back toward the ship. Terak's forces finally reached the ship just as Briqualon restored power and, after he turned the ship's firepower on them, the Sanyassan attack was routed. During the fight, Towani saw Wicket get caught in one of the traps Briqualon had set up to protect the ship. With Sanyassans closing on Wicket's position, Towani left the ship to help her friend. Towani's arrival distracted the Sanyassans long enough for Deej to eliminate them and save his son but, as Wicket was released from the trap, Terak emerged from the undergrowth and grabbed Towani. Terak told the Ewoks that he would trade Towani's life for the crystal oscillator. Briqualon had little choice and emerged with the oscillator, agreeing to fight Terak for it if he let Towani go. Terak agreed and let Towani go, but Briqualon was quickly overpowered by his opponent. As Terak moved in for the kill, Wicket threw a well-aimed stone at the magic ring hanging around Terak's neck. The blow caused the power of the ring to be unleashed, turning the Sanyassan king into stone.
With power restored to Briqualon's ship, he could finally leave Endor, and Towani decided to go with him. Before they left, the Ewoks of Bright Tree Village gathered at Briqualon's ship for an emotional farewell, and Towani promised to return and see Wicket and Teek as soon as she could.
- "Personal to Cindel Towani. This is your shopping service. I want to alert you to a special offer, limited availability, your signature required…"
- ―Admiral Hiram Drayson's message, to Cindel Towani
After leaving Endor, Towani traveled the galaxy with Briqualon for some time before he settled somewhere in the Mid Rim and retired. Years later, sometime after the Battle of Endor, Towani settled on the planet Coruscant and started a career in journalism.
By around 17 ABY, she was a reporter for the newsgrid service The Life Monitor. During the Black Fleet Crisis, she received leaked tapes from New Republic Admiral Hiram Drayson which she used to break the story of Plat Mallar, the sole survivor of a Yevethan attack on Polneye. Although The Life Monitor had a limited readership, the article was soon picked up by larger news agencies who gave Towani some credit for her original story. The article succeeded in fulfilling Drayson's intention and helped garner sympathy for victims of the Yevethan Purge among the New Republic, which eventually led to the intervention of the New Republic Fifth Battle Group.
In 21 ABY, Towani investigated the Lost Prophet, a holy man whose pronouncements were attracting pilgrims to the desert world of Du Mai in the Bryx sector. Towani presented evidence that the Lost Prophet was in fact a clone trooper who had suffered head injuries in the crash of his ARC-170 starfighter in the final days of the Clone Wars. According to Towani, the Prophet's teachings consisted of muddled snippets of his Kaminoan flash training.
In 41 ABY, Towani released Portraits of the Galactic Civil War. Among the Galactic Civil War veterans interviewed by Towani for Portraits of the Galactic Civil War was Hume Tarl, a sergeant in the Galactic Empire's Tempest Force at the time of the Battle of Endor.
Personality and traits
- "Do you think Salak is dead?"
"I think so. By now he must be."
"My family is too. Makes me feel sad."
"You miss 'em?"
"Mm-hmmm. I miss 'em a lot."
"They're not gone, you know? They're right here in your heart."
- ―Towani and Briqualon
As a child, Towani was innocent and trusting. At age five, she stood 1.3 meters tall. She had curly blonde hair, brown eyes and was fair-skinned. She had a close relationship with her older brother Mace, accompanying him to explore the forest moon of Endor after the crash, despite her parents' instructions to remain at the crash site. When her parents were abducted by the Gorax, Towani missed them and feared that they were dead, but took strength from her brother's presence. Towani quickly came to trust the Ewoks when they discovered her and Mace, something which took her more cynical brother some time to do. She formed an instant rapport with Wicket Warrick and the two would frequently play together, even during their perilous journey to the Desert of Salma. Towani was also able to teach her friend to speak Basic. She was later quick to make friends with Teek and Noa Briqualon.
