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"One night on our plodding journey we were visited by what I can only call fairylights at our evening campfires. These tiny, luminous flying creatures come out at night with buzzing, squeaking noises."
―Pfilbee Jhorn[6]

Wisties, also called firefolk, flutterglows or firesprites, were a sentient species native to the forest moon of Endor. They were very small, winged humanoids that had the appearance of a moving flame. However, fire did not have anything to do with their luminosity, and they could be safely touched by other creatures most of the time. Although the Wisties seemed extremely simple, even non-sentient, they had a language of their own and even a form of government, with a Queen as Head of State. It was thought that the firefolk fed off happy emotions and expressions of mirth.

They were known offworld as early as 32 BBY, in the waning days of the Galactic Republic. Because of their beauty and rarity, the firefolk fetched high prices on the illegal market. Despite that, knowledge of their existence was not very widespread in the galactic community: when Sergeant Pfilbee Jhorn encountered Wisties on an expeditionary mission after 3 ABY, he did not recognize them and even doubted they were actual creatures. During the time when most of the galaxy was ruled by the Galactic Empire, Izrina was Queen of the Wisties.

Biology and appearance[]

"We could not tell for certain what the fairylights eat, or even whether they are true life-forms rather than just strange light phenomena."
―Pfilbee Jhorn[6]

The Wisties were tiny winged humanoids

The Wisties of Endor were tiny humanoids with one head, a torso, two legs and two arms, with the latter ending in three-[1] or four-fingered hands.[3] Some individuals had no visible digits.[7] They were surrounded by a bright mantle of fluttering flames,[8] the color of which could be golden, white,[3] red,[4] or blue. Their mask-like faces featured two forward-facing eyes and a large mouth relative to their size.[1] Some Wisties had a hair-like corona of light sprouting from the top of their head.[3] While they seemed to "flicker" as a flame would do—and sometimes even seemed to disappear for split second—[3] they were well and truly corporeal, and could be restrained with the help of miniature chains.[1] They were so small that they could fit in the palm of an Ewok.[3] All known Wisties were referred to as females in Galactic Basic Standard,[1][3][4] the most prominent language in the galaxy.[9]

The Wisties rarely kept still, which rendered detailed examination of their body features difficult. Most of the time, they appeared more like thin lines of light that flew in the air erratically,[3] which prompted uninformed observers to think they were unexplained light phenomena.[6] Because of their spark-like appearance, they were often called "the firefolk" or "the flutterglows" by the Ewoks, a race of one meter tall bear-like sentients with whom they shared their homeworld. Their luminescence, however, was not fire-based, but biochemical.[8] Although they did emit heat, which was fanned through the rapid beating of their wings and produced light,[2] they could normally be touched by other organics without risk.[3] However, angered Wisties could increase their body heat to such a degree that their could actually burn.[2] They also had the ability to transfer some of their energy to certain responsive objects, including Force-sensitive gemstones like the Sunstar.[7]

Society and culture[]

"Swarms of them were attracted by fires and our presence. We tried to shoo them away, but nothing seemed to work, and the things continued to pester us long into the darkness."
―Pfilbee Jhorn[6]

A swarm of Wisties

Wisties lived in swarms of several dozens individuals. At night, those swarms would venture in the open air,[3] where they performed what has been described as "flashing, spinning, dizzying light shows." During their aerial ballets, the firefolk were usually peaceful and harmless, although their buzzing and brightly lit night flights could prevent other beings from sleeping, much to their annoyance and discomfort.[6] In the rare cases when a Wistie got angry, it could increase its internal heat greatly, allowing the creature to burn through traps and nets.[2]


"I think she eats giggles."
"They're giggles-eaters!"
―Mace and Cindel Towani[3]

Observers were uncertain as to what the Wisties ate. Although their behavior indicated that they absorbed firelight as a source of nourishment, some believed that they fed on laughters and other manifestations of warm feelings.[6] In any event, the Wisties were indeed fond of laughter, and appeared to possess some ability to either physically or psychically affect other beings in a manner that provoked it. The sensation has been compared to playful tickling. The experience was considered extremely enjoyable and continued to be so long after an actual tickling would have become unpleasant.[3] Once deprived of her liberty for an extended period, a Wistie was in imminent danger of dying of starvation.[7]

Relations with other Endorians[]

"This is the best Wistie Fest ever!"
Chief Chirpa[10]
Wistie and Ewoks

Wisties and Ewoks playing together

The spark-like beings generally maintained cordial relations with the tree-dwelling Ewoks, who even had a holiday in their honor, called the Festival of the Wisties. Both species would celebrate that event together in a playful atmosphere, performing a dance and baking a special pie made from rainbow berries.[10] Wisties and young Ewoks would often frolic together in the forests[11] or on the edges of a pond.[2] Despite that, even their Ewok friends still regarded the untimely night flights of the firefolk as a nuisance, at least in the context of camp life.[3] By contrast, the Wisties were prey to the warlike Duloks, the lankier cousins of the Ewoks, who considered them delicacies[1] and sometimes caged them into small lanterns.[7]

Wisties normally spoke their own language, which was made of squeaking and buzzing noises.[6] Some Ewoks, including Teebo[1] and later Kneesaa[7] were able to understand that language.[1] Conversely, a few Wisties who had been taken offworld also showed the ability to speak Galactic Basic Standard fluently.[4]


Early encounters[]

