"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 summary[]

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

King Elbo's gifts[]

The episode opens with a green jellyfish-like creature jumping from a rock into the sand. While fishing, Kneesaa soaks her feet in the water and loses her wooden ankle bracelet into the Endor Sea. She calls her pet bordok Baga for help. 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.

Latara's greed[]

Kneesaa related her story to her friends Wicket, Latara, and Teebo. 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 appalled, and Teebo deeply offended. Knowing their friend's rampant materialism, Kneesaa, Wicket, and Teebo follow behind Latara.

Traveling to the beach, Latara drops her wooden flute into the water and calls out to Elbo. After a while, Elbo surfaces and asks if something is wrong. Latara tells her that she dropped her favorite flute into the water. Elbo fished out a golden flute. Latara claims that she is not sure. Elbo then fished out a jewel-studded flute. When Latara asked what else was down there, Elbo fished out her wooden flute. Latara then claimed that all of the three flutes were hers and that she lost them all. Elbo asked if he was sure. When Latara lied, Elbo opened his shell and grabbed her, taking her captive. He vowed to exact justice on greedy creatures.

An undersea adventure[]

Wicket, Kneesaa and Teebo arrived at the beach but were unable to stop Latara from being taken down by Elbo beneath the lake. Seeking to rescue Latara, Teebo calls up a helpful fish. Kneesaa relates their plight to the helpful fish friend, who is aware of Elbo. He explains that Elbo tests creatures for greediness and honesty. If they fail, he takes them to his coral castle at the bottom of the sea. Teebo fears for Latara while Kneesaa says that they have got to save her. When Wicket asks how they will get to Elbo's coral castle, the fish inflates a sea bubble—a thick membrane large and strong enough to hold the three Ewoks and transport them to the underwater lair.

On the way down to Elbo's coral castle, the bubble pierces a rock but Teebo manages to stem it. 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. After freeing Latara from her tail costume, 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.

King Elbo's test[]

When King Elbo approaches, Wicket tries to reason with him. However, King Elbo responds that he imprisons those who lie to him. Teebo says he will do anything. 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.

While Wicket, Kneesaa and Teebo remain in the crate, King Elbo sends Latara into a cave full of mystical riches. Her test is to find the most valuable item and bring it to him. But if she brings the wrong one, Elbo intends to feed the trio to the sea monster below. As the crate dropped lower and lower, Wicket bluntly tells Teebo that he has no faith in Latara and suggests that he use their magic to escape. Teebo riches for his potion jar but a sudden jerk causes it to fall into the pool, which causes the monster to grow bigger and dive at their crate.

Inside the cave, Latara is tempted by jewelry and a crown. However, she finds the wooden flute and remembers that Wicket and Teebo gave the flute to her. Realizing the error of her ways, Latara realizes that her flute is the most valuable thing because her friends gave it to her. King Elbo releases Wicket, Kneesaa and Teebo from their crate. Teebo hugs Latara, who kisses him back, sending him off in a daze. King Elbo is satisfied that everyone learned something today. Latara says that she realized that her friends are the most valuable things in the world.


The four then bid Elbo farewell and head back to the surface. Teebo summons his tiny fish friend but the fish friend sends a large whale-like creature called Tiny, who summons a big bubble for the Ewoks. Latara asks King Elbo what happens to the other flutes but her friends remind her they have a ride to catch.


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.



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An animation error showing the Ewoks with four toes.



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Notes and references[]

  1. SWInsider.png "Star Wars Publications Timeline"—Star Wars Insider 23 dates the events of the Ewoks animated series, which include the events of "The Tragic Flute," to three years after the events of Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope, which corresponds to 3 ABY, according to The New Essential Chronology.