Towani was also very inquisitive, and it was this curiosity that led her and Warrick to follow Noa Briqualon to his ship. Her curiosity combined with her trusting nature could also get her into trouble, and it was these personality traits that Charal exploited to draw her away from the safety of Briqualon's cabin and kidnap her. Even as a child, Towani showed bravery in the face of the numerous dangers she faced on Endor. Undeterred by the risks to herself, she was determined to rescue her parents from the Gorax. The deaths of her family left Towani experiencing nightmares as she struggled to overcome her loss. Without Mace to draw strength from, Towani took comfort in her friendship with Warrick and came to terms with the loss of her family after Briqualon reassured her that they were not truly gone as long as she remembered them. Briqualon became an important figure in Towani's life, and she chose to travel with him for many years after leaving Endor.
The qualities she displayed as a child would be of use to her as she grew into an intelligent and idealistic young journalist. It was these traits that brought her to the attention of Hiram Drayson as he sought somebody who would set the appropriate tone for his leaked story and would be willing to risk a shutdown order to break the story.
Behind the scenes
Cindel Towani was created by George Lucas for the 1984 made-for-TV film Caravan of Courage: An Ewok Adventure. After a successful screen test with Mace Towani actor Eric Walker, the part of Cindel Towani was given to four-year old Aubree Miller. In addition to the movie, Miller portrayed Towani in a short promotional video for ABC in which the Towani children and Kaink visit a 1950s-style diner, but this was not aired when Lucas objected to the characters appearing on Earth in the 1950s. Miller later kept a copy of this commercial. Miller reprised her role for the 1985 sequel, Ewoks: The Battle for Endor. Lucas's daughter, Amanda, was a similar age to Towani and the character was her hero. As a result, Lucas decided that the second film would focus on the youngest member of the Towani family and the original drafts only featured her and the Ewoks, before it was decided that the rest of the family should appear briefly. Having recently watched Heidi with his daughter, Lucas was inspired to have Towani become an orphan and be taken in by an aging hermit. The character was later mentioned as an adult in the 1996 novel Tyrant's Test—the third entry in Michael P. Kube-McDowell's Black Fleet Crisis trilogy. Legacy of the Force: Fury, the seventh book in the Star Wars: Legacy of the Force series, features a scene where Allana is sleeping as a viewscreen displays what is described as an "entertainment broadcast in which Ewoks spoke Basic and befriended shipwrecked little girls".
The second edition of A Guide to the Star Wars Universe states that Towani was four at the time of the Ewoks films, but her age was later adjusted to five in her entry in the Databank on StarWars.com. Star Wars: The Ultimate Visual Guide incorrectly spells her name as "Cyndel Towani".
- Caravan of Courage: An Ewok Adventure (First appearance)
- The Ewok Adventure book-and-record
- The Ewoks and the Lost Children
- Ewoks: The Battle for Endor
- Ewoks: The Battle for Endor book-and-record
- The Ring, the Witch, and the Crystal: An Ewok Adventure
- Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi junior novelization (Indirect mention only)
- Tyrant's Test (Mentioned only)
Notes and references
- Star Wars: Behind the Magic places in 3 ABY. states that she was five years old at the time she became stranded on Endor, which
- The Official Star Wars Fact File 123
- The Essential Guide to Characters
- Caravan of Courage: An Ewok Adventure
- Star Wars: Behind the Magic
- Ewoks: The Battle for Endor
- Tyrant's Test
- The Essential Reader's Companion places the events of The Black Fleet Crisis trilogy in 16–17 ABY. Towani is mentioned in Tyrant's Test, the last book in the trilogy.
- Du Mai system — Based on corresponding data for
- The Essential Guide to Warfare
- A Guide to the Star Wars Universe, Second Edition, Revised and Expanded, p. 93 ("Cindel Towani")
- Legacy of the Force: Fury
- Star Wars: The Ultimate Visual Guide