- "The Raich? No Ewok would be foolish enough to set him free again. Why, he’d be branded a disgrace to the tribe."
The Raich was a carnivorous beast that resided on the forest moon of Endor. The creature was known to prey on a variety of animals that inhabited the woodland of the moon. In order to capture and feast upon the forest fauna, the Raich employed a unique natural mechanism. A small spout on the top of its forehead would spurt a thick gas into the air, which helped the Raich exert control over the animals, enslaving them to his will. After being put into this trance, the animals of the forest would be led back to the Raich's cave, where they obediently waited their turn to be eaten. Eventually, the Raich and his methods came into conflict with the Ewoks of Bright Tree Village, and they decided to put an end to the Raich's reign over the forest. With the use of a magic cap, the Ewoks were able to transform the Raich into a harmless tree.
Many years later, the Raich was inadvertently released from his prison by Wicket Wystri Warrick and his friends. In the crisis that ensued, the creature began to once again exert control over the animals of the forest, including the pet bordok Baga. Afraid that Baga would be eaten by the Raich and that he would establish another reign of terror over the forest, Wicket and his friends were forced to devise a plan to recapture the Raich and imprison him once again. With help from the Two-headed Gonster, Wicket was able to obtain another magic cap for use on the Raich, and the Ewok children confronted the creature back at his cave. The dangerous encounter eventually saw Wicket place the cap back on the Raich's head, and he was transformed once again into a simple tree.
- "Long ago, the Ewoks were menaced by the Raich, a terrible forest creature…"
- ―Logray reads from the scroll of the Raich
The Raich was a large bipedal monster that had originated from the lush forests of Endor. Whether he was a member of a widespread species or simply an unexplained mutant is unknown, but the unfamiliarity that the native Ewoks had toward this type of creature points to the latter. The beast was a highly carnivorous being with an almost insatiable appetite, and he had developed a mechanism to attract all types of nonsentient animals into its grasp. The Raich would spurt a thick gas from an orifice on the top of its head that acted as a type of mind control device, enslaving forest animals in range to its will. He would then lead his catch back to his cave deep within the Dead Forest, where the animals would wait obediently for the time to feed the Raich's hunger.
However, this behavior eventually came into direct conflict with the Ewoks of Bright Tree Village. Animals in the Ewoks' village began to be hypnotized by the same action and led away from the village. The Ewoks were unable to stop this action or the Raich and so sought outside help. The Two-headed Gonster of the Twin Hills—a self-declared monster catcher—was recruited to help the desperate Ewoks. The Gonster gave the Ewoks a magic cap that was designed to transform the Raich into a harmless tree. However, there was no guarantee that the Ewoks would be able to place the hat on the monster's head.
The village's best warriors tracked the Raich back to its lair and were able to corner it. Following a long and fierce battle, the Ewok warriors triumphed over the Raich. A single Ewok was able to sneak up behind the Raich and place the cap onto the Raich's head. The creature immediately began to transform into a tree, ending the threat on the village and breaking the spell that the Raich had held over the forest animals. The tale of this conflict was recorded in the Scroll of the Raich for future Ewok generations to consider. Young Ewoks were told to stay away from the Raich's tree and to never mess with the magic cap that remained on the Raich's head. The scroll was eventually passed down to the Ewok Logray, who recounted the tale to the young Ewoks of the tribe.
- Chirpa: "Logray! What’s going on!"
- Logray: "If I didn’t know better, I’d say the Raich was on the loose again."
- ―Chirpa and Logray talk about the Raich[src]
However, even with the necessary precautions, the Raich was not to remain imprisoned. Some time before the Battle of Endor, the Ewok children Wicket W. Warrick, Latara, and Teebo stumbled upon the Raich's tree. It just so happened that the time was near for the Shadow Night Festival, a costume party where young Ewoks would celebrate and meet each other. Wicket happened to be without a costume for the festival and decided that the cap would be perfect. Teebo tried to object to Wicket taking the cap, faintly remembering the story that was recorded in Master Logray's scrolls, but Wicket would have none of it, declaring that a strong warrior like himself had nothing to fear. The Raich could obviously sense that its escape was near and managed to manipulate the branches of his prison to hasten Wicket's ascent towards the cap.
