PDA

View Full Version : Why do we hate Jar Jar Binks so?


Cactus Jack
04-17-2000, 08:00 AM
No, I'm not going to argue that he's okay -- I hate him too. But I sat down with the videotape, watched it, and tried to examine my feelings. Why does this character inspire such universal disgust? Is it just because he looked fake? Well, Yoda looked fake, in all the movies he appeared, and nobody hates him.
Is it just because he's so obviously intended to be funny and he's not? Maybe, but still, that doesn't seem to explain the magnitude of vitriol directed at him.
This one character, many would say, ruined "The Phantom Menace" by virtue of his presence. How?

04-17-2000, 08:19 AM
For me, the explanation lies in his design, in how he looks. Are you familiar with what Konrad Lorenz said, that we tend to "like" animals that look like human babies, with small chins, big foreheads, and enormous eyes? We also tend to "like" the young of other mammalian species, like monkeys and dogs, that most resemble human babies. We say they are "cute" and "cuddly". We generally do not refer to lizard-like creatures as "cute" and "cuddly". The iguana in Foxtrot, you may notice, is deliberately drawn so as to appear rounder and more "cuddly".

Yoda has a small chin, a big forehead, and enormous eyes, so we like him. He is also small and round, so we think he's "cute". Jar Jar is distinctly lizardlike in aspect; he has a long nose, small piggy eyes (see the adjective "piggy" I just automatically used?), and long, helplessly, flailing limbs. He is not "cute" or "cuddly".

Also, Yoda is a Jedi master, and has an attractive personality. We respect him. Jar Jar is a twerp. We do not respect him.



------------------
"Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast!" - the White Queen

Jai Pey
04-17-2000, 08:24 AM
It might also have something to do with age and Lord Lucas making a bold-faced attempt to grab the younger demographic who were born after ROTJ.

Jar Jar was a big distraction for me; I could hardly stomach the movie on first viewing because of him. The second time, I was ready for it... I turned on my "Crap filters" and paid attention to the background plot of the movie, the coup d'etat.

Your posts are always good Cactus Jack, just BANG BANG.
Regards,

Jai Pey

Cactus Jack
04-17-2000, 08:56 AM
Thanks, Jai Pey. BANG BANG! I lost my %$#^ing ear!
Notthemama.
I'd heard that stuff about the babies, somewhere, and didn't know the name of the guy who came up with it. It makes some sense to me, sure, although it absolutely astounds me that Lucas and his creature effects shop wouldn't be aware of it, that they'd make something EXACTLY the opposite of that which should be appealing. How many years of study do those guys go through? How many alien designs have they come up with? It's INCREDIBLE that they missed the boat on Jar Jar.
He might have been more appealing if he was... cool. You know, if he did things kind of like Chewbacca, instead of like the Three Stooges. What if he was an awesome fighter, quiet, effective, reserved, deadly with a blaster, instead of a stupid fop?
Well, they're stuck with him, the way he's designed, now. He's apparrently gonna be in the other movies. Maybe the only way they can rescue him is by shifting his character somewhat, and show that after all the wars he's been through, the death he's seen, the corruption of friends, he's grown serious, become a "take no prisoners" warrior, and now he's even a little sad. As a kind of lizardy guy, maybe we could buy into that and even find him kind of appealing.
Actually, that sounds like an interesting thing, something that would be good for the plot. In such a way, he might mirror the fall of Anakin. And viewing "The Phantom Menace" with the knowledge of how this carefree, stupid goof was, by subsequent events, turned into a killer might actually make us like him, in retrospect, in The Phantom Menace. It'd be a little like, when you're depressed, maybe you look at photos of when you were a little kid and think, "See how happy I was then. I didn't know how it was going to turn out."

Scylla
04-17-2000, 09:20 AM
I think it would be a great plotline if Jar-jar became Boba Fett.

Cactus Jack
04-17-2000, 09:29 AM
He'd need different feet, and he'd have to get significantly shorter.

Milossarian
04-17-2000, 09:45 AM
Part of the problem was he was so damn hard to understand. And his accent was vaguely offensive, like an old black-faced minstrel show or something, with some ridiculous Jamaican thrown in.

He was also the least-cool and most annoyingly over-the-top character I can recall from any of the Star Wars movies.

------------------
Give me immortality, or give me death!

Scylla
04-17-2000, 10:01 AM
Here's another perspective.
http://www.landoverbaptist.org/news0899/jar.html

You MUST check this out.

Fillet
04-17-2000, 10:21 AM
Omigod, Scylla, that site is unbelievable! Some of the other pages there are equally hysterical/appalling. Finally, people who decided that it would be easier to enter the kingdom of heaven by making their minds narrow enough to fit through the eye of the needle. But I digress from the OP...

I agree with Milossarian's assessment of Jar Jar's character. I'll also make a WAG and say that the level of vitriol is partly related to the fact that as a lone character, he's an easy target. How many people really liked the Ewoks, another blatant attempt to play to the little kids who weren't old enough to have seen New Hope and Empire? (C'mon, really.) I remember being annoyed by them a lot, but there was no single Ewok you could be ticked off at. Jar Jar sticks out in Phantom Menace like a lone tree on a golf course, waiting to be struck by lightning.

DSYoungEsq
04-17-2000, 10:42 AM
For me, the issue wasn't just Jar Jar Binks, it was his whole species. There is a limit to the extent I wish to suspend my disbelief when watching a science fiction movie (otherwise I'd just dial up Attack of the Killer Tomatoes all the time).

