Jar Jar Binks is likely the most reviled character in the “Star Wars” canon, but he was very nearly played by one of the most beloved and controversial figures in pop culture history.
In a new interview with Vice, Ahmed Best, who voiced and did motion capture for Jar Jar Binks in the three “Star Wars” prequels, was asked about a claim he made a year earlier in a Reddit AMA that George Lucas picked him over Michael Jackson — the late King of Pop himself — for the now-infamous role. Expanding on that revelation, Best stated that back in the “Phantom Menace” days he, Natalie Portman and George Lucas were backstage at a Michael Jackson concert at London’s Wembley Arena, and Lucas introduced Best as “Jar Jar.” Sensing that was an odd thing to do, Lucas explained the situation to Best.
“He said, ‘Well, Michael wanted to do the part but he wanted to do it in prosthetics and makeup like ‘Thriller,'” Best related to Vice. “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.”
While it doesn’t appear there will be any Gungan presence in December’s “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” Best has remained busy, including co-starring in a comedy series titled “2 Black Dudes” said to have network interest.
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