"Yes! I had time alone, free from my tribe. I listened to no voices but mine and the Wisties in the trees."
Moon of Endor NEGAS

The Forest Moon of Endor, homeworld of the Wisties

The Wisties were native to Endor, a forested moon in orbit around the planet of the same name, in the Moddell sector of the Outer Rim Territories.[13] They shared their homeworld with several other intelligent or semi-intelligent species, namely the Ewoks, the Duloks, the fftssfft[2] the Yuzzums,[14] and the Gorphs.[15] As early as 3640 BBY the firefolk and their bear-like neighbors knew each other, as the Ewok mercenary named Treek mentioned how she liked to listen to the Wisties in the forest.[12] The firefolk's first encounters with the wider galactic community dated back to at least 32 BBY, in the waning decades of the Galactic Republic. By that date, several Wisties had been abducted by offworld visitors and sold as living trinkets elsewhere in the galaxy.[4]

Some time after the Battle of Hoth in 3 ABY, the Wisties encountered Pfilbee Jhorn, a sergeant of the Galactic Empire who had been requisitioned for an expeditionary mission to Endor. The flutterglows were attracted by the Imperial campfires, and they started to fly around their visitors, as they usually did. The Imperials tried to shoo them away, but to no avail. As records officer of the expedition, Jhorn reported that encounter in his field journal.[6]

Morag's plot[]

"From you fire shall spread the forest's death. Mmuahahaha!"

Morag releasing the cursed Izrina, Queen of the Wisties

Around 3.5 ABY, the fairy-folk of Endor were ruled over by Queen Izrina. One day, the Queen fell prey of Morag, a mandrill-faced Tulgah witch who dwelled on Endor. Morag used her arcane magic to put Izrina into a state of perpetual anger, rendering her able to set things aflame through casual contact. When the Queen travelled back to her home, she infected her fellow Wisties with Morag's curse. Because of Morag's wicked ruse, the erratic flight of the Wisties caused a terrible forest fire that nearly destroyed the Bright Tree Village and, more importantly, the sacred Soul Trees of the Ewoks.[1]

However, even as the Ewoks struggled to fight the fire, they found a way to free the firefolk from Morag's spell, when the young warrior Wicket Wystri Warrick doused Izrina with water. Wicket and his friends then cured the rest of the Wisties, and put out the remaining fires with the help of magic foam concocted by Logray the shaman. In gratitude, the firefolk offered to help implement Warrick's plan to airdrop Logray's firefoam by guiding the Ewok skin gliders safely around the dangerous convection currents caused by the forest fire. As a result, the fire was quickly brought under control and the wisties took the liberty of dropping a bag of firefoam on Morag to humiliate her in revenge.[1]

Meeting the Caravan of Courage[]

Wistie swarm

A swarm of Wisties flying around an Ewok campfire

"Wisties! Wisties!"
―Wicket W. Warrick[3]

Shortly afterwards, when an Ewok caravan accompanied the young Humans Mace and Cindel Towani in their search for their parents camped in the Endor plains, a group of Wisties were attracted by the campfires. The young Cindel then presented Candle of Pure Light, a magical artifact provided by Logray, and the Wisties all leaped into its flame. That event had the consequence of summoning Queen Izrina, who decided to accompany the caravan. She later proved helpful in distracting a malevolent Gorax while the Ewoks rescued the elder Towani from that creature's lair.[3]

Wisties in the galaxy[]


Around 32 BBY, a swarm of captured Wisties lived in the palace of Gardulla the Hutt.

To outlanders, the Wisties gained numerous nicknames, such as firefolk,[8] firesprites[2] or flutterglows.[8] Their existence was known to other species since at least 32 BBY. Around that year, a Hutt crime boss named Gardulla had imported Wisties in the pleasure garden of her palace on Tatooine. Although those Wisties lived in an environment close to their natural habitat, they still were slaves to the Hutt. When Gardulla opened her garden to night parties, the Wisties served as flying night-lights.[4] Indeed, the Wisties were often captured and put on the black market because of their extreme beauty and rarity, which contributed to reduce their number on Endor.[2] Around 18 BBY,[16] a gray-haired Human who was part of a resistance movement on Samaria went by the nickname of "Firefolk." Although it may have been a coincidence, the Jedi Ferus Olin found it amusing that a grown man would have chosen the name of a tiny, glowing creature.[5]

Behind the scenes[]

The Wistie species first appeared in the 1984 movie Caravan of Courage: An Ewok Adventure, a made-for-TV film set in the Star Wars galaxy. They were also featured in two episodes of the animated TV series Ewoks, which ran from 1985 to 1986. The first one, titled "The Cries of the Trees," had its plot revolve around Morag's attempt to burn down the forest by hexing the Wisties. The opening credits of the second season also featured original footage of Wisties hovering around the show's typographic logo.

Willow fairies

Fairy-like beings also appeared in Ron Howard's Willow, co-written by Star Wars creator George Lucas.

In 1988, four years after the release of Caravan of Courage, the creator of Star Wars George Lucas wrote the story of Willow, a fantasy film directed by Ron Howard. The movie featured Cherlindrea and her people of tiny, glowing fairies, which were very similar to Wisties of the Star Wars universe.[17] The Wisties also share similarities with the will-o'-the wisp from European folklore, which were ghostly, flickering lights that could be seen hovering over swamps and bogs and were believed to lure travelers of their routes.[18]

The subtitles of the Caravan of Courage DVD used the alternate spelling "Whistie."



Notes and references[]

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