In the first three movies, one was asked on more than one occaision to swallow the reality of made for movie species regularly. I mean, don't you have to do that for Chewbacca every time? But at least the effort needed most of the time wasn't too great.

But Jar Jar Binks and his species were so totally unrealistic that you couldn't help but think of them as artificial. Their ruler was so silly and ridiculous that I almost laughed out loud in the theater seeing him the first time. The stupid attempt at some sort of patois speech didn't help at all.

In short, they were stupidly made, badly portrayed, and totally beyond reality. Jar Jar added nothing but inappropriate comic 'relief' to the movie. It was bad enough that little Anakin Skywalker was sleepwalking through the movie; we could have done without the 'laughs' provided by the floppy eared sidekick.

Twin
04-17-2000, 02:38 PM
Fillet:

You do know that the Landover Baptist Church page is a parody, right?

Fillet
04-17-2000, 03:09 PM
No I didn't, Twin. Thank you for pointing that out. ::sighs with relief:: Is it supposed to be a parody of the Westboro Baptist Church website?

KarmaComa
04-17-2000, 03:44 PM
I have an onion link for every occasion.
http://www.theonion.com/onion3527/jarjar_merchandise.html

danielnsmith
04-17-2000, 04:02 PM
Why do I loath Jar-Head Binks? Probably for the same reason I am totally disgusted by Blarney, the puking dinosaur. It's so far below me that I can't make any sense of him.

In the Phantom Menace, Jar-Jar was a poor attempt to inject some kiddy draw into a movie that should have been geared towards the mid-teen to adult audience.

I'll agree that the Ewoks were an attempt to draw little kids into the Lucas money machine, but at least they weren't perpetually clumsy and moronically stupid.

So, I hate Jar-Head Binks because he interfered with my enjoyment of the movie by bringing in pre-school humor and taking up too much screen time. (That, and there's that one scene where Qui is talking to him but looking at Jar-Heads upperchest. The CGI animators could and should have done better there!)

tracer
04-17-2000, 06:19 PM
To me, it's obvious. Jar Jar is annoying because of his speech. His voice is pitched right in the middle of the Helium-Induced Maximum Annoyance range, and his colloquialisms consist of using specially modified, cutesy pronouns like "meesa" and "yousa".

oasis325
04-17-2000, 07:10 PM
I think JarJar is just a bad stereotype of a Jamaican.
I guess he'd be funny for children (which was intended), but for adults it's too crack-over-the-head slapstick to be amusing.
Actually, all the bad guys and incompetants are 'ethnic' in "Menace". Even what's his name's henchmen sound Chinese.

Quadzilla
04-17-2000, 08:26 PM
Why is Jar-Jar so annoying....oh, brother. He runs around like a chicken with his head getting cut off (to overuse the phrase), yelling about him-sa gettin' real scared.

His dialect, as so many have pointed out, is an atrocious stereotype of Caribbean inhabitants.

He seems to have taken over Darth Maul's important (?) role...I say this because Darth Maul appears in - what, 3 scenes??? My question is, why the heck did he get so much hype when he's not in the movie for more than maybe 10 minutes tops?

And his Gungan grammar is just plain bad. I just felt compelled to point this last bit out as a future teacher.

------------------
Christopher Robin Hood - he steals from the rich and gives to the Pooh.

Otto
04-17-2000, 08:54 PM
For the record, I hate Yoda.

------------------
Cheese Log, Cheese Log, cylindrical and yellow!
Cut the Cheese Log and I'm a happy fellow!

Larry Borgia
04-17-2000, 10:29 PM
Your'e all missing the real villain. Jar Jar Binks was annoying but that kid made me wince in pain.

He bellowed all his lines out in a shrill piercing monotone. He looked completly distracted and acted uninvested in his role. He was so cloying and repulsive, that I refused to belive he could grow to become Darth Vader.

All in all, he reminded me of a bad parody of Opie from the old Andy Griffith show.

There are good child actors out there like the kid from sixth sense, or Edward Furlong from T2. Why Lucas chose this one for Annakin is beyond me.

------------------
Perked Ears indicate curiosity - Know Your Cat

Yue Han
04-17-2000, 10:38 PM
Ahem.

This is my Jar Jar Binks speech.

Use of a dialect is not inherently insulting. The fact that Jar Jar uses a Caribbean dialect doesn't not make him a racial stereotype.

If Jar Jar was the only Gungan in the movie, you might have a point. But look at the other Gungans.

They're technology is in many ways beyond the Republic-- the Queen doesn't have those personal shields, for instance.

They risked their lives to help their ancestral enemies.

The Nemeoidians didn't speak precisely like Chinese people. They spoke like people speaking an UNFAMILIAR LANGUAGE.

People speaking a language with longer words and different ending sounds than their own will use a clipped style-- as both Chinese people and the Nemeoidians did.

That doesn't mean that the Nemeoidians symbolize the Chinese. It means that their native language isn't Basic.

Lucas is getting flack because he tried to make his galaxy more diverse. In the Phantom Menace, not everybody speaks Republic Basic.

Some people speak Hutt, some people speak with an accent, and some people speak a related language.

Any movie can be racist if you say that all the negative characters represent nonwhite people.

--John

------------------
Knights of the Order of Snopes: Above All, Accuracy (http://www.snopes.com)

dpr
04-17-2000, 11:27 PM
My initial answer (without havig read other's opinions):

I think we hate him because he belittles our mythos. Here we have a galaxy, culture and ideal that we believe in. Admit it: our dreams were given wings by Star Wars in 1977. We pinned hopes and fantasies on the story. It's impact on our culture was quite noticable in countless ways.

