Annie, are you okay? Michael Jackson wanted to play Jar Jar Binks
1999's STAR WARS: EPISODE I - THE PHANTOM MENACE had a trade federation starship-load of problems, but the easiest to pinpoint is that of the CG character, Jar Jar Binks. Ahmed Best ended up portraying (arguably) the most hated character of the franchise, so it's hard to imagine things being much worse. Much to my surprise, we may have dodged a lazer. Speaking with Vice, Best opened up about a well-known pop-culture figure who was keen on strapping on the ears, so to speak.
George introduced me [to Michael Jackson] as 'Jar Jar,' and I was like, That's kind of weird. I'm having a drink with George and I said, 'Why did you introduce me as Jar Jar?' He said, 'Well, Michael wanted to do the part but he wanted to do it in prosthetics and makeup like Thriller.' George wanted to do it in CGI. My guess is ultimately Michael Jackson would have been bigger than the movie, and I don't think he wanted that.
Well, there ya have it. Who knows how close Michael Jackson was to playing the Gungan, but there's no doubt the character would have taken a turn for the worse. Well, worse than what he ended up being. Almost like putting NSYNC in ATTACK OF THE CLONES...In any event, Best made history by playing the first major computer generated character. Granted, it didn't take long for Andy Serkis to obliterate audiences with his Gollum, but it's worth noting.
Cross your fingers for a Jar Jar Binks force ghost to return in STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS on December 18, 2015.
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