Jar-Jar Binks... has Lucas gone nuts, or what?

The character of Jar-Jar Binks is slated to be in Episodes Two and Three of the first Star Wars trilogy… even AFTER the huge uproar against the character in the press and the fan world in general. Is Lucas THAT hungry for marketing tie-ins?

Lucas is beginning to piss me off; first, he won’t release any of his damn movies on DVD. Now, he insists on keeping a character that was so contrived and annoying I almost walked out of Episode I. When I was a kid, I stood in long-ass lines for all three of his movies, bought the action figures, the Han Solo pistol, the plastic light saber, the crappy ultra-flammable halloween costume, the books, all of it! And this is how he repays me? Hmmph…

Lucas is in it for the money. But I um, well, actually LIKED Jar Jar.

And I LIKED TPM. So sue me. Hey, George doesn’t exactly have it easy-raising three kids as a single dad, diabetes, etc.
His wife ran off with another man…sad sad sad…

What? Those damned Ewoks didn’t send up a big enough warning flag?

Yeah, but the empire managed to kill a few Ewoks. It doesn’t seem like they’re going to be able to stop Jar-Jar.

Well it’s pretty much a double-edged sword for Lucas isn’t it? If he pretends Jar Jar never existed in the first place and removes him from the remaining prequels then he is pandering to the fanboys. If he keeps him in he is pandering to the kids. I find it ridiculous that so many people are personally offended by aspects of TPM that don’t jive with their fanboy fantasies. Let the man make his movies and if you don’t like it go watch The Matrix.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again:

Jar-Jar has a purpose. He will be so annoying that he will singlehandedly drive Anakin to the dark side, and the first thing that Darth Vader will do as a Sith is dice Jar-Jar to shreds with a light saber. I can hear the cheering in the theater now…

I know it’s blasphemy, but the Star Wars movies are kid’s movies. Hence, the Jar-Jar character is designed to appeal to kids. At the moment I don’t know any kids so I don’t have their opinion on the Jar-Jar phenomenom, but I imagine he makes them laugh.

Also, Jar-Jar is one of the first in Lucas’ “Digital Actors.” George Lucas is more of a technological pioneer than a director. At least he is nowadays. So Jar-Jar is probably here to stay.

What I find sad is the fact that George Lucas is still milking the Star Wars franchise, even though, like Coppola, all his talent has seemed to left him. The Phantom Menace was like the follow up album to a one hit wonder. It wasn’t that bad, but it in no way captures the spirit of the original. It reminds me of a list of phobias I saw on the internet before TPM came out. Number one was “The dreadful fear that the new Star Wars movie might really, really suck.”

For the record, I liked the Phantom Menace. It wasn’t great, but it was an enjoyable way to pass the time. And the lightsaber battles were cool as hell.

Actually, this isn’t too far from the truth. Jar Jar ans a role to play. He was introduced for a reason, and he’ll play out the role he was intended for as the trilogy unfolds. Most likely as an indicator that Anakin has turned into one nasty bastard.

Admittedly he was a little bit annoying, but trust me, the kids absolutely love him. And he’s making these movies for the kids, not the adults-who-used-to-be-kids.

I was told once that Lucas was the brains behind introducing Ewoks in the first Star Wars series. Ewwwww. Go figure.

I find it hard to believe that kids are the demographic that spends the most money on Star Wars. However, the fanatics will still see the movie five times, so it doesn’t really matter whether or not they like Jar-Jar.

“Meesa dumbest character EVER!!!”

Anybody else think Episode II has the potential to be really, really cool?

Episode I had certain plot points it had to introduce. It was almost like a preface that needed to be done to get to “the real story,” and at times that kind of bogged it down.

Episode II will be at the point in the legend where it SHOULD BE at its coolest: How do Anakin and Amadala get together? How does Anakin go over to The Dark Side? What about that cryptic allusion to another Darth Sith? How does the Empire rise in power? The first great war should be coming up, and you know Obi Wan and Anakin are going to be big heroes in it.

So Episode II should have lots of plot twists and action. If it isn’t a better story, then Lucas just doesn’t have it anymore, and should pack it in.

Jar Jar is staying with the sequels?

Strike one against episode II.

At least Leo isn’t going to play Anakin.

I don’t know, I find am personally offended by the fact that the character, who is played by an African American, has a decidedly West Indian/Jamacian/backwoods Southern accent, and by the fact that the vilianous aliens wore Asian dress and spoke with an Asian accent. Now, one racial characterization, I can buy that as a “mistake,” but two? In one movie? Sorry, that isn’t a mistake, that’s stereotyping.

And as a mild Star Wars fan, I found it sad that I was rooting for Darth Maul. In fact, I was so bored, I was imagining Maul just attacking annoying little Anakin with the double light sabre. Which, incidently, was the coolest thing in the whole movie.

Swiddles you know I love you, but I think it’s just as racist to not make bad guys ethnic just to please the PC police. And just because Jar Jar was an irritant on the scale of, oh, hot sauce eye-drops, does not make him a bad guy.

Let me tell ya, I know a few African Americans with West Indian/Jamacian/backwoods Southern accents and I’m not at all offended by them.

According to legend, Lucas designed the Ewoks specifically at the request of a niece or some other relative. The Ewoks were sufficiently iconographic (read: Teddy Bears) so as to avoid being too smarmy.

Jar Jar Binks, on the other hand, is so patently contrived that it is painful to watch. Whether he is a callback to slapstick or the old loose cannon sidekick that Lucas is trying to evoke, it just doesn’t work. All of the issues of racial stereotyping are impertinent to a discussion about fantasy characters. All of the issues about having to watch a submoron blaze a swath of dramatic deconstruction through what was otherwise somewhat digestible cinematic fare need airing.

If Jar Jar Binks is being reserved for some special slow torture scene at one of Jabba’s banquets, okay fine, I’ll put up with him just for that. However, two more movies with this nit wit has a chance of quelling any enthusiasm I may ever have felt.

One thing that you are probably seeing is just shrewd business practice. Imagine the extra percentages that Lucas reaps because there are no acting contract royalties and second tier performance (read: Commercials) pay schedules. Just pure dee profits. Jar Jar doesn’t even need a dressing room, catering or make up. This extrateresstial booger is the biggest cash cow in Sci-Fi history.

Now pardon me while I go vomit from thinking about this subject for more than five minutes straight.

And why is not offensive when all the villains speak with British accents like in the original trilogy? In Episode I there are British, Swedish, Australian, Italian, Asian, American, and Jamaican accents. Why are you only offended by the ones you mentioned?

Look, Jar-Jar is vaguely Jamaican. So are all the members of his race. Jar-Jar is a spaz. The rest of the Gungans have advanced force-field technology no one else has, energy weapons no one has, controlled bio-echnology no one has, and sacrificed their lives to help save their ancient racial enemies.

So I guess George Lucas is a racist, if the other Gungans don’t represent black people. Oh, and if the co-leader of the Jedi Council, played by Samuel L. Jackson, isn’t black. And that black guard isn’t black.

So yes, if you ignore everything in the movie except:

  • Jar Jar has an accent
  • Jar is comic relief
    then he’s a racist character.


This does bring to mind the controversy -or tempest in a teapot- when the first three movies came out.

To wit- Darth Vader was voiced by James Earl Jones, a black man (boy was I disappointed when he was unmasked!), until he turned good at the end, then he was white. The only other black actor in the film was Lando, who was a traitor to the rebels.

Sooo… When Anakin turns to the “dark” side, can I look foward to seeing him played by Jaime Fox?