Famed 'Star Wars' Ewok Voyages To New 'Galaxy'

29th April 2005

Forget about that "galaxy far, far away" -- "Star Wars" actor Warwick Davis has hitched a ride somewhere else.

His destination is "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy," the long-awaited big-screen adaptation of Douglas Adams' famed radio show-turned-novel-turned television show. The film opens in theaters nationwide Friday.

Davis, who played Wicket, the lead Ewok, as an 11-year-old in 1983's "Return of the Jedi," stars in "The Hitchhiker's Guide" as Marvin the Paranoid Android -- a depressed robot.

"I've had experience in sci-fi movies being in 'Star Wars', but I've never made it into space before," Davis told me in an At The Movies interview on Thursday. "But now I get to fly on a spacecraft and actually fly a spaceship at one point. It was a very great thrill."

If wearing a 55-pound robot suit with an oversized head to become Marvin wasn't enough to keep the 85-pound Davis occupied, he was also saddled with the responsibility of interpreting a character known and loved to countless fans worldwide. "It wasn't dissimilar to what I did in Harry Potter in that there were expectations," said Davis of his role of Professor Flitwick in the films based on the blockbuster book series. "There were millions of fans of the books who had a pre-conceived notion of what this character should be like." So naturally, Davis was ready to take on "Hitchhiker's" bigheaded android, well, head on. "I did a lot of research -- I watched the TV series, I listened to the radio series and read the transcripts, and tried to get as much information about Marvin and who he was," said Davis, who's also starred in the title roles in "Leprechaun" and "Willow." "And here I discovered that Marvin actually had musical singles released in the '80s and had written poetry."

Needless to say, Davis discovered that Marvin (voiced by Alan Rickman in the film) is one popular android. "He is very dear to the fans, so I said to myself, 'I've got to be very careful with this,'" Davis added. "His look leaked out the Internet very early on and was received very well, so what that did was allowed me to focus on the character. He's been given many levels than I've seen before. He's not a one level character."

"Hitchhiker's Guide" is only one of the many projects Davis has his plate these days. And while he isn't in the upcoming "Revenge of the Sith" (he had a cameo in "The Phantom Menace"), he remains very active in the "Star Wars" universe. Davis was recently one of the emcees at the wildly successful Celebration III fan convention in Indianapolis, and in June, he's returning to Walt Disney World for the theme park's annual "Star Wars Weekends" event. Davis said he's honored every time he's asked to do "Star Wars"-related events, in particular because of creator George Lucas. "I do greatly admire the man," Davis said. "He's the guy who put me where I am today."

By Tim Lammers, The Boston Channel.com