Michael Jackson Wanted to Play Jar Jar Binks in the Star Wars Prequels

Illustration for article titled Michael Jackson Wanted to Play Jar Jar Binks in the iStar Wars/i Prequels


Ahmed Best, the actor who has the uneasy distinction of performing the motion capture and doing the voice of one of the most reviled characters of all time, told this amazing story in an interview with Vice:

That’s what George [Lucas] told me. Me, Natalie Portman, and George’s kids—we were at Wembley Arena at Michael Jackson’s concert. We were taken backstage and we met Michael. There was Michael and Lisa Marie [Presley]. George introduced me as ‘Jar Jar’ and I was like, ‘That’s kind of weird. Michael was like, ‘Oh. OK.’ I thought, ‘What is going on?’ After Michael had driven off, we all go back up to a big afterparty. 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.

As god is my witness, I have no idea if Michael Jackson yelling “MEESA SORRY!” would have been better than what we got, worse, or the exact same amount of terribleness. The mind boggles.

[Via The AV Club]

Contact the author at rob@io9.com.

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Platypus Man

I’ll give Ahmed Best credit — he did well. He (and the CG team) created a character so legitimately and believably annoying that we all hated him. We didn’t laugh at how he looked or his poor effects or a poorly-acted voice, we just held disdain for him as we would any other actual annoying character.

With a live action Michael Jackson, we wouldn’t have even had that.