As soon as Wicket pulled the cap from the top of the tree, the ground began to quake violently. The simple tree began to morph back into the Raich as the three Ewoks watched astonished. As the Raich let out a terrifying roar of triumph, the Ewoks ran frantically from the scene. The Raich chased the Ewoks through the forest, commanding that they relinquish the cap to him. Wicket immediately complied, and the Raich broke off his chase. With the cap in hand, the Raich tore the magical artifact to pieces, confident that he could no longer be trapped. The Raich then immediately set about instituting its control over the forest creatures. Finding the Ewok Kneesaa a Jari Kintaka with her pet bordok Baga, the Raich spurted a copious amount of its gas into the air, placing Baga under his control and leading him away.
The Raich then made his way to Bright Tree Village and began to work the same trick on the animals under the Ewoks' care. The animals in the area were compelled to obey and abandoned their Ewok masters to follow the Raich back to his cave. Back at his cave, the Raich had created makeshift cages and tethers to hold the animals while he created a small fire in which to roast his captured prey. After eating at least one animal, the Raich was still hungry and prowled his cave, deciding what he should eat next. Coming upon Baga, the Raich decided that he would eat the bordok next. However, after jabbing Baga in the stomach, he decided that Baga was much too skinny, and he began to throw piles of plant food at Baga, commanding that the bordok eat and fatten up.
- Kneesaa a Jari Kintaka: "Oh Wicket, how are we going to save Baga?"
- Wicket W. Warrick: "We’ll just find the two-headed Gonster and get him to make a new magic cap for the Raich."
- ―Kneesaa and Wicket devise a plan to defeat the Raich[src]
As the Raich tried to fatten up his prey and lure more animals to his lair, the Ewoks that had accidentally released him resolved to imprison the Raich once again. The group visited the Two-headed Gonster and were able to get him to create a new magic cap for them. As the Gonster worked on the cap, Wicket and Kneesaa traveled to the Dead Forest on the back of a Hoosha on a mission to keep Baga from being eaten. The plan called for Wicket to place Dream flower potion in the Raich's water bowl to put him asleep. With the Raich incapacitated, the Ewoks would then have an easy time of putting the cap back on his head.
Luckily for the Raich, just as Wicket was about to place the potion into the bowl, he accidentally slipped and pulled over the water bowl, spilling the contents across the forest floor. The commotion caused by the spilled water alerted the Raich to the rescue mission, and he was able to take Wicket and Kneesaa captive. The Raich tied the two Ewoks up with lengths of rope and placed them inside his cave while he continued to get his fill by eating the hypnotized animals. As night fell, the Raich was still drawing animals into his clutches, but the Raich had become tired following the active events on his first day of freedom. Resolving that he would eat later, the Raich lay down on the floor of his cave and promptly went to sleep.
As the Raich slumbered, Teebo and Latara arrived with the magic cap from the Gonster, but seeing that the Raich was still active, they knew that Wicket and Kneesaa's plan had failed. Teebo quickly disguised himself as a zomba and entered the cave. Teebo was able to find and release his captive friends, but the doorway was still blocked by the sleeping Raich. The Ewoks and Baga tried to creep quietly out of the cave, but the bordok inadvertently stepped on a stray bone lying in the Raich's cave. The bone snapped loudly under Baga's hoof, and the Raich immediately awoke. Seeing that his prey was escaping, the Raich leaped to his feet and chased the fleeing Ewoks.
- "No! Not the cap!"
Chasing the Ewoks into the forest, the Raich was forced to push aside trees as the group tried to make their getaway. The Raich tried to grasp the young Ewoks, but they were too quick for him and evaded his attempts. Furious over the turn of events, the Raich let out several more puffs of thick gas, enslaving the surrounding animals to his will, including Baga. The Raich's power influenced a nearby zakool, and it jumped out of the bushes to confront the Ewoks, eventually forcing Teebo and Latara to escape up a tree. The Raich also forced Baga to attack his masters, and the bordok was almost successful in goring Kneesaa. However, the Raich's tactics were not able to stop Wicket, and swinging on an outstretched vine, Wicket was able to place the new cap onto the Raich's head. However, the Ewoks had forgotten the most important part of the plan. The magic cap was only effective when sparkle seeds were on the cap.