It's far more than a mere story or film to me and to many others I suspect.

And I think Jar Jar's silliness and/or blatant commercialism left a bit of a sour taste in our mouths. It means so much to us. Having a ridiculous slapstick figure doesn't sit well with our expectations (which, it's important to note here, are OUR expectations and therefore our fault). Nor does having our elegant tale interrupted by what many see as a sell-out to pander to kids and merchandising.

But hey it's the mythos that's important here. The underlying message. Not the inane antics of one alien.



------------------
The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.

Mojo
04-18-2000, 12:40 AM
Because he combined the worst traits of Scrappy-Doo and Urkel.

kinoons
04-18-2000, 01:00 AM
Hes really frickin annoying, plain and simple. That whole damn race is annoying...

------------------
...for more silky smooth segues, write to "silky smooth segues" 610 n 10th street, Albuquerque NM 87109.

evilbeth
04-18-2000, 01:28 AM
First of all, I'd like to say that Yue Han is completely correct and I applaud him for bringing reason to this discussion.

Now, to the point of my reply. JarJar is annoying because (and this is just my own psycho opinion) he must have been modeled after the hideously irritating Olsen twins.

Why? Think back (if you can admit to ever pausing on "Full House" long enough to see) to when "Michelle" was little and couldn't speak very clearly yet. What did she say that everyone in the canned audience (that is where they get canned laughter from, isn't it?) always laughed at? She said, "How rude!" BUT...she could not pronounce the "r" sound very well and it came out as kind of like, "How Wooed!" which is exactly what JarJar says at least a couple times in the movie. Also, he looks like them! Look at his big, glassy eyes, his vacant look, and he is always sticking his tongue out! I think the resemblance is frightening!

My theory is that Lucas (or whoever the peon who came up with JarJar is) looked at the marketability (sp-?) of those irritating little girls (Have you seen how many home video movies they have?) and decided to cash in on a popular idea.

------------------
Those who are dancing look insane to those who cannot hear the music.

*************************

One-of-a-kind, custom-designed Wally sig available on request.

Flinx
04-18-2000, 04:49 AM
I finally saw the movie when it came out on video, and when I saw and observed Jar Jar Binks throughout the movie, I just said to myself, "Why do people hate this character so much?" He simply wasn't that offensive to me. I didn't hate him or even dislike him. I couldn't see what the big deal was, and I still don't. Jar Jar didn't ruin the movie for me at all, although according to internet sources everywhere, he did for many. Just goes to show you...don't trust everything you hear about a movie. See it for yourself, judge it for yourself. Don't let others tell you what you should and shouldn't like about anything.

Needs2know
04-18-2000, 07:37 AM
In the grand scheme of things I really don't care about some Lucas character, why does anyone? I just watched the movie last night. What's the big deal, other than the fact I had to turn the sound up so I could understand his pidgin english. And where did they come up with the idea that he sounds like a black guy? Oh I see now! Damn! He's got the Rasta thing going on! Yeah maybe. I don't get it. What I found crashingly bad about the movie was the kid. Granted he was cute but his acting was so bad as to be non-exsistant. It's just a kid's movie anyway. Although some movies for kids are great. I just don't see what the talk was about with this character. Glad I didn't spend 15.00 + popcorn to see the darned thing. Wonder if the next installment will generate as much revenue?

Needs2know

04-18-2000, 08:36 AM
Flinx, you had to have seen him on the big screen, 50 feet high, to get the full effect.

FWIW, my personal theory about how such an obnoxious character came into existence goes like this.

Spielberg says he wants a character that's "like Goofy, only a little darker". His design team sets to work. They come up with several ideas. He's a busy man, so one day he takes 15 minutes to look them over. Off the top of his head he picks Jar Jar. The design team sets to work again, fully realizing the character. Somehow what they originally came up with has changed, become stupider. Again, Steve takes 15 minutes from his busy day to look it over. He says, "Okay", and leaves. The movie goes into production, the special effects start coming out of the lab, Jar Jar looks like crap, but Spielberg is God. Nobody can think of a way to tell him that Jar Jar sucks, and even if they did tell him, chances are good that he (a) wouldn't care, and/or (b) wouldn't change it anyway, Hollywood economics being what they are. Announce publicly that the design he approved actually sucked, and they were starting over? No way.

Two years later, here we all are, discussing it.


------------------
"Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast!" - the White Queen

Scylla
04-18-2000, 08:40 AM
Spielberg?

I think you mean Lucas. Besides he is notoriously detail oriented concerning his mythos.

I heard his kids lked Jar-Jar, so there he is.

Cactus Jack
04-18-2000, 09:02 AM
Frankly, I'm amazed (and pleased) at the quick response to this post. Clearly, the Jar Jar issue is tearing our nation apart.
So far, the consensus seems to be "Because he's annoying and he was so obviously created to blatantly pander to a kiddie audience."
Do kids hate him, too, I wonder? I saw it in the theatre, twice, and I didn't hear ANY laughter at Jar Jar's antics. There were a lot of kids, both times, too.
If Lucas' kids found Jar Jar endearing, they must be abnormal or something. Maybe the Lucas kids have googly eyes, floopy ears, lizardy skin, are extroadinarily clumsy, and say things like "Yousa gonna make a movie, Dadsa?"
That would explain a lot.

Cactus Jack
04-18-2000, 09:11 AM
Wow. I checked out Scylla's Landover post. You gotta follow the link to the "Jar Jar's Phallic Candy Tongue."
Hilarious.

