Is George Lucas serious that Jar Jar is his favorite Star Wars character?

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Oh my god, I can remember when we were celebrating the 20th anniversary of Star Wars: A New Hope. We can’t possibly be at the 20th anniversary of The Phantom Menace?! But here we are. Last Monday, the film’s creator, George Lucas, filmed an introductory video for the anniversary panel in Chicago. He not only praised the film, which he said is his favorite, but also that his favorite character out of ALL of his Star Wars characters was Jar Jar Binks. So not Lando Calrissian, not General Leia, not Han Solo, not Darth Vader, but the lanky-limbed, reptilian rabbit-platypus with enunciation problems.

Jar Jar Binks is widely considered one of the weakest characters in the entire “Star Wars” franchise, but George Lucas doesn’t seem to care. In a pre-taped video message that aired during Star Wars Celebration ahead of the 20th anniversary panel for “The Phantom Menace,” Lucas once again surprised fans by naming the polarizing Jar Jar as his favorite “Star Wars” character of all time. A source of comic relief in “The Phantom Menace,” Jar Jar was inspired by Disney’s Goofy and made history as the first fully CGI character in a live-action movie.

“Thank you for coming to the Celebration,” Lucas said his introduction video. “[‘The Phantom Menace’] is one of my favorite movies and of course Jar Jar is my favorite character. Ahmed [Best], you did a fantastic job. It was very, very hard.”

Lucas continued. “Also for John Knoll and all the guys at ILM, I made it impossible for them. We broke a lot of ground. We were using test equipment but it was the beginning of digital, even though we didn’t get to shoot the whole thing digitally, we got to shoot part of it so it was really one of the first digital features and I’m very proud of that. The fans are always such a big part of these films and obviously those of you who are here are the fans of Episode 1 and I love each and every one of you.”

[From Indie Wire]

I haven’t seen Lucas’ video so I have no idea how this information was delivered, whether he was being sarcastic or not. Honestly? I think he was serious. He’s stuck up for Jar Jar before. I think Lucas feels terrible about the backlash the actor Ahmed Best received for the role of Jar Jar. Remember that Best admitted the abuse was so bad he considered taking his own life (he got a standing ovation on Monday). But, as the article mentioned, Jar Jar was the first fully CGI character in a live-action movie. The technical aspect of filmmaking has always been a source of pride for Lucas so I could see him singling out the character on its groundbreaking place in film history. But Lucas also has a history of standing by his work, for better or worse.

In other George Lucas news, did anyone watch the Game of Thrones season eight, episode one Game Revealed? Apparently, Lucas asked to visit the set and ended up directing the part of the parade scene. Cue the new fan theories: Night King = Jar Jar Binks.

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Photo credit: WENN Photos and Getty Images

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16 Responses to “Is George Lucas serious that Jar Jar is his favorite Star Wars character?”

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  1. Jenns says:

    I’m not surprised. He probably views Jar Jar as the unloved kid. I was really happy to see Ahmed Best at the Star Wars panel for The Phantom Menace. No matter what people thought of Jar Jar, he did not deserve that backlash.

    And it was cool seeing Lucas on the Game of Thrones set. My two nerd worlds collided.

    • Mabs A'Mabbin says:

      I agree about being on set. He was present for Avatar as well…to see the new tech in action.

  2. Erinn says:

    Lucas is an idiot though. He almost ruined star wars so many times.

    “In his original concept, Jar Jar Binks would have had elastic bones that let him twist and stretch like a cartoon character. He would have also changed shape in different gravity, turning him into a squashed or stretched out version of himself. If a Looney Tunes version of Jar Jar doesn’t make your eyes roll, try this. Lucas also thought about a goofy lizard/dog pet called a blarth that would follow Jar Jar around and cause more chaos. ”

    He wanted Yoda played by a live monkey.

    “In his original draft of Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith, Lucas planned to have a young Han Solo appear as the adopted son of Chewbacca. ”

    He almost made Boba Fett and Anakin brothers.

    Beyond star wars though, he wanted Tom Selleck to play Indy, wanted Indy to investigate a haunted house, and almost made him a sex offender. Marion was already a teen while Indy was in his mid 20s. But to quote Lucas:

    “[Jones] could have known this little girl when she was just a kid,” the transcript has him saying. “Had an affair with her when she was eleven.”

