"The Tragic Flute" is the seventeenth episode of the second season of Ewoks. Written by Bob Carrau and directed by Dale Schott, the episode originally aired on ABC on November 15, 1986.

Plot summaryEdit

2x17 kneesaa trading anklets

Kneesaa tries to trade her three anklets with King Elbo, to rescue Latara.

The Lovers

Latara reveals her feelings for Teebo, much to his delight.

While fishing, Kneesaa soaks her feet in the water and loses her wooden anklet into the Endor Sea. Her mishap summons King Elbo, a mighty monarch of an unknown fangly crab species, who decides to help her. He offers her two golden, jewel-encrusted anklets, but Kneesaa declines, claiming that they are not hers. When Elbo recovers her real anklet, she accepts without inquiring about the other two, which touches Elbo. He gives her all three anklets in appreciation of her selflessness.

When Latara hears Kneesaa's story, her eyes spin at the idea of a jewel encrusted, golden flute to replace the wooden one Teebo and Wicket had made for her. Her demands and aspirations, however, leave Kneesaa and Wicket appaled, and Teebo deeply offended. Knowing their friend's rampant materialism, Kneesaa, Wicket, and Teebo follow behind Latara. However, their arrival at the lake is not quick enough, and they witness Latara being taken by Elbo down into his underwater coral castle. Planning to rescue Latara, Teebo calls up a helpful fish who inflates a sea bubble—a thick membrane large and strong enough to hold the three Ewoks and transport them to the underwater lair.

After a rough bubble ride down, the trio enter the air-filled castle and find their friend being held captive by a squid-like creature. Wicket distracts the creature, allowing Latara to escape with Kneesaa and Teebo. Then, the four run through the castle trying to find a way out. They end up in a wooden crate that hangs about above a ferocious sea creature. When King Elbo approaches, Wicket tries to reason with him. Kneesaa touches Elbo's heart again, trying to trade her three anklets with him to rescue Latara. So, the four eventually work out a deal: the king would set up a test for Latara. If she passed, they would go free, but if she failed, all four would become Elbo's slaves. As the crate dropped lower and lower, Wicket bluntly tells Teebo that he has no faith in Latara. But she proves him wrong, passing Elbo's test by finding the most valuable item among his treasures: her old flute that Wicket and Teebo had given her.

The four then bid Elbo farewell and head back to the surface, again via bubble transport. Latara also kisses Teebo, sending him off in a daze.



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An animation error showing the Ewoks with four toes.



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Sentient species

Vehicles and vessels


Behind the scenesEdit

A continuity error occurs in the episode; While Latara, Teebo, Wicket and Kneesaa were trapped in Elbo's basket, part of the scene shows Latara and Teebo with four toes on their feet, in contrast with the remaining frames. According to the Star Wars canon, the Ewoks have only three toes on each foot.

The title is a play on the classic opera "The Magic Flute" by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, in which the protagonist must pass a test of worthiness.

The episode plot is based on the Aesop fable of the honest woodcutter and the golden axe.


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