Laughing over the failure of the Ewoks plan, the Raich ripped the cap from his head and flung it aside, continuing his attempt to squash Wicket. Unfortunately for the Raich, the cap was caught in midair by Teebo, who was still trying to avoid the zakool by hiding at the top of the tree. With Latara's help, Teebo was able to add the sparkle seeds to the cap, making the cap finally effective against the Raich. Teebo then threw the cap back to Wicket as he continued to frantically evade the Raich. With cap in hand, Wicket was able to scamper through the Raich's legs, rebound off of a tree, and land on the Raich's back. Just as the Raich began to reach up to grab Wicket, the Ewok slammed the cap down on the monster's head. Letting out a cry of terror, the Raich began to transform once again into a harmless tree.
- Chirpa: "So Logray, did you ever learn what was wrong with the animals?"
- Logray: "Well Chirpa, I started to investigate, but before I could discover anything, the animals were back to normal."
- Chirpa: "If it were the Raich, our best warriors would have handled him."
- ―Logray and Chief Chirpa discuss the end of the Raich crisis[src]
With the Raich once again transformed, the animals returned to their normal demeanor, and the zakool left the area, allowing Teebo and Latara to leave their temporary haven. The animals that had been tethered in the Raich's cave were released and returned to either the forest or their Ewok caretakers. Although Wicket wanted to take a piece of the Raich's tree as a trophy for his Belt of Honor, Latara would have nothing of it, as the Shadow Night Festival was about to commence back at the village.
Returning to the village and the rousing party, Wicket and Kneesaa happened to overhear Logray and Chief Chirpa postulating over the events of the day. Wicket wanted to tell the Chief how he had single-handedly defeated the Raich, but Kneesaa dragged him away from the conversation, telling him to forget the whole thing. The Raich remained in the middle of the Dead Forest, and though it was possible that he could be freed again, there is no record of any such occurrence.
Personality and traitsEdit
- "Eat later. Sleep now."
The Raich was a sentient beast, but he had an incredibly simple mentality devoted only to eating and the pursuit of food. The Raich spoke in very chopped sentences, perhaps denoting deficient intelligence. However, when the Raich was able to capture two young Ewoks, he had the presence of mind and dexterity of hand to tie both of them up with lengths of rope. The Raich was not overly violent or sadistic, but he did have a mind to defend his territory. When the Ewoks invaded his cave and tried to retake some of the animals that he had called, the Raich acted instinctively, trying to squash the troublemakers. However, at no other recorded time did the Raich seek to harm sentient creatures such as the Ewoks.
The Raich was easily distinguished by its large size in comparison with the Ewoks of Endor, standing more than four times their average height. Adding to his fearsome demeanor was a line of large spikes that lined the Raich's shoulders as well as an overly large mouth in comparison with the rest of its body. In addition to these features, the Raich had a fleshy spout on the top of its head. This spout would expel a thick gas that acted as a mind-control device for the nonsentient animals of the Endorian forest. Along with the spouts of gas came a low droning sound that was apparently a side-effect of spurting the gas.
Behind the scenesEdit
The way in which the Raich is defeated by a magic cap is unexplained in the episode, but it is possible that the sparkle seeds from the cap had a transforming effect on the Raich. It's also be possible that the magic cap was a Force-sensitive object that possessed transforming abilities, much the same as Charal's magic ring.
In the novel MedStar II: Jedi Healer, Jos Vondar uses the expletive "son-of-a-raitch." Since that novel was also written by Michael Reaves, it may be that Vondar is referring to the Raich of Endor and that "raitch" is a misspelling. However, this spelling was repeated in Reaves' Death Star, indicating either a change of spelling or an altogether different reference.
- MedStar II: Jedi Healer (Mentioned only)
- Death Star (Mentioned only)
- Ewoks—"The Raich" (First appearance)