George Lucas is Determined to Make You Like Jar Jar Binks

Since going into semi-retirement in 2012, "Star Wars" creator George Lucas has busied himself with family, philanthropy and plans for the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art. But now the filmmaker has turned to another major undertaking: the rehabilitation of Jar Jar Binks.

Universally despised, the bungling, scene-ruining Gungan may have been intended to bring comic relief to the otherwise-bleak "Star Wars" prequels, but he instead delivered nothing but annoyance. One might even make an argument for despair. Seriously, he's worse than the Ewoks and young Anakin Skywalker combined.

However, Lucas may have found a way to force us to reevaluate our feelings about Jar Jar: by revealing his roots in a beloved animated character.

Appearing at the D23 Expo in Anaheim, California, where he was honored with a Disney Legends Award, Lucas addressed his long history with the entertainment giant, dating back to childhood visits to the theme park.

"I can't even begin to tell you how much of an influence Disney has had on me," said the filmmaker, who was escorted onstage by C-3PO and R2-D2. "I will say one secret that nobody knows: Not many people realize that Goofy was the inspiration for Jar Jar Binks."

Yes, he just threw Goofy under the careening Jar Jar bus. "I know that you will look at him differently now," Lucas added. "It's pretty obvious, actually, but, um, I love Goofy and I love Jar Jar."

We await Goofy's response, which will likely begin with "Gawrsh!"

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