Smeghead
04-18-2000, 07:35 PM
Originally posted by evilbeth:
Think back (if you can admit to ever pausing on "Full House" long enough to see) to when "Michelle" was little and couldn't speak very clearly yet. What did she say that everyone in the canned audience (that is where they get canned laughter from, isn't it?) always laughed at? She said, "How rude!" BUT...she could not pronounce the "r" sound very well and it came out as kind of like, "How Wooed!" which is exactly what JarJar says at least a couple times in the movie

Thank you! That was the first thing that popped into my mind when he said that and I have hated him ever since!!

As for the racism accusations, I heard a good point a while back. I believe it was from a local university English teacher. She pointed out that it is almost impossible to invent an entirely new dialect - that is, one that does not remind people of an existing dialect. Apparently, we have a strong ingrained tendency to identify accents with ones we've already heard. I dunno. Sounds reasonable to me.

Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor
04-18-2000, 07:52 PM
I think it would be a great plotline if Jar-jar became Boba Fett.

He'd need different feet, and he'd have to get significantly shorter.


Give me 15 minutes & a Bremill Moto-Tool, and I'll MAKE him fit--boots ,armor & all!

And that "too tall" problem---I could fix that, too!! :)

------------------
"There is no slander in an allowed fool, though he do nothing but rail; nor no railing in a known discreet man, though he do nothing but reprove."
Countess Olivia to Malvolio; William Shakespeare's Twelfth Night, Act 1, Scene 5.

tracer
04-18-2000, 08:09 PM
Yue Han wrote:

That doesn't mean that the Nemeoidians symbolize the Chinese. It means that their native language isn't Basic.

Or Fortran either, thank goodness.

Lumpy
04-19-2000, 12:27 AM
I can think of one use for the Jar-Jar character: After years of following Jedi teachings of mercy and tolerance, Anakin is finally driven over the edge by Jar-Jar's idiocy, gives himself over to the Dark side, and slaughters the doofus. Although I admit, that sounds like a good deed .

------------------
You say I'm blind, I say you're hallucinating.

Larry Borgia
04-19-2000, 01:32 AM
As far as the Racism goes, I think it was the combination of the accent and his manner. He acted like some horrible stepin fetchit or Amos and Andy Negro Caracature. You could almost here him say "Oh no, Massa, Jar jar be a good negro! He don' wan' no trouble!" Combine this with a vaguely Jamaican patois and it's easy to see why some blacks were offended.

I still was more annoyed by the kid, though. Am I the only one who hated him?

------------------
Perked Ears indicate curiosity - Know Your Cat

evilbeth
04-19-2000, 02:10 AM
Originally posted by Larry Borgia:
As far as the Racism goes, I think it was the combination of the accent and his manner. He acted like some horrible stepin fetchit or Amos and Andy Negro Caracature. You could almost here him say "Oh no, Massa, Jar jar be a good negro! He don' wan' no trouble!" Combine this with a vaguely Jamaican patois and it's easy to see why some blacks were offended.



If you were trying to hear that, I'm sure you would. He acted like a big, clumsy lizard. Next, I'm sure people will be telling us his big lips obviously point out that he is supposed to be black.

I tend to compare this whole Star Wars = Racism crap with the photographs people take of their kids at home in the tub. If you can look at a picture of a naked toddler splashing around in a tub and think, "Ooh, this is child pornography! Bad!" then you are the one with the pedophiliac tendencies, not the photographer. If something designed to be innocent and fun makes you think of vile, horrible ulterior motives, you are the problem.

Sorry, but this issue just really irritates me.

------------------
Those who are dancing look insane to those who cannot hear the music.

*************************

One-of-a-kind, custom-designed Wally sig available on request.

Cactus Jack
04-19-2000, 08:50 AM
Larry Borgia.

No, I don't think you're the only one who hated the kid. In fact, most people seem dissatisfied with his performance.

Not me, though, and here's why:

1) I mentioned earlier that, those rare times I get depressed, I sometimes look at old photos of myself, from when I was a kid, and think, "Now look at that -- see what I was like then."
Well, that kid-that-was-me? He's a dead ringer for Anakin Skywalker, slave. I mean, exactly. My mother has even commented on this.
So I have a hard time hating the kid. Probably more info than you needed, but...

2) He was given a lot of very stupid lines, and it's clear that Lucas didn't take the time to do retakes to smooth out his performance. Sometimes, the kid does a very good job.

Example: When he's in the Jedi Council, and Yoda and all of them are debating his future, and they're being kind of bastards to him, there's a shot where's he's looking around at all of them, and his face just READS. You can really see him thinking, "You're no better than me."
Another example: "Will I ever see you again?" That line and scene went well, seemed very genuine and childish.
Another example: When he goes to say good-bye to Threepio. He's like, "Hey, sorry I didn't get to finish you. I'll tell mom not to sell you or anything. Bye." I thought he conveyed, effectively, a lack of sympathy or concern for Threepio, who's essentially his creation and essentially a slave just like him. Interesting work there.
Another example: Although he has no lines, he's very believable in the cockpit of the podracing scene.
There are other examples.
Other times, yes, his performance is miserable. I'm thinking of his "Yippee!", the moment where he says "Are you an angel?" and almost all the stuff in the cockpit of the ship in the space battle scene.
I'd argue it's the responsibility of the director to know when the performance is uneven, and to do re-takes. Lucas was working with a child actor, and it's notoriously difficult to get something smooth from them. Yes, the kid in "The Sixth Sense" is prodigiously talented, but I'll bet M. Night Shayliman (don't know how to spell it) at least re-shot a couple of scenes after looking at dailies...
I don't think Lucas did. I remember reading some interviews he did before the movie came out, and he said, more than once, that he can now "fix" anything in postproduction, with computers. The actors in the movie, as a whole, said that Lucas was "very satisfied" with first takes, and that he moved quickly.
Too quickly, I think, in Jake Lloyd's case.
And Jar Jar's, for that matter.

