***Think what you will about George Lucas, but in terms of Star Wars, it can all be traced back to him. That’s why I always find it so interesting to listen to him talk about it. His creative process, the reason certain decisions were made, and how these movies became the pop cultural staples they are. This space is dedicated to just that. This is “George Lucas on Star Wars.”***
By Rob Siebert
The Scene: Jar Jar Binks, the Star Wars saga’s most comedic character, is introduced in The Phantom Menace. A large portion of the audience rejects him.
George Lucas Says: “There is a group of fans from the films that don’t like comic sidekicks. They want the films to be tough, and like Terminator … They get very, very upset and very opinionated about anything that has anything to do with being childlike. Which, the movies are for children. But they don’t want to admit that. … They don’t want comedy in these movies. And in the first film they absolutely hated Artoo and Threepio. Now Jar Jar is getting accused of the same thing.”
I Say: George does have a valid point here. A portion of the fanbase, which I think mostly consists of adult males, loves the aspects of Star Wars that are dark, tough, gritty, action-oriented, etc. I think Rogue One was largely made for that side of the fanbase. (Which might be why I dislike it so much…) But the truth is, comedy has been part of Star Wars from the get-go. Look at Artoo and Threepio in the opening minutes of A New Hope. That’s all the evidence you need, right there.
All that being said, George is making an excuse here. He clearly overplayed his hand with Jar Jar. Not only did he lean too far into comedy, he largely leaned into bad comedy. And that’s coming from someone who doesn’t despite Jar Jar the way some people do…
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2 thoughts on “George Lucas on Star Wars: Jar Jar Binks and the Fans”
I am very close to being an adult male and I still like Jar Jar and typically dislike anything too dark, tough, and gritty. I understand how some people think a few of his comic relief bits should have been dialed back, at least in the third act when he was made “bombad general”, but still, I like that he’s one of the few characters who isn’t insanely good at something and really falls into the category of “unexpected hero”.