    Shortly afterward, Lucas wants to make her twelve. “He’s thirty-five, and he knew her ten years ago when he was twenty-five and she was only twelve,” he said. Then, as justification for the age gap, he says that “it would be amusing to make her slightly young at the time.”

    • Anna says:

      Here’s something I read recently:

      On Twitter, comic book artist Livio Ramondelli found a pair of quotes from Lucas discussing his future plans for the franchise in the companion book for AMC’s James Cameron’s Story of Science Fiction TV show:

      [My sequel trilogy] was going to get into the microbiotic world. But there’s this world of creatures that operate differently than we do. I call them the Whills. And the Whills are the one who actually control the universe. They feed off the Force …. Of course, a lot of the fans would have hated it, just like they did Phantom Menace and everything, but at least the whole story from beginning to end would be told.

      https://www.forbes.com/sites/danidiplacido/2018/06/13/george-lucas-had-an-odd-idea-for-his-star-wars-sequel-trilogy/#1bd7a25a6d14

    • Tonya says:

      i think it is very pretentious and rude of you to call him “an idiot” he created those characters

  3. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    I don’t believe JJB is his favorite. I think he made it so BECAUSE of the backlash. Aside from young Anakin, he’s the worst in the franchise. Period. Lol

  4. Mia4s says:

    George Lucas was an indie/avant- guard filmmaker who accidentally made one of the most popular pop culture properties in history that literally changed cinema. I don’t think he’s ever taken it half as serious as the fans do (of which I am one, though more so when I was a child). He also wore a “Han Shot First” t-shirt. I think he enjoys poking the bear, so to speak.

  5. SM says:

    I guess I am the only one who is not into Star Wars, Game of Thrones and/or Avangers….O did watch some 15 minutes of Star Wars movie during last Christmas. What I want to know is what’s up with Adam Driver’s hair. I got absolutely mesmerised by it: it was under the helmet, but then he takes it off and it so shiny and curly and freshly blown out…. is that a character choice, or does that mean there is a superpower of having a perfect hair at any time? A film about that with Adam I would watch.

  6. Case says:

    The backlash over Jar Jar is so grossly over exaggerated that I’m glad he said this out of spite lol. I’m a huge Star Wars fan and truly think this fandom is the worst.

    I fundamentally disagree with any arguments that Lucas “ruined Star Wars” with his choices. I’ve seen things like “Lucas totally screwed up General Grievous — he was supposed to be so cool!” And that argument is…completely nonsensical? George Lucas conceived this universe and made it exactly how he thought it should be. Whether or not fans agree is a separate issue, but he’s not “wrong” for creating what he envisioned.

    • Veronica S. says:

      Prequels > Sequels

      Sorry, I’ll make that argument any day. Lucas has issues with dialogue and the like, but his stories and character choices have always made sense in light of the original trilogy.

      • Case says:

        Totally agree with you, Veronica. I realize the prequels have flaws (particularly when it comes to dialogue and some of the acting), but I’ve always found the heart of that story to be incredibly powerful and tragic. The novelization of Episode III is breathtaking.

        I don’t mind the sequels, but so far they’re basically retreading old ground. Lucas wasn’t afraid to push the envelope with his ideas, and I think a lot of fans just…wanted more of the same. It truly surprises me how many fans can’t even muster a general appreciation for the story the prequels are telling. But to each their own.

  7. easyreader says:

    There is an old theory that Lucas originally set up Jar Jar to be a secret Sith Lord masquerading as a bumbling fool. After the extreme backlash he had to scrap that plan for the second and third movies which is why some say he keeps saying Jar Jar is his favourite – what could have been if the fandom had been patient to let the story unfold in the way he wanted it to. There are several videos on Youtube and Reddit threads that explain it showing all the clues in the first movie to back the theory.

  8. Veronica S. says:

    I think he’s being somewhat facetious, but I do think he’s being genuine in complimenting Ahmed Best. The actor who played Jar Jar received unbelievable amounts of abuse and unkindness following the release of TPM, along with poor little Jake Lloyd. Both of them did not have a good time of it. Even Mark Hamill has talked about how disgusted he was with their treatment by fans.

  9. GoTDang says:

    Jar Jar is an amazing figure who did a lot of good and was a critical figure, etc. That does not change the fact that he was insufferably annoying and made the films completely unwatchable.

  10. duchess of hazard says:

    Jar Jar Binks was terrible. As someone with a Caribbean accent, he made my life unbearable, to the point where I erased it in favour of a mid Atlantic accent. Eff him.