Cactus Jack
04-19-2000, 09:39 AM
By the way, I don't think any of the "Is-he-or-is-he-not-a-racist-creation?" stuff is relevant. Why?

1) You don't have to be the slightest bit sensitive to racial stereotyping to be offended by Jar Jar Binks.

2) I don't see any racists approving of his presence, either.

extra crispy
05-06-2000, 01:52 PM
jar jar was pretty bad but you what really killed the movie for me was the way the gungans spoke to each other. i mean it's one thing if jar jar talks in pidgin english when he meets the jedi knights, maybe basic isn't his native language so he has an accent. But when the gungans gather and speak in ebonics, that's crossing the line. they should have had their own language.

matt_mcl
05-07-2000, 05:56 AM
BECAUSE he's an annoying FUCKING TWERP.

pldennison
05-07-2000, 08:08 AM
Yue Han, terrific post. I agree with everything you said.

I've found it interesting that, when confronted with this slapstick, goofy character, people assume he is supposed to be a caricature of blacks. This despite the fact that, for one thing, there are actual black human beings in the movie, and they all hold positions of power: One is the head of the Queen's Royal Security force, one is a ranking member of the Jedi Council, and one is a Naboo fighter pilot. There are others in several other scenes.
For another, many of Jar Jar's actions, especially in the battle between the Gungans and the droid army, are lifted nearly directly from Harold Lloyd and Buster Keaton films.

When there are black people in the film, the assumption that Jar Jar is supposed to be "black" is, in my opinion, more reflective of the attitude of the person watching.

Oh, FTR, nobody in this film calls anyone "Massa" or anything even close to it with the exception of the two white Jedi and Darth Maul, who refer to their superiors as "Master." And, according to George Lucas, the accents of the Trade Federation were supposed to be reminscent of Transylvanian, not Asian.

Jar Jar was far from the worst thing in the movie. After seeing the performance of a child actor like Haley Joel Osmont in "The Sixth Sense," I can't imagine what Lucas and his casting director were thinking.

NickDanger
05-08-2000, 01:11 AM
The first time I saw Jar-Jar on the big screen I remember thinking, "Here we go, Jar-Jar T-shirts, lunchboxes, action figures, maybe a Saturday morning cartoon."
Later, during the (overlong IMHO) pod race sequence, all I could think was, "Here we go again, watch out for the N-64 or Playstation video game in about two months."
As if Lucas needs the money.

Of course I'm a crusty old adult now. If I had been eight years old last summer, it would have been a Jar-Jar Christmas.

pldennison
05-08-2000, 07:40 AM
. But when the gungans gather and speak in ebonics, that's crossing the line.

????

Can someone else please take this . . . I don't have the strength . . .

Milossarian
05-08-2000, 03:58 PM
Yue Han said:
The fact that Jar Jar uses a Caribbean dialect doesn't not make him a racial stereotype.

Problem is, Jar Jar didn't use a Caribbean dialect. Jar Jar used a nearly impossible to understand, over-the-top white person's caricature of a Caribbean dialect.

Yue Han said:
The Nemeoidians didn't speak precisely like Chinese people. They spoke like people speaking an UNFAMILIAR LANGUAGE.People speaking a language with longer words and different ending sounds than their own will use a clipped style-- as both Chinese people and the Nemeoidians did.
That doesn't mean that the Nemeoidians symbolize the Chinese. It means that their native language isn't Basic.

If you can't see the Chinese Shogun look and hints of Oriental dialect in the Nemeodians, "meesa thinks yousa nuts-a." Or you at least need to watch the movie again a little more closely.

pldennison
05-09-2000, 09:24 AM
Yue Han said:
quote:


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The fact that Jar Jar uses a Caribbean dialect doesn't not make him a racial stereotype.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Problem is, Jar Jar didn't use a Caribbean dialect. Jar Jar used a nearly impossible to understand, over-the-top white person's caricature of a Caribbean dialect.

While the shooting script certainly contained elements of the final dialect used by Jar Jar, a great deal (if not the majo portion) of the enunciation and character was left to Ahmed Best who, last I looked, was in fact black.

Furthermore, anyone who has listened to a Caribbean dialect for more than about ten seconds would have a difficult time pointing out any real points of correspondence that wouldn't be equally true for other dialects and languages.

AmyJohn
05-09-2000, 03:09 PM
Let me begin by saying that I wasn't expecting much out of this movie to start with. There was entirely too much hype, and too high expectations to avoid mass disappointment. However, even going in with incredibly low expectations, I came out of that movie feeling like I had wasted my time. Now on to that stupid character . . .

The main thing I hate about Jar Jar is his voice. Dear Lord, could it get any more annoying!?! I mean, say what you like, but consistent and deliberate bad grammar is irritating to ANYONE. Yes, I realize that's not his language, etc., but that doesn't make it any less vile to viewers. You'd think someone would consider that before the movie was released.

Come to think of it, I never really cared for Yoda's voice either, though it is far more bearable. Why? B/c it's at a normal (well, close) tone and pitch. (But it still strikes a major nerve with me when my boyfriend impersonates him--and he does a dead on impersonation. Go figure.)

Rosebud
05-09-2000, 03:53 PM
I submit to you the following...

Jedi Jar Jar (http://www.space.com/spaceimagined/movies/jar_jar_holy_fool_000414.html)

pyromage1222
12-13-2013, 03:40 AM
Hey, This may be a bit out dated of a post, but it is shown and reiterated in the movies on how Jar Jar Binks had literately made order 66, as a coalition signing with the Empire, in order to gain respectable trust and protection between the senator and the emperor Palpatine.

Put simply: Jar Jar binks literatly made it possible for the Jedi to be killed, in order to save his own hide.

tomndebb
12-13-2013, 05:47 AM
You revived a thirteen year old ZOMBIE for that? (While ignoring the fact that he was hated two movies prior to the killing of the Jedi.)

Okie-dokie.

I will note that in the intervening thirteen years, we have a few new fora in which to discuss stuff.
I am moving this from Great Debates to Cafe Society.

John Mace
12-13-2013, 08:17 AM
Hey, This may be a bit out dated of a post...

Meesah think that one of biggest understatements!!

Little Nemo
12-13-2013, 08:53 AM
Late response to a old OP.
Is it just because he's so obviously intended to be funny and he's not?I think the problem was Jar Jar was intended to be entertaining and he was not. And that reflected on the entire series. Realizing one character was just a bunch of hype made us stop and think about whether the movies were just hype.

control-z
12-13-2013, 10:09 AM
We wanted a cool movie, the origin of Darth Vader! We didn't want silly comic relief and virtual blackface behavior. And that voice, it's so grating for anyone over the age of 8.

kenobi 65
12-13-2013, 10:12 AM
Hey, This may be a bit out dated of a post

Yousa bombad necromancer!

Frazzled
12-13-2013, 10:48 AM
The original Star Wars featured a cast that was entirely of fighting age. I know using the word plausible when talking about Star Wars is stretching it, but the first 2 movies are plausible by fictional standards. The first movie was built on well established plot lines: the evil empire based on the Nazis; standard action fight scenes; and space battles based on WW1 and WW2 dog fight styles. The hero is a backwoods farm boy who accepts the call to action, gets trained, and wins by sheer determination and skill with the blessings of a higher spiritual force. What makes the first 2 movies work so well is that the empire looks competent and that makes victory more fun to watch and defeat a little more menacing.

But by the third movie, the Ewoks are childish and primitive. The Empire should have been able to mow them down and by not doing so it makes them look incompetent. Most fans regard "Jedi" as inferior to the other 2 movies for exactly this reason.

When Phantom Menace came out Lucas upped the ante by having small children and childish aliens become the main fighting heroes, they win by virtue of luck, and by doing so it takes away any notion of real danger that the other characters have to overcome. The Star Wars universe became implausible and fans resented it. Jake Lloyd and Jar Jar Binks got the brunt of the blame.

Bryan Ekers
12-13-2013, 11:37 AM
Huh, this thread predates my membership on this board.


Anyway, I've developed some latter-day respect for the Ewoks, though I can picture a slight re-edit of Jedi that cuts out the more clownish moments, leaving their rather impressive Viet-Congish deathtraps. Jar-Jar could benefit from this as well (and did, in the so-called "Phantom Edit"). Leaving the goofy comic relief in either film is just a tedious reminder to the audience that these are movies for children, and fairly stupid children at that.

amorali
12-13-2013, 12:07 PM
Huh, this thread predates my membership on this board.


Anyway, I've developed some latter-day respect for the Ewoks, though I can picture a slight re-edit of Jedi that cuts out the more clownish moments, leaving their rather impressive Viet-Congish deathtraps. Jar-Jar could benefit from this as well (and did, in the so-called "Phantom Edit"). Leaving the goofy comic relief in either film is just a tedious reminder to the audience that these are movies for children, and fairly stupid children at that.

I just saw ROTJ on TV complete with the animated band scene that crazy man added in. It's just absolutely ridiculous. I don't know what Lucas was thinking. You have a semi serious scene, I remember as a kid being scared of all the scenes with Jabba. And then suddenly thread a cartoon.
I think Jar Jar was the same way. It just doesn't fit.
And I am dreading the Disneyfication of it. They might as well just do the whole thing in old school pen and paper animation and turn it into a musical.

Miller
12-13-2013, 01:12 PM
And I am dreading the Disneyfication of it. They might as well just do the whole thing in old school pen and paper animation and turn it into a musical.

Yeah, just like they did with The Avengers!

Oh, wait...

Irishman
12-13-2013, 01:54 PM
The problem with Jar-Jar is he is basically Jerry Lewis - loud, annoying voice, stupid clutzy antics.

amorali
12-13-2013, 01:58 PM
Yeah, just like they did with The Avengers!

Oh, wait...

Lucas was already heading in the direction, that's why it scares me. :)

Vinyl Turnip
12-13-2013, 02:58 PM
You revived a thirteen year old ZOMBIE for that? (While ignoring the fact that he was hated two movies prior to the killing of the Jedi.)

Okie-dokie.

I will note that in the intervening thirteen years, we have a few new fora in which to discuss stuff.

Yeah, we've come a long way, but Jar-Jar still sucks.

John Mace
12-13-2013, 04:44 PM
The problem with Jar-Jar is he is basically Jerry Lewis - loud, annoying voice, stupid clutzy antics.
Well, that explains why those movies did so well in France then!

teela brown
12-13-2013, 05:09 PM
I just saw ROTJ on TV complete with the animated band scene that crazy man added in. It's just absolutely ridiculous. I don't know what Lucas was thinking. You have a semi serious scene, I remember as a kid being scared of all the scenes with Jabba. And then suddenly thread a cartoon. . . .

Animated band scene? Do I want to know?

Siam Sam
12-13-2013, 05:11 PM
What's not to hate about Jar Jar Binks?

Johnny Q
12-13-2013, 05:53 PM
I still like the idea of Jar Jar becoming a Sith Lord.

"Jar Jar eesa deaded. Isa Darth Binky."

Followed by a drawn out and hilarious death scene.

"What a pathetic waste of Gungan Life."

amorali
12-13-2013, 06:34 PM
Animated band scene? Do I want to know?

What in the what? You never saw the newer versions that Lucas butchered? The whole who shot first thing? Jabba being able to stand up? The stupid CGI band scene?

amorali
12-13-2013, 06:36 PM
What has been seen cannot be unseen.

http://youtu.be/PiDRgDmXGi4

teela brown
12-14-2013, 12:58 PM
What in the what? You never saw the newer versions that Lucas butchered? The whole who shot first thing? Jabba being able to stand up? The stupid CGI band scene?


Nope, I've successfully avoided it all, mainly due to the outraged fan discussions here on this very board.

Until now. I could stand about twenty seconds of that clip. Hurl.

LawMonkey
12-14-2013, 01:54 PM
Jar Jar never bothered me much. Anyway, how could he ruin the movie after Jake Lloyd did?

Ethilrist
12-14-2013, 03:19 PM
He was introduced as comic relief at a time when not-particularly-stressful things were occurring. "Oh, no, Obi Wan's being chased! um... I bet he survives..." "Oh, no, Anakin's in trouble! um..."

Little Nemo
12-14-2013, 03:42 PM
Jar Jar never bothered me much. Anyway, how could he ruin the movie after Jake Lloyd did?That's the thing I never got - the hate for Jake Lloyd. I always thought he did a pretty good job. He acted (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i909Rm4NQN8) naturally in the role of a nine year old. He even manages to deliver some pretty bad lines in as convincing a manner as anyone could have.

Now the concept of portraying a legendary villain as a normal nine year old was questionable. But that wasn't Lloyd's idea. He wasn't miscast as much as he was well cast in a part that was misconceived.

Learjeff
12-14-2013, 05:07 PM
Yeah, I know it's a necropost, but I missed the first round.

When I saw the movie, I'd already heard the debate about JarJar, so my reaction wasn't fresh. I could see why people had the reactions they had regarding racism, even though I didn't agree. I attribute it to oversensitivity, but I also acknowledge that oversensitivity to a grievous problem is natural. Perhaps Lucas should have been more aware of this sensitivity. In any case, I didn't hate JarJar, nor did I love him.

I think JarJar is just a bad stereotype of a Jamaican.I think he's an attempt to portray a culture that speaks a creole language. I like that idea. Perhaps they failed, or perhaps we can't even hear an attempt at a creole without piling on a lot of our preconceptions about them and the people who speak them.

First of all, I'd like to say that Yue Han is completely correct and I applaud him for bringing reason to this discussion.I agree with a lot of what Yue Han said.

jar jar was pretty bad but you what really killed the movie for me was the way the gungans spoke to each other. i mean it's one thing if jar jar talks in pidgin english when he meets the jedi knights, maybe basic isn't his native language so he has an accent. But when the gungans gather and speak in ebonics, that's crossing the line. they should have had their own language.That's true if JarJar was speaking a pidgin. I interpret it as a creole, which means they'd speak it to one another; it would be their native language and not a second/foreign one.

I think the real problem was touching on the racial issue with a character who isn't well-loved and is poked fun at. As for him not being well-loved, that may be his appearance, but I think it was just failure to achieve the desired (lovable) effect. Oops.

I haven't seen the picture in 10 years. I wonder if I'd have the same reaction today.

RickJay
12-14-2013, 05:19 PM
Your'e all missing the real villain. Jar Jar Binks was annoying but that kid made me wince in pain.
The thing is that there are a hundred things wrong with "The Phantom Menace." As bad as Jake Lloyd is, you cannot honestly say Natalie Portman is any better; her performance is just jaw-droppingly terrible. ALL the actors are bad, really. The story makes very little sense, the cinematography is boring, the dialogue stilted, the effects cheap-looking, and the characters quite often don't make any sense at all.

Jar Jar gets special hate because he's both especially, intensely irritating with his racist, clownish buffoonery, but also because he is totally irrelevant to the story. Jar Jar's only purpose in the tale is bringing the Jedi to the Gungan city - something that could have been done some other way - after that he is purely a tag along and one who is inexplicably but unforgettably in the way at all times. Contrast him with C3PO in "Star Wars" who is also an irritating pain in the ass - think about it, he is intensely unlikeable - but is vastly less intrusive and actually helps propel the plot several times.

The Phantom Menace would be a dreadful movie without Jar Jar but it'd be more like, say, a movie like "Oblivion" or "Elysium," a bloated and dull sci fi movie with lots of sizzle and no steak. (In a lot of ways The Phantom Menace is actually much worse than those movies but I can't think of a better comparison.). But imagine "Elysium" exactly as is is except cast a really bad actor as an actual clown, cavorting in some racial stereotype next to Matt Damon almost the whole movie. You'd detest him, too.

Trinopus
12-14-2013, 07:44 PM
That's the thing I never got - the hate for Jake Lloyd. I always thought he did a pretty good job. He acted (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i909Rm4NQN8) naturally in the role of a nine year old. He even manages to deliver some pretty bad lines in as convincing a manner as anyone could have. . . .

Total agreement. And I'll give some of the same credit to Hayden Christensen, too: he was directed to do a whiny teen-ager performance. He has said he didn't want to do it that way. If this is true, then he can be absolved for much of the blame.

A wise person said to me: If one actor in a movie is bad, it's the actor's fault. If all the actors in a movie are bad, it's the director's fault.

(A real killer example: Alice in Wonderland, 1966. (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0060089/?ref_=fn_tt_tt_17) A cast studded with top-level stars -- and every single one of them turns in a leaden performance. We know they're capable of much, much better. How does this happen? Bad directing!

cochrane
12-15-2013, 02:06 AM
Yousa bombad necromancer!

Great username/post combo!

Irishman
12-16-2013, 04:18 PM
Total agreement. And I'll give some of the same credit to Hayden Christensen, too: he was directed to do a whiny teen-ager performance. He has said he didn't want to do it that way. If this is true, then he can be absolved for much of the blame.

A wise person said to me: If one actor in a movie is bad, it's the actor's fault. If all the actors in a movie are bad, it's the director's fault.

People whine about the acting in TPM being stilted. But the thing is, that is what Lucas wanted. I swear I read an article about that. I mean, when you have Natalie Portman and Ewan McGregor coming across as stilted and wooden, you've got to know something is going on.

I never got the hate for Jake Lloyd or Hayden Christensen, either. But Jar Jar, I totally get the hate.

Slow Moving Vehicle
12-16-2013, 09:17 PM
Anent the charge of racism in Phantom Menace:

If it were just Jar-Jar, I'd agree with what Yue Han wrote thirteen years ago. But it isn't.

I mean, first you have the Trade Federation guys, with their Mickey-Rooney-in-Breakfast-At-Tiffanys accents and their Chinese robes. What are they doing? Economically exploiting another planet. Launching a sneak attack.

Then we meet the Comical Negro Sidekick Jar-Jar.

Then, the slaver, Watto. Whose name ends with an "-o", and who has a big nose, stubble, wears a wife-beater, and speaks in an Italian-by-way-of-Brooklyn accent.

Once is bad luck. Twice is coincidence. Three times is a pattern.

TBG
12-17-2013, 02:11 AM
Meesa no hatin Jar Jar Binks. Me thinkin someone's gotta be takin up the slack for Threeso not bein so much in the movie. Where else you havin the comic relief?

I also love that in the recent alterations to Jedi, he winds up getting the last line WEESA FREE haha take that haters.

(Yeah, they tried to backpeddle and say it's just some random gungan, but you know that's not what they intended)

RickJay
12-17-2013, 10:14 PM
Then, the slaver, Watto. Whose name ends with an "-o", and who has a big nose, stubble, wears a wife-beater, and speaks in an Italian-by-way-of-Brooklyn accent.
Watto's Italian? That's a new one. He's usually said to be a Jewish stereotype.

The Other Waldo Pepper
12-17-2013, 11:10 PM
Then, the slaver, Watto. Whose name ends with an "-o", and who has a big nose

You want they should have named him Shapiro?

Bryan Ekers
12-17-2013, 11:52 PM
You want maybe they shouldn't have named him Shapiro?

scabpicker
12-18-2013, 12:21 AM
Watto's Italian? That's a new one. He's usually said to be a Jewish stereotype.

Either way, he's obviously from the east coas- umm, hemisphere?

The Other Waldo Pepper
12-18-2013, 05:06 AM
You want maybe they shouldn't have named him Shapiro?

Shapiro, Shlomo, what's the difference?

Slow Moving Vehicle
12-18-2013, 06:31 AM
What type of Jewish stereotype is "Pot belly, wife-beater, stubble, hangs out in a mechanic's garage?" He seemed much more "Vongool!" than "Oi vey!" to me.

The Other Waldo Pepper
12-18-2013, 06:58 AM
What type of Jewish stereotype is "Pot belly, wife-beater, stubble, hangs out in a mechanic's garage?"

Earl Warren?

Irishman
12-18-2013, 10:10 AM
What, he can't be mixed heritage - Jewish and Italian?

FWIW, I pegged Jewish. The "greedy Jew businessman" angle.

VarlosZ
12-18-2013, 11:22 AM
1st Level: We hate Jar Jar because he's aggressively annoying, loud, unfunny, and he's in seemingly every goddamn scene.

2nd Level: Despite taking up all that screen time, he's totally useless both functionally (in terms of advancing the plot) and artistically -- a transparently cynical attempt to appeal to little kids and sell them crappy toys.

3rd Level: Jar Jar's presence therefore subconsciously highlights the fact that these are basically kids' movies, and that it's pretty silly of us to be so invested in the series in the first place.

louguy
12-18-2013, 06:25 PM
Here's another perspective.
http://www.landoverbaptist.org/news0899/jar.html

You MUST check this out.

Just checked the url........ i found the Republican HQ......laughed so hard, but then...

Hail to Dark One, oh Jar Jar !!:smack:

The_Peyote_Coyote
12-18-2013, 08:00 PM
Larry Borgia: No, you're not the only one who hated the kid's performance. That was the worst performance I've ever seen a child actor give on screen or stage. I hate Jar Jar for the reasons other posters have given, but the kid's performance was the worst in the